Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), likely the next chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, firmly committed this week to protecting the charitable deduction in any rewrite of the tax code.
Ryan, who as a vice presidential candidate in 2012 backed a cap on deductions of $17,000, said in a television interview this week that charitable deductions are the “one exception” he would make to any cap on deductions as part of comprehensive tax reform.
“This is really the one exception I make this for,” Ryan said in a CNBC interview. “Charities ought to be a tax expenditure that is still preserved because civil [society] is one of the most important components of American life, of getting people involved in our communities and philanthropies. I think that is a very important thing to preserve and that’s pretty much as a supply side or a low tax-rate guy.”
Ryan has offered tepid support for the tax reform discussion draft released earlier this year by current Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI), saying only that it’s a “good start to the conversation.” But this week, Ryan did endorse a plan in the Camp draft to scale back the mortgage interest deduction for higher-income earners, and he shares Camp’s view that the corporate tax rate should be lowered to help American companies stay competitive.
“In the global economy we are in, when we tax our employers at much higher tax rates than our foreign competitors are taxing theirs, it’s putting us at a competitive disadvantage and it’s slowing down our economy,” Ryan told CNBC.
Tax reform is widely considered to be off the table for the rest of the year, but congressional tax writing committees plan to prioritize tax reform when the next Congress is seated in January.