The new Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee -- Dave Kamp (R-MI)-- has announced that his Committee will hold its first hearing on tax reform on January 20. Kamp said: "The tax code should collect the revenue the government needs as efficiently as possible. It should not be a tool of industrial policy."
Fair enough. But has Rep Kamp spoken to the new Republican Governor of Michigan - Rick Snyder - lately? Michigan's tax on corporations starts with federal taxable income. So if he re-writes the federal tax code, he is re-writing Michigan's tax code at the same time. Is he sure Gov. Snyder and the Michigan legistature want to get into that? And Michigan is certainly interested in industrial policy.
I think this is the real reason why tax reform fails every time. As many as 37 states base their individual or corporate income taxes on the federal system. They aren't interested in re-writing their own tax laws to deal with a federal re-write.
So we wish Rep. Kamp the best of luck.