Today, the tax subgroup of the President's Economic Recovery Advisory Board (PERAB) will hold a meeting to gather ideas on tax reform. It will be the first of several such meetings. The meeting will center on tax simplification and will be live streamed at obamawhitehouse.archives.gov/live
I wanted to take the opportunity to explain why we assembled this subgroup, what areas the PERAB tax reform subgroup will focus on and what it has been tasked to produce.
Tax reform is important to the President and a priority for many members of Congress. As the President said when he announced his international tax proposals
in May, "It's a down payment on the larger tax reform we need to make our tax system simpler and fairer and more efficient for individuals and corporations."
The Administration wanted a report on options for tax reform from an outside group so they asked the PERAB to take on the role. The PERAB is comprised of industry and labor representatives, and academic experts and is chaired by Paul Volcker. It is made up of voices from outside the government. The tax subgroup's focus is on gathering as many ideas and options as possible and identifying the pros and cons of each option in three specific areas:
Tax code simplification
Corporate tax reform
The materials gathered and compiled by the tax group will be presented to the full PERAB board and discussed at a future PERAB meeting. The final report that the board puts forward in December will not be a recommendation of a specific direction in tax policy. It will present a view of the pros and cons of different options. It will be an important step in the process of studying the many ways we can reform and improve our tax code.
It will not represent the view of the administration. The PERAB is an advisory group representing a wide range of viewpoints from outside the administration and we expect the options it presents to represent a range of views and opinions on tax reform.
Everyone knows that tax reform is a complicated undertaking. In preparation for this series of public meetings, the members of the tax subgroup have spent the last several months familiarizing themselves with the options already out there, through individual conversations with experts from academia and the tax field, members of Congress and members of the Administration.
The PERAB and the administration both want the public to provide their insight, ideas and comments to help educate the group and they invite anyone to visit the webpage
and submit their own ideas or comment on other proposals. We will also post the tax presentations made by the attendees following the meeting.
I look forward to providing updates on future meetings and seeing the work on various tax reform options that comes out of the PERAB in December.
UPDATE: This event has now concluded but you can watch the full video of the meeting below:
Austan Goolsbee is a member of the President's Economic Recovery Advisory Board and the Council of Economic Advisers