When the new Congress convenes in January with Democrats in charge of the House for the first time in eight years and Republicans retaining control of the Senate, there will be some show of bipartisanship and possibly some legislative action but no new, dramatic changes in tax policy.
That was the takeaway from a roundtable of Republican and Democratic tax policy experts with experience in either the Treasury Department or Congress, sponsored by the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center on Thursday.
The future direction of tax policy is “especially murky,” said Mark Mazur, former assistant secretary of tax policy at the Treasury during the Obama administration, now the Robert C. Pozen director at the Tax Policy Center.
In addition to a divided Congress, tax legislation will be hampered by the growing federal deficit — federal revenues are expected to fall while spending rises — slowing economic growth that will eventually devolve into recession and a wildcard president unlike any other. “The “future ain’t what it used to be,” said Mazur quoting Yogi Berra.
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