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Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) speaks during the American Conservative Union Conference March 6, 2014 in National Harbor, Md. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty)

The GOP's inequality conundrum

The Republican Party now believes that economic inequality is a real problem. So what do they want to do about it? They haven’t gotten too specific yet, and the main policy reform they’re pushing have been part of the GOP’s main agenda all along: Overhaul the tax code to cut tax rates. “Let's iron out loopholes to lower rates—and create jobs, not pay for more government spending,” Joni Ernst said in her response to Obama’s State of the Union address on Tuesday.“The key secret to a healthier economy, getting more people from welfare to work, is tax reform,” Rep. Paul Ryan said the next day on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” But that’s not going to be enough to improve economic mobility for a broad swath of Americans, says Michael Strain of the American Enterprise Institute. “We want policies to pull more people into the middle class,” he says. “I agree that tax reform, while important, isn’t the only thing.”Leading Democrats and Republicans alike believe that a comprehensive tax overhaul would create a more efficient, effective tax code that would spur growth, create new opportunities, and make the U.S. businesses more competitive in the long haul.

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