Five Revenue-Raising Loophole Closures Policymakers Should Consider

George Callas of Arnold Ventures, who previously served as a senior tax counsel in the U.S. House of Representatives – both for the Ways and Means Committee and to former Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-WI), recently called for Republicans to embrace revenue increases in The Wall Street Journal.

Callas argued that policymakers’ chief priority should be “tackling the nation’s dire fiscal state,” and by raising revenue in a way that advances conservative principles the Republican party can “promote deficit reduction and smart politics.”

Callas specifically pointed to five ideas:

  • Ending the state and local tax (SALT) deduction.
  • Reforming tax exemptions for large nonprofits such as universities and hospitals.
  • Closing the “round-tripping” loophole that allows multinational corporations to take advantage of international tax laws to limit their tax burden.
  • Treating corporate stock buybacks more like dividends for tax purposes.
  • Repealing the preferential qualified small-business-stock exemption for venture-capital profits.

Callas argues that these changes would not only raise revenue but advance conservative values, stating:

“These proposals are consistent with free-market governance that benefits everyday Americans. As a political matter, advancing them would force Democrats either to join Republicans or to expose themselves as advocates for 'fairness' only when their hobbyhorses aren’t at stake. The GOP would either earn a principled victory in fighting for smaller government or a policy victory by actually making government smaller.

That is, in other words, a win-win.”

Read the entire piece here.