The Corner

Reform Taxes to Spend Less on the Rich

My latest column observes that tax reform is likely going to play a big role in the 2016 presidential election, and suggests a good direction in which to push the tax code: “We should spend less money on the people who need it the least.”

Jeb Bush heads to New Hampshire, rallying support for a potential presidential bid. Hillary Clinton is fighting allegations of improper behavior. Ted Cruz announces he’s running for president and releases a campaign video – in Spanish. Nineteen long months until the general election, and the 2016 primary season has begun. Meanwhile, amid the hubbub over emailgate, another potential 2016 GOP contender, Sen. Marco Rubio, along with Sen. Mike Lee, unveiled a tax plan, kicking off a conversation — on both the left and the right — about tax reform.

All of which means we’re in for a debate about where we want the tax code to go. Here’s a start: We should spend less money through the tax code on the rich and use some of the savings to encourage work and reduce poverty among low-income Americans.

How do we spend money on the rich through the tax code? How can we change the code to offer more help to low-income Americans. Read the whole column, here.

— Michael R. Strain is deputy director of economic policy studies and resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute. You can follow him on Twitter at

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