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Ask the Experts: If I Could Make One Change to the Tax Code, I Would…

by John Kiernan
Publication: CardHub.com

March 25, 2013


In this CardHub.com article, Accounting Professor Ken Milani discusses how he would alter the tax code in an ideal world. To read the entire article visit: Ask the Experts: If I Could Make One Change to the Tax Code, I Would…


In this edition of our “Ask the Experts” series, we at Card Hub surveyed authorities on tax policy from around the country about how they would choose to alter the tax code in an ideal world.

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So, we asked tax experts from around the country to suspend belief for a moment and imagine a world without lobbyists, polling numbers, reelection concerns, and red tape. If they could make one change to the tax code in such a landscape, with the ultimate goal of improving our economic well-being, what would it be?

Kenneth Milani – Professor of Accountancy in the University of Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business

“The letters ‘CPA’ are the short version of a longer response:

  • Consistency would be welcomed by the business community since the helter-skelter movement of rules, regulations and rates tends to create confusion and in, some cases, a let’s-wait-on-the-sidelines [approach] until Congress figures what they are going to do tax-wise.
  • Predictability is another feature the business community would welcome. With so many proposals being touted by a variety of proponents, the lack of predictability develops a sense of “who knows what’s going to happen?” and the related non-action by the business community while Congress decides which route, if any, to take.
  • Added incentives to invest. Capital spending is a strong driver of economic growth. When spending on machinery & equipment and other long-lasting items stagnates, that ripples through the economy.

During the Clinton years and part of the G.W. Bush years, the above factors were more-or-less present. That began to change during Bush’s final term and has continued due to the continual wrangling that is a characteristic of the current Congress. So what are the chances of the CPA proposal occurring? The Chicago Cubs (my favorite baseball team) have a better chance of winning the 2013 World Series than the proposal described above.”