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Bush Taps Garrett for Tax Reform Panel

President George W. Bush has appointed USC law professor Elizabeth Garrett to the nine-member bipartisan Advisory Panel on Federal Tax Reform.

Garrett, an expert in budget and tax policy and director of the USC-Caltech Center for the Study of Law and Politics, will help develop recommendations for revising the U.S. tax code.

She will serve with eight others, including former Sens. Connie Mack (R-Fla.) and John B. Breaux (D-La.), leaders of the advisory commission.

President Bush said that reforming and simplifying the federal tax code is a top initiative on his domestic policy agenda for the new Congress.

The Tax Reform Panel will provide options for restructuring the tax code to Secretary of Treasury John Snow.

Dean Matthew Spitzer of the USC Law School praised the president’s selection of Garrett.

“Beth Garrett combines experience in the legislative process and political world with the careful analysis of an academic concerned with improving policy,” Spitzer said.

“The University of Southern California Law School has a long tradition of producing interdisciplinary scholarship that provides thoughtful solutions to real-world problems,” he added. “We are pleased that Beth has the opportunity to bring her expertise and experience to bear on this vital national issue.”

Garrett served as the tax and budget counsel for former Sen. David L. Boren (D-Okla.) from 1991 to 1993 and was his legislative director from 1993-1994. She is the author of several articles on the congressional budget process and tax policy and the co-author of the nation’s leading casebook on legislation.

“Comprehensive tax reform is one of the top domestic challenges facing our country,” Garrett said.

“Since the last major tax reform in 1986, the tax code has been continually amended so that it is more complex and less likely to achieve the goal of raising sufficient revenue fairly and in a way that ensures strong economic growth,” she said.

“I look forward to the opportunity to consider various options for tax reform, including reform of the income tax system, consumption tax proposals and mixed systems. I am sure that the work of this bipartisan commission can help to guide the deliberation and decision making of the president and of Congress, and I am honored to have been asked to participate.”

Garrett is one of three professors appointed to the panel. Bush also appointed Edward Lazear, an economics professor at Stanford University, and James Poterba, a professor at MIT.

Also serving on the panel are Rep. Bill Frenzel, a Minnesota Republican and visiting scholar at the Brookings Institution; Charles Rossotti, a former IRS commissioner; Liz Ann Sonders, chief investment strategist at Charles Schwab & Co. Inc.; and Timothy Muris, former Federal Trade Commission chairman.

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Bush Taps Garrett for Tax Reform Panel

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