It is only April and we have heard presidential candidates propose some of the biggest and most ambitious tax plans in modern US history. Donald Trump is proposing the largest tax cut ever, and Ted Cruz is not far behind. Bernie Sanders has proposed the biggest tax increase since World War II.
But it isn’t just the size of the tax changes. We’ve already seen two forms of broad-based consumption taxes, a carbon tax, and two financial transactions taxes. In a typical presidential election season, any one of these would be a headline-grabber. This year, they have all been in play—though getting remarkably little attention.
Yesterday, I joined a group of tax experts to take stock of the candidate’s tax plans. At a Tax Policy Center panel, they described the most interesting tax ideas of the campaign so far. Some are good. Some are terrible. Some are, well, thought-provoking. Here are some of the best and worst tax ideas of the 2016 campaign, according to our panelists, Len Burman, Elaine Maag, and Joe Rosenberg of TPC and Adele Morris of the Brookings Institution. In no special order, they are: