This month’s column is not about the latest crisis facing the U.S. economy from the automatic spending cuts (known in Washington speak as “sequestration”). At this writing, depending on whom you listen to, the cuts that began on March 1 will either be a total disaster unlike anything we’ve ever witnessed or a big yawner that few people even notice (at least not immediately). No one knows who’s right, and history may be the final judge, so we’re not going to pretend that we are smarter than everyone else by predicting the outcome or the effects.
Instead, this column is about comprehensive tax reform, which is under serious discussion for the first time in many years – perhaps since the last major tax-reform legislation passed in 1986. To be sure, there are many huge hurdles and pitfalls between here and any tax reform becoming law, but in our view there is at least a chance that something could pass in the 113th Congress.