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J. Scott Applewhite / AP

When Dave Camp was chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee he drafted an overhaul of the tax code that was able to reduce headline corporate tax rates to 25% and simplify personal tax rates into 3 brackets of 10%, 25%, and 35%.

Why it matters: Camp, who now serves as a Senior Policy Advisor at PwC, was able to cut rates in his 2014 effort because he took an axe to cherished deductions like those for charity, mortgage interest and state and local taxes. His plan didn't survive in an election year. In an Axios interview, he says the latest tax reform efforts may run into similar obstacles.

His 2014 blueprint was a starting point: "There's a number of similarities [between the Camp plan and the House GOP's] on the individual side."

But the GOP plan avoids third rails: "The two most challenging deductions to address are the charitable giving and home mortgage deductions — they have a lot of political support."

On whether the tax code should be made more progressive to battle rising income inequality: Camp says that the income tax is already very progressive, but admits that when you look at overall taxes, including sales, property, and state and local income taxes, the U.S. tax system is less progressive. "That's an issue you have to deal with," he says.

On the border-adjusted tax: Whether it's a good idea "really depends on how it's structured," within the context of the entire reform package. He says we should wait to hear what the Joint Committee on Taxation says about the plan before drawing any conclusions as to its effects, like whether it would raise consumer prices or the value of the dollar.

Corporate and personal tax reform should be addressed at the same time: Personal and corporate taxes aren't so distinct, given that many companies pay taxes through the individual tax code as passthrough entities.

Asked whether he believes competitively cutting corporate tax rates to encourage Corporate America to stay in the U.S. puts too much power over policy in the hands of multinational corporations, Camp replies "Many companies have already taken advantage of lower rates in other countries, and the question is do we not reform our tax system and see companies redomicile for tax purposes, or do we try to get more competitive."

On whether he's envious of the GOPs opportunity for major reform, or happy to have escaped the political scrum: "It's an exciting time, but because of term limits I had to give up the chairmanship. I'm cheering from the sidelines and am optimistic that they get something done."

Go deeper

Battle for the soul of a new web

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

A well-funded and intensely motivated chunk of tech's hive mind is finding common cause in a vast new project: rebuilding the web on a foundation of cryptocurrency and blockchain tech. They call it "Web3."

The big picture: Developers, investors and early adopters imagine a future in which the technologies that enable Bitcoin and Ethereum will break up the concentrated power today's tech giants wield and usher in a golden age of individual empowerment and entrepreneurial freedom.

First look: Biden summons top CEOs on supply chain

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

President Biden will meet Monday afternoon with CEOs of big retailers, grocers and consumer-products firms to send this message, according to the White House: Products will be on shelves for holiday shopping.

Zoom out: Black Friday sales rebounded from 2020.

Thanksgiving box office shows theaters have long road to recovery

Photo of Disney's "Encanto;" Credit: Disney

Box office ticket sales over the Thanksgiving holiday show that consumer confidence in moviegoing is slowly improving, but not enough to bring the struggling theater industry back to pre-pandemic levels anytime soon, if ever.

Why it matters: "We may have to temper expectations a bit" for next year, said Comscore senior media analyst Paul Dergarabedian.