Wyden adds carried interest crusader to staff

Senate Finance Committee ranking minority member Ron Wyden, D-Ore., has added tax professor Victor Fleischer to his tax-writing committee staff.

Fleischer will team up with Tiffany Smith as co-chief tax counsel for the minority staff of the Finance Committee. They replace Todd Metcalf, who recently returned to the private sector. Smith had been serving as senior tax counsel, while Fleischer was teaching at the University of San Diego Law School and writing a tax column for The New York Times.

Wyden has long been a strong advocate of tax reform and is hoping that Democrats can take back the Senate and give him control of the tax-writing committee. Smith and Fleischer would then be responsible for driving much of the Democratic tax agenda. Fleischer has been largely credited with spurring much of the debate on carried interest after penning an article in 2006 that argued that fund manager income should be characterized as service income and not capital gains. Since then, he has continued to focus on tax equality issues.

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