IRS Scandal Good for Tax Reform: Baucus, Camp, in Interview

Photograph by Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) headquarters in Washington, D.C.

Written with Peter Cook

The scandal at the Internal Revenue Service is emboldening the chief congressional proponents for rewriting the tax code, they said in an interview with Bloomberg Television.

“This actually leads to new momentum for tax reform,” said Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus in a joint interview with House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp.

The pair spoke in the Capitol today in an interview with BTV’s Peter Cook for the “Capital Gains” program airing May 19.

Camp, a Michigan Republican, will lead the first legislative hearing tomorrow into the IRS’s selective scrutiny applied to small-government groups applying for tax-exempt status.

Groups with “tea party” or “patriot” in their names got tougher questions and experienced longer delays than others in a practice that the IRS admitted May 10.

“Now we understand the fear the IRS can put into people,” Camp said.

Baucus, a Montana Democrat, will follow with a hearing May 21.

Steven Miller, acting commissioner of the IRS, resigned yesterday. Today, President Barack Obama named Danny Werfel, controller of the Office of Management and Budget, as acting commissioner.

Camp and Baucus have been working together on rewriting the tax code to broaden the tax base and lower marginal rates. They’re cooperating even though they disagree on whether a tax rewrite should generate more revenue. Baucus says some tax changes should pay for deficit reduction; Camp disagrees and wants rate reduction only.


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