Tax reform, the family, and the pursuit of happiness: A new plan by Senator Mike Lee

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Event Summary

According to Senator Mike Lee (R-UT), US parents are burdened with a double penalty: they are not only responsible for paying their own taxes, but they must also bear the economic costs of raising children whose taxes will pay for future government benefits.  Recognizing Constitution Day at an AEI event on Tuesday, Sen. Lee unveiled a far-reaching plan to reform the US tax system by making the income-tax system simpler and more efficient. Among other reforms, he advocated a new $2,500 child tax credit to supplement the current child tax credit, to relieve the double penalty on parents, and to bring equality of opportunity to the social and economic institution of the family.

The panelists had mixed opinions of the child tax issue. W. Bradford Wilcox of AEI and Ramesh Ponnuru of AEI and National Review approached Sen. Lee's child tax credit from social and political perspectives, applauding the senator's effort to bring considerations of community and family back to the growth-centric Republican platform.

Elaine Maag of the Urban Institute and Alex Brill of AEI, however, were less favorable toward the idea. While Maag praised Sen. Lee's desire to support families, she expressed a preference for policies that take into account the interaction between work and child rearing and those that target lower-income parents. Brill focused on the budgetary effects of the plan, expressing his fear of potential revenue loss. Overall, panelists commended Sen. Lee's effort to reform a complicated income-tax system and his consideration of the family in the process.
--Regan Kuchan

Event Description

Join us for an AEI event featuring Senator Mike Lee (R-UT), who will present a new tax reform plan that seeks to restore middle-class opportunity and promote the upward mobility of working families. In addition to lowering rates and eliminating distortive loopholes, Senator Lee’s plan provides parents with relief from the unfair tax treatment they receive for their investment in their children.

Senator Lee’s remarks will be followed by a question-and-answer period and a panel discussion in which experts with varying views will review the plan’s policy implications.

If you are unable to attend, we welcome you to watch the event live on this page. Full video will be posted within 24 hours.

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About the Author

 

Alan D.
Viard

 

Alex
Brill

 

Arthur C.
Brooks

 

Ramesh
Ponnuru

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