Saturday, January 08, 2011

Momentum Builds for Corporate Tax Overhaul

From the Wall Street Journal:

The White House and congressional Republicans are moving from different directions toward a consensus that the U.S. corporate tax code needs a fundamental overhaul, a goal high on corporate leaders' agenda.

Specific proposals for retooling the complex corporate-tax system aren't on the table and the debate over the issue is sure to be lengthy and difficult. But President Barack Obama and Republican congressional leaders are separately sounding the same broad theme that corporate tax rates should be lower.

"Tax reform could be a significant boost to our competitiveness," Rep. Eric Cantor (R., Va.), the new House majority leader, said this week. "I'm hopeful and expect the president to put some action behind his statements."

The movement on the corporate-tax issue comes as Mr. Obama and his aides are pushing a broad effort to repair relations with U.S. business leaders. Since Democrats lost control of the House in November, Mr. Obama has met with chief executives to solicit their ideas on job growth, negotiated a free-trade pact with South Korea widely supported by business, and begun searching for figures with strong ties to the business world to take top White House jobs.

The White House is also advancing a rapprochement with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the capital's biggest, richest business lobby, which has clashed repeatedly with the administration on a range of issues. On Wednesday, the White House said Mr. Obama would address members of the chamber for the first time at the group's Washington headquarters on Feb. 7.

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