Thursday, May 13, 2010

Blue Dogs Looking to Close Tax Loopholes

Deseret News:

WASHINGTON — Moderate "Blue Dog" Democrats, co-chaired by Rep. Jim Matheson, want Congress to prepare an annual report that would help identify loopholes in tax laws and figure how much each of them costs the country every year.

"The American people deserve to have a clear idea of where their money is going," said Matheson, D-Utah, as the bill was introduced.

Blue Dog Scott Murphy, D-N.Y., introduced the legislation that would have the Joint Committee on Taxation prepare a report every year analyzing each provision of the tax code, including the cost of specific credits, deductions, exemptions and exclusions. Blue dogs estimate the figure at $1 trillion a year overall.

"After spending my career running small businesses, I know the importance of examining every dollar spent," Murphy said. "That's how government should operate, too."

He added, "This bill will help to shed light on wasteful loopholes and special deals hidden in the tax code."

"We simply cannot continue to allow government spending, regardless of how it occurs, to go unchecked," Matheson said.

The fiscally conservative Democratic Blue Dog Coalition has 54 members and has a stated goal of representing the center of the House of Representatives — the moderate middle between liberals and conservatives. Matheson is the coalition's co-chairman for communications.

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