Former Congressman, longtime tax reformer Dave Camp says tax bill a “positive move forward”

Dec 21, 2017
Originally published on December 20, 2017 4:34 pm



President Trump and Congressional Republicans are celebrating today after the House and Senate delivered an epic overhaul of our tax laws.


The GOP is hailing the package as a gift to the middle class, although the biggest tax cuts go to corporations and the wealthiest Americans.


Dave Camp is a former Michigan Congressman. He served in the House from 1991 to 2015.


Tax reform was one of his main priorities. In fact, he served four years as Chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, the House's tax writing body. He is now a Senior Policy Advisor for PwC.


Camp joined Stateside to give his take on the tax bill.


Listen to the full conversation above, or catch highlights below.


On the benefits of the reform


All in all, I think it's actually a positive move forward. It adopts much of the structure that I developed when I was chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, particularly simplifying the tax code and giving a tax cut to most Americans. Now, about 90 percent of Americans will be able to file their taxes on a much abbreviated form, so the record keeping won't be there. The hours of toiling over a 1040 won't be there, so that's going to be a big benefit to individuals and families. And also they've really adopted a pro-growth code. We've modernized much of our national tax system. We really need to show the world we're players in the world too, and much of the tax codes around the world have changed significantly over the last 15 years, and so we really need to update our system as well.”


On tax cut proportions


We have one of the most progressive tax codes in the world, so whenever you do any sort of change at the top, you end up having a larger tax cut there because they are paying most of the taxes. But there are still significant benefits for all Americans in this bill. I think particularly there is a tax cut for virtually every income category, certainly in the early years, and, as the Speaker of the House said the other day, Speaker Ryan, their intention is to make all of these tax reductions permanent.”


On low approval ratings for the bill


“[People who disapprove] may not have had all the detail and been able to run the numbers on their personal situation. When you do tax policy, you obviously are doing tax policy for groups of folks, but every individual has to make that calculation on their own as to whether this is a benefit to them or not, and that will come in the next few months. I think also what we'll see is, does this tax bill foster growth in the economy? And when the economy does better, Americans do better. That will come in the coming months and either that will play out or it won't.”


(Subscribe to the Stateside podcast on iTunes, Google Play, or with this RSS link)

Copyright 2017 Michigan Radio. To see more, visit Michigan Radio.