Why I’m in Camp’s Camp

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

capitol buildingDemocrats hate it. Or simply don’t understand it.

“It doesn’t make sense,” Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-NJ) told Politico. “You don’t send up trial balloons on such significant issues — particularly in an off-year election.”

Respectfully, Mr. Congressman, it’s called leadership. That’s what Rep. David Camp, chairman of the powerful Ways and Means Committee, provided for a federal government bereft of ideas last week when he dropped a comprehensive tax reform proposal in the political class’s laps.

Some of you asked for my opinion on the proposal; here it is, short and sweet:

The details are compelling. Conservatives get lower corporate tax rates and a flatter, simpler tax code. Liberals retain a progressive tax structure and closed loopholes. I think you could even go a little further, setting a $35,000 minimum exemption threshold for income across the board. It’s as fine an example of compromise as we’ve seen in some time.

But it’s more than that, Save Jerseyans.

It’s also Republicans providing a clear, rational, conservative solution for the American taxpayer that provides a clear contrast to the status quo in Barack Obama’s Washington, something which our party has all-too-often forgotten or failed to do. It also demonstrates our fidelity to pragmatism over ideology; after all, we’ve never been the party that “hates the poor.” We want people to have a ladder.

We simultaneously need to come to grips with the ideas that Obamacare alone will get us across the finish line. It won’t. The establishment is wrong on that point.

Elements of the Tea Party, however, are wrong to persist in their support of a discredited strategy of war on all fronts. That’s not how 1994 or 2010 came to be. It’s bad history to claim otherwise.

Getting back to the business of trying to drive public opinion rather than simply running from it? Or head-long at it? Now that’s a winning strategy. I’m not-so-patiently waiting to see who stands up and adopts it. Paging Speaker Boehner…

Matt Rooney

Matt Rooney

Save Jersey’s Founder and Blogger-in-Chief, Matt Rooney is a widely-respected New Jersey political commentator, practicing attorney at the law firm of DeMichele & DeMichele in Haddon Heights, and a graduate of the Rutgers Camden School of Law.

33 Comments

  1. Even though the reform is supposed to be deficit-neutral, someone will end up paying less and someone will end up paying more. With the deduction of $35000, I know who will be paying less. I am also convinced that the super-rich won’t pay more, or the reform dies in its diapers. Where does it leave the middle class – on the business end of a meat hook, again?

    • Would you prefer to keep the tax code as-is? Of course not. It’s a solid start but by no means a finished product. I’m not a federal budget expert, but most upwardly-mobile taxpayers stand to save if we ever managed to adopt the Camp framework, starting with the cost of turbotax or an accountant.

      • Will the “finished product” increase tax burden on me as a typical upper-middle class stiff, or not? If it will, Rep. Camp and his reform can kiss my hairy butt. If it won’t, I want him to lay it out, openly, who is going to pay more as a result of the reform. If the answer were “nobody” CBO wouldn’t score it as budget neutral, right?

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