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Jeb Bush previews tax plan in WSJ op-ed

@PatriciaMazzei

In a tax-policy speech Wednesday, Jeb Bush plans to pitch a cut to the highest tax rates charged on personal and corporate incomes and a reduction to the number of tax brackets to three from seven.

Bush previewed his North Carolina speech in a Wall Street Journal op-ed Tuesday that did not detail, for example, what income levels would fall under each of his proposed individual rates: 10 percent, 25 percent and 28 percent, which is lower than the current top rate of nearly 40 percent. The corporate rate would go down to 20 percent from 35 percent.

To strike a more populist tone, Bush will also endorse doing a way with a loophole known as "carried interest" that allows wealthy private-equity and hedge-fund managers to apply a lower tax rate on their investment gains than if they counted that money as income.

Democrats are already bashing the plan.

"Just as he did in Florida, Bush is embracing a disastrous economic agenda that benefits himself, and those like himself, while leaving the middle class out to dry," party spokeswoman Holly Shulman said in a statement. "Our country simply can't afford more trickle-down Bush economics."

Here's an op-ed excerpt. Read the whole thing here.

Today, the tax code is a labyrinth littered with thousands of special-interest giveaways, subsidies and other breaks written to favor Washington insiders. At 80,000 pages, it’s a tax code only an army of tax accountants and lobbyists could love—because they’ve written it.

The code is rigged with multiple carve-outs for favored industries. It penalizes people for moving up the economic ladder. It gives tax deductions for borrowing costs, thereby encouraging companies to take on too much debt and raising concerns about financial fragility, rather than having them focus on real investment and hiring.

Low growth, crony capitalism and easy debt—that’s President Obama’s economic agenda in a nutshell, and the tax code has helped make it possible. It’s past time for a change.

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