Yesterday, Tax Notes published the article that I've mentioned here several times, "1986-Style Tax Reform: A Good Idea Whose Time Has Passed."
A link is available here.
The abstract goes something like this:
"The Tax Reform Act of 1986 combined base-broadening (such as the curtailment of tax expenditures) with tax rate reduction, in a manner that was designed to be revenue-neutral and distribution-neutral. It thereby established an influential model for tax reform that continues to be cited frequently today. This report argues, however, that while 1986-style tax reform was a good idea in its time, it is no longer appropriate in current circumstances, for three main reasons. First, if tax expenditures are properly viewed as spending through the tax code, then a revenue neutrality norm, in which the budgetary gain from their repeal ostensibly needs to be offset by rate cuts, is intellectually incoherent. Second, the long-term U.S. fiscal gap makes rate-cutting, in particular for individuals, potentially imprudent. Third, if one wants to address rising high-end income concentration in the U.S. since 1986, the option of raising, rather than reducing, the top marginal income tax rates may need to be squarely considered."