Sen. Toomey Works for Tax Code Changes, but He's Not Optimistic

Aug 22, 2013

U.S. Senator Pat Toomey (R-Pennsylvania) has long been a supporter of changing what he calls the “burdensome” U.S. tax code, and he says although he will continue that fight from his seat on the Senate Finance Committee, he does not want to artificially inflate the hopes of his constituents that change will happen any time soon.

“The fact is it takes strong presidential leadership to get this done, and I don’t think it is a very high priority for the president,” Toomey said.

Further hampering the effort, according to Toomey, is the position of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nevada) that any tax reform must result in a $1 trillion revenue increase.

“That’s a non-starter with me and with my fellow Republicans and probably with some Democrats,” said Toomey, who is joined on the committee by Pennsylvania’s Senior Senator Bob Casey (D-Pennsylvania).

While speaking on 90.5 WESA's Essential Pittsburgh program Thursday, Toomey said there is some common ground among lawmakers. He said there is an acknowledgment that corporate taxes in the United States are among the highest in the world and certainly among developed nations. He said most agree that corporate tax reform must including an expansion of the base by closing a slew of loopholes.

“It starts getting tricky in a hurry though when you start looking at individual loopholes and tax credits and deductions,” Toomey said. “Then it gets really controversial and that’s why it’s really tough to do.”

Toomey is looking to change both the personal and corporate tax laws and stress that the results must make the code simpler and easier to understand.