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GOP Rep. Erik Paulsen cautiously backs a plan to overhaul the nation’s tax laws

Posted by: Corey Mitchell under 3rd District, 5th District, Minnesota congressional Updated: February 27, 2014 - 10:04 AM

Republican U.S. Rep. Erik Paulsen is cautiously backing a sweeping House Republican plan to overhaul the nation’s tax laws.

Rolled out Wednesday, the proposal would end a number of popular tax breaks to help pay for lower overall tax rates.

Paulsen is Minnesota’s lone member of Congress on the Ways and Means Committee, the Republican-led House of Representatives’ tax-writing panel.

“No plan is perfect.  But, it’s time to end the status quo and fix a broken tax code … that is too costly, too complex, and takes too much time to comply with,” Paulsen said in a statement. “We need a tax code that promotes savings, investment, achievement, innovation, and hard work.  This draft proposal provides real solutions to create a healthy economy.”

Ways and Means Committee chair Dave Camp’s plan would drop the top income tax rate from 39.6 percent to 25 percent and would reduce the number of income tax brackets from seven to two.

The plan would eliminate or reduce popular tax breaks for medical expenses, moving expenses, child care and energy-efficient homes, along with slashing the mortgage interest deduction for homes worth a half-million dollars or more.

In exchange, the plan would increase the child tax credit would and consolidate a number of tax breaks for education expenses.

U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison panned the plan, arguing that it does little to address the nation’s income inequality.

Ellison said tax reform should “stop government spending that only benefits the wealthy and increase spending that supports working families, the poor and seniors.”

The proposal “hurts working people and their families, and expands loopholes that big companies already use to avoid paying taxes. It puts a greater burden on individual taxpayers and helps profitable corporations pay even less back to the country that made their profits possible,” Ellison said in a statement.

The issue is likely to stall in Congress in this midterm election year.
 

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