The only thing I care about is how much I have to pay. If a politician says he will lower my taxes, while I don’t believe it for a minute, that person has my vote. — one woman’s opinion explaining her intention to vote for RMN
This is Mike from Micro. Your computer is broken, but I can fix it.–Heard all too often on the telephone
Tom Reed and the House Ways and Means Committee want to convince us that our federal tax code is broken. They plan to tell us that 31 times this month. Repetition is convincing, but how can a tax code be broken?
I can imagine a broken egg, a broken leg, and a broken heart, but not a broken tax code. How can a body of law, which is an idea rather than a thing, be broken?
If the tax code is broken, when did it happen, who broke it, and who can fix it? Possibly it was broken by Congress? The tax code was created by Congress over decades. It may have always been broken, because Congress has never ceased changing it. The current tax code is the result of uncounted incremental changes, the same process that some now suggest for improving Obamacare. Good luck with that–if incremental changes broke the tax code, incremental changes will likely break Obamacare.
If Congress broke the tax code, why do we think they can fix it?
How is the tax code broken? Here is what they suggest in the first week of August:
- Our broken tax code is a drag on our economy. (W&M)
- Taxpayers spend $99 BILLION a year complying with the individual income tax. (Tom Reed)
- Americans deserve to keep more of their paychecks (W&M)
- Tax reform will mean more jobs for hardworking people. (Tom Reed)
- America’s tax code is now more that 2.4 million words long (W&M)
- Family-focused credits are too complicated. (W&M)
- Tax reform will enhance US Manufacturing – an important industry in our region. (Tom Reed)
What is important to this taxpayer is how much I owe; none of the above directly addresses that. Can any of the above be taken at face value?
Perhaps the tax code isn’t so much broken as in need of improvement. How might Congress fix it? Assuming changes are revenue neutral, only by changing what taxpayers owe, most likely by:
- Shifting taxes from businesses to individuals.
- Shifting taxes from the wealthy to the rest of us.
Can those who suggest that everyone can pay less without harmful consequences be trusted? I think not.