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tv   Senator Ron Wyden on Corporate Tax Policy  CSPAN  March 3, 2017 8:04pm-8:38pm EST

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government runs out in about eight weeks. they are running out of time to finish the work for the spending season for the fiscal 2018 season bumps up before them. >> kelly, you can find her at and follow her on twitter at kelncj. >> follow the house libe on c-span, the senate on c-span2 and both on or listen through the free c-span app. ron wyden earlier today, a former congressional budget office, and others discussed corporate tax policy at the urban institute. this conversation runs about an hour. >> morning and welcome to today's event.
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i am the director of the policy center cosponsored by urban institute and booking institution. i have been at the policy center for over a month and i'm very excited to be part of this fantastic organization. we have a wonderful program covering corporate and business taxes and featuring a number of per spespectiv perspectives. we are ron wyden, and a panel of experts to discuss the pros and cons of his approach. we will finish up with the american action forum providing views on the need and prospect for corporate tax reform. i encourage the audience to use the #liveaturban who commenting. in addition, those watching the web cast who want to ask questions send e-mails to eve @
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event@urban.o for people in the audience, comment cards on your chair with questions to senator wyden. all the other q&a sessions we will pass around a microphone. let me introduce our keynote speaker. senator wyden is the senator from oregon. he is currently the ranking member of the senate finance committee that oversees federal tax, trade policy, social security, medicare and many other programs. senator wyden is known for his work ethic. for example, a couple years ago,
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senator wyden and i have more in common than a long standing interest. we both have degrees from the same university and play basketball. [applause] >> keeping this basketball analogy in perspective, i would say i think we have the nba all stars here of the tax reform debate here at urban and eric.
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each time i happen here it is more inflationary and we are now at the point where i can say my parents would have loved it and probably believed it. thank you for that. this program could not be more timely. we obviously have the administration saying that they are going to do tax reform by august and so i want to give you a little bit of a sense of how i think the debate will play out and then come around full circle to what i think is the prerequisite for doing it right. everyone remembers the trump campaign slogan "make america great" it is supposed to be on coffee mugs at the west wing. whenever you bring up a policy issue with the administration they always say this is part of
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we are going to make america great. i want to start by way of saying i am going to outline specifics so we can frame the discussion. nothing could be carried in interest because this is a favorite used to redefine capital gains and shrink their bills. candidate trump singled out carried interest as a loophole he was going after. it looked like he and jeb bush were going to race each other to see which one of them could pound the thing into populus turf. candidate trump said and i quote
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the hedge fund guys are getting away with murder. they pay nothing. it is ridiculous. that pledge, pretty blunt, earned him a lot of applaud from across the spectrum and added to the populus groundswell that helped him get elected. the problem is the trump pledge on carried interest turned out pretty much to be another head space. since the election, we haven't been able to find a tweet about it. appare apparently hedge fund guys getting away with murder wasn't quite enough because when you do the math instead of those hedge fund people paying their fair share the trump plan actually gives them a 37% tax cut. juxtapose what was said in the campaign, with what you get when
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you do the math, and it is not exactly what it is cracked up to be. then, of course, when you couple that with the capital gains change, 23-a to 16% to if you can find another gimmick which the white house and the majority are looking hard for you can get on another path.
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the infrastructure proposal is an 82% tax credit on the equity put up for a project. i don't take a back-seat to anybody in terms of investing and more than 180 million in bonds were sold in a year and a half. there is way to to get private money off the sidelines but not by doing a gave away to developers.
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82% equity and no guidelines. this is the american taxpayer heaving straight into the pockets of the most fortunate. without resembling groundrules you will not get this. >> this would be paid by there taxes on working class families. breaks at the top paying for it with tolls on the working class
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people. not just for a generation or two but forever.
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the treasury secretary hat a personal interest in this tax shelter since he had one of them among this nine trusts. here is where the tax shelter gets bigger. there are members working with the white house who want to repeal the state tax all together. we are talking about the people at the peek of the scale. not small business owners, farmers, middle income people. we are talking about the people at the very, very, very top. a fourth example of how tax shelters are back in business is coming from the most obscure corner of debate how a tax cut
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can be commandeered to make tax shelters great again. i know people are saying let's dive deep in the topic. not dinner table conversation but judges develop the doctrine as a way to shutdown the tax shelters. the affordable care act aimed to shutdown more shelters. it has made a difference.
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this is why i continue to believe there are opportunities if people want to set aside these kinds of policies i described and do bipartisan tax reform right. my own view is what i call the tale of the two tax codes. if you are a wage earner, you are a welder in portland, oregon, or a nurse in oregon, your taxes come right out of your paycheck. no deal in the cayman islands. you see the numbers on your pay stub. that is one tax system.
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then we have another tax system for the well connected. they have this huge array of talent and all these lawyers and accountants and they make it their specialty to do tax gains. in this second world, you can, to a great extent pay what you want, when you want to, and if you are really clever, virtually nothing at all. when i look at what is offered in the trump administration and the public, i don't see anything that roots out the experience. now the president is working on a phenomenal tax plan he says.
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steve man nuch came and he was talking about there being nee no affluent tax cuts for the upper class. i said that sounds good. here is how he responded to me. senator wyden i want to thank you for a great stream of having the rule with both the buffet
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and volker rule. i take that as a great compliment said the nominee to head the treasury department. he reiterated the rules multiple times. but here the problem. the numbers do not add up. you can see how the rule is broken given tax relief paid for by taking insurance coverage and tax cuts or health care away for working families. i am still waiting to see on the affordable care act to date what happens to those tax changes.
