WASHINGTON Oct 31 The Obama administration on
Thursday called on Congress to engage it on tax reform, saying
plans currently considered by lawmakers "share much in common"
with the White House's approach to the issue.
"There is no reason why we cannot start with the substantial
policy areas that we agree on and come together to find common
ground," Treasury Secretary Jack Lew told an investment summit.
Lew's comments came a day after U.S. lawmakers launched a
new round of budget talks with pledges to work toward easing
automatic government spending cuts.
Many analysts doubt that a substantial agreement on tax
reform will be reached before mid-term congressional elections
in November 2014, although lawmakers crafting reform plans such
as Democratic Senator Max Baucus And Republican Representative
Dave Camp continue to push for a deal.
Democratic leaders in the budget talks said on Wednesday
they wanted part of any budget savings to come from increased
revenue raised by ending some tax breaks for corporations and
Republican leaders, however, are largely opposed to
increasing revenues except by spurring faster economic growth.
Representative Paul Ryan, the House Budget Committee
chairman, said on Wednesday that any savings from eliminating
tax deductions and subsidies should be used to lower tax rates.