WASHINGTON, D.C.—Ryan Ellis, the Tax Policy Director at Americans for Tax Reform, wrote the following letter to the editor published in today’s Wall Street Journal:
Regarding your editorial "Coburn vs. Norquist" (April 5) in which you insinuate that Americans for Tax Reform’s opposition to net tax increases is tantamount to support for the ethanol tax credit. No. ATR opposes the ethanol tax credit and wants it permanently repealed. It is bad energy policy and bad tax policy.
There are two ways to repeal any tax deduction or credit one dislikes: raise net taxes (as Sen. Tom Coburn proposes), or cut other taxes by at least as much. The latter approach is codified in the Taxpayer Protection Pledge, signed by 237 congressmen and 41 senators (including Mr. Coburn). It ensures additional tax dollars do not flow to the Appropriations committees.
This revenue-neutral tax reform approach is the one taken by Rep. Paul Ryan in his budget resolution. His tax reform stands in contrast to President Obama's Simpson-Bowles commission report, which called for a 10-year net tax increase of over $1 trillion. Sen. Coburn endorsed the Simpson-Bowles tax increase plan; Rep. Ryan opposed it.
Conservatives now have a choice between two paths. The first path is championed by Sen. Coburn. It is the path of real net tax increases and the Democrats' mere promise of spending cuts.
The other vision is the "Path to Prosperity" laid out by Rep. Ryan. It's the path of fundamental tax reform without net tax increases. It's the path of bringing Washington spending down without hiking net taxes to pay for Obama-sized government.