A continuation of our predictions of big issues for 2011...
Will this be the year that policymakers make some true progress in reforming the tax code? President Obama has said that he wants to push for reform, and progressives and conservatives are saying they do too. A simplified tax system would mean an end to tax credits and deductions – which many are now calling tax earmarks – that often benefit wealthier Americans. In exchange for those credits and deductions, the logic goes, Americans would be taxed at a lower rate.
While it may not sound so at first, this is an important issue for early education advocates to watch. Many families that could benefit from better choices and more affordable early education programs are the low-income families that receive little benefit from the current tax system. (See our distressing numbers on last year’s proposal for boosting the child care tax credit, for example.) Is there a foreseeable scenario in which working families become winners instead of losers? Could a reformed tax code free up more resources for public education programs with evidence of effectiveness? Or would low-income families be left out yet again as a growing number of “small government” lawmakers cut funding for education and social services?
What do you think of our predictions? What did we miss?