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but in the ul bill in 2015, the republicans took away the medicare tax change. the medicare tax change is particularly important because everybody in america pays a medicare tax with every paycheck. in 2015, the republicans said the medicare tax is going to be cut for only one group of people. one group. the most fortunate of america. so the one group that least needs relief would actually get the relief under the medicare tax exchange. of course, we all understand the demographi demographics.
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there is more to talk about it with the border adjustment proposal and what that could mean. what i want to do is chose with eye i continue to get up every day and say i want to be part of
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a hopeful effort to do bipartisan tax reform right. now, he said the administration would do their bill by august and if they want to they can do it strictly partisan and bulldoze their way to this. but that is not sustainable and not going to be good for america because first of all, you have got to give everybody in america the chance to get ahead.
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we produced the first and only bipartisan federal income tax reform bill since 1986. and the retality -- reality as mentioned, both have points if you want a bipartisan bill. my side believes the tax code has been captured by powerful special interests. put me down for subscribing to that point of view. those are sort of the principles that were part of 1986. so i have been part of writing bipartisan tax reform bills. i would like nothing more than to be part of writing a third
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one. the reason i wanted to come today and our bills by the way have republicans signing on. you can do bipartisan. it is not about taking each other's bad ideas. it is about taking each other's good ideas and in the tax code it is about giving everybody in america not just the fortunate view the opportunity to get ahead. very much appreciate what you are going to be doing. thank you for having me this morning.
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[inaudible conversations]
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>> let's start with the q&a portion. you asked about the success today and driving the investment. do you see some of the proposals out there that can help with infrastructure investment? >> here is where we have with infrastructure. first and foremost, we have to lockdown public investment and infrastructu infrastructure. i am a big supporter of a thoughtful bipartisan director to get additional money from the
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private infrastructure. senator schumer has proposed an infrastructure plan and i am very much for that. it speaks to the public side which is what we have always said would be the traditional approach to making sure that we adequately funded bridges and roads and i do believe it we could lockdown the public side of the infrastructure. the former governor of north dakota and i have worked on a proposal for some time that in effect uses states to drive a lot of the decision making as it
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relates to infrastructure. we call these move america funds. and the goal again is to try to have a liquid kind of vehicle on the private sector side. but to answer mark's question, the first thing that has to be done in order to make real bipartisan headway on infrastructure is we have to lockdown that there will be robust public funding and i am co-sponsor of senator schumer's bill. >> question from the audience deals with chairman hatch's plan for corporate integration. do you see any receptiveness on this proposal? >> senator hatch and i have tried to find ways to cooperate on taxes and by the way, the
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2015 tax bill, and you can debate, the american opportunity act for students to go to college was going to be made permanent. each side got priorities they were interested in and my view was that they were also good for the long term taxes.
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the 2015 bill is good because both sides got priorities they were interested in that made sense oo the long term things he we ought to pursue. i haven't gotten the current update on chairman hatch's corporate integration approach. the last i heard they were working on the scoring. i made it clear and we had working group and the last congress i called principle
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partnership. >> here is a question coming in via e-mail. is it true that democrats in the senate can stop any reform, tax reform or health care reform, with a 60-vote budget act point of order? >> well the question is going to be do we want to do this right which means you get more than 60 votes and it isn't the issue. if you want to bulldoze your y way. if we don't recognize the importance of getting bipartisan reform, i could see the house
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taking its tax reform proposal, and by the way, there is a real kwgz in my mind whether republicans particularly senate republicans, are going to accept this border adjustment idea and it usually promises the movie is not going to end well. if you want to bulldoze this thing, you can. you can do it with a simple majority using this vehicle known as reconciliation. muumuu my view is set that
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aside. i have suggested to republicans on health care if you will drop reconc reconc reconciliation on health care i think woo have chance to work together to make the affordable care act stronger better. if we can get republicans to drop reckoncireconcilationiatio would have to fix the market. what you can do is make the insurance pools bigger. this is a longer answer than the questioner wanted. there would be an opportunity if republicans drop then that would
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be the best. >> you mention the republican colleagues being unhappy with the border act. is there any interest in going to a broader base, lower rate proposal like chairman camp had? >> well, i think my two bills with greg and dan coats proposals did have common features. i think, mark, correct me if i am not getting the details right but i think the camp proposals picked up on what we had done with senator greg and coats on increasing the standard deduction for working class people to put money, and as i
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said watching the republicans, what would do next in the house and i am hearing they would go with a corporate cut and wouldn't pay for it. and i don't know what they said in past speeches about not increasing the deficit but it comes back again to the question about the relationship with dave camp. dave camp did have a variety of problems that senator greg and i and senator coats avoided. they overpromised on cutting individual taxes. i said when they are trying to it cut individual taxes that grave and dramatically they will have problems. they did. and then they came back and added a surcharge so they ended up with senator greg and coats and i ended up.
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>> let me wrap up here but thank you so much. >> thanks, everybody. [applause] >> it is my pleasure to announce the next speaker, introduce the next speaker. he is doug holtz-eakin who is president of the american action form. he has been a guest many times at the tax policy center. we are always happy to hear him and hear the wisdom he is going to impart to us although he claims he is not. he has been an academic at syracuse and other places. he was director of the congressional budget office between


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