The Senate Finance Committee announced hearings, starting on March 1, 2011 and continuing through the year, on overhauling the Internal Revenue Code.
Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT) said the March 1 hearing would feature testimony from five past tax oficials in the Treasury Department and review changes in the Code since 1986. He seems to have already made up his mind, stating: "We will hold a number of hearings to look at how this unbalanced tax code is a drag on the economy and what changes need to be made."
Ranking Republican Orrin Harch (R-UT) added: "Our tax system is burdensome, overly complex and stifles American competitiveness. It needs to be reformed." Sounds like Sen Hatch, who may face Tea Party opposition in his relection campaign this year, has also made up his mind.
The schedule seems to "tee up" tax reform as a major issue in the 2012 Presidential and Congressional campaigns. Whether to extend the 2001 tax cuts beyond 2012 will be a big part of that debate.