The tax code is broken. It is a burden to taxpayers who must comply with over 70,000 pages of provisions and regulations. Each year, families and small businesses find themselves collectively spending more than six billion hours and $160 billion dollars to file their taxes. This is an unnecessary drag on our economy and robs taxpayers of time better spent with their family and growing their business.–Rep. Tom Reed
Tom neglects to mention that the tax code was constructed by Congress; each provision or loophole serves or served someone’s interest. The tax code is complex because not everyone’s situation is comparable–some demand or deserve special consideration.
There are so many special loopholes and special rules that roughly 90 percent of taxpayers must use either special software or paid professionals to help navigate and prepare their tax return.
Focusing on the cost and bother of filing a tax return, Tom distracts readers from the larger question–how much tax revenue is needed, on whom does the burden fall, and who will be shortchanged if revenue is inadequate?
Over the last two decades, other countries have aggressively modernized and simplified their own tax systems. Today, the United States has the highest corporate tax rate in the industrialized world, making it harder for U.S. companies to grow and compete in the global economy. Comprehensive tax reform would foster the right climate to invest and create jobs in America instead of shipping those jobs overseas.
There he goes again, complaining about high corporate tax rates without noting that the effective rate is much lower. There is also the false promise that lower taxes for corporations would create jobs–the discredited trickle down theory.
On the Ways and Means Committee, we are committed to common sense, comprehensive tax reform through a simpler, fairer, less costly tax code that protects taxpayers – not special interests.
Common sense, comprehensive, simpler, and fairer are buzz words, not concrete proposals. All sound good; all likely mask shifting the necessary burden of taxation from the rich to the rest.
© William Hungerford – December 2014