Real tax reform shouldn’t have compromise

Republicans writing a comprehensive tax reform bill already have made compromises. One occurred last week, when they bowed to the “tax-the-rich” crowd by agreeing to leave rates at current levels for top earners.

Those are the very people most likely to have taken any tax savings and plowed the money into job-creating investments, of course.

Still, tax reformers are well aware that, if only for public relations purposes, they will have to agree to some changes in their proposal if they are to get anything enacted. That is the nature of politics.

As deadlines for action — and the end of the year seems to be a hard one — approach, however, the temptation to give until it hurts the tax plan’s purpose will grow greater. The intent of reform is to simplify the process of paying taxes, give middle-class Americans some relief, and spur growth in the economy.

One key to the latter is reducing the corporate tax rate. Currently at 35 percent, it is among the highest in the industrialized world. It has been a job killer. Reducing it to 20 percent, as remains the plan, is essential.

Vote counters in both the House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate are very good at their jobs. Clearly, some give and take is vital to securing enough votes to implement a tax reform package.

But compromise simply must not be allowed to gut a real reform bill. If that happens, better to pass nothing at all.