Sunday, February 06, 2005

 

Here's Why We Aren't Fighting For Tax Reform: We Don't Yet Believe

A Taxing Challenge (washingtonpost.com): "The absence of public clamor for tax reform is partly explained by the fact that federal tax revenue as a percentage of gross domestic product is at the lowest level -- 16.2 percent -- since 1959. "

George may be right, but, I think the bigger reason that there is no public clamor is that the public does not trust that it can be done. To simplify the tax code, do away with the IRS, etc. sounds more pie-in-the-sky than the promise of moon exploration many years ago. People of all stripes would love to see that happen, but we all know how powerful the lobbying groups are. In fact, there are probably more lobbying groups than we could count. The other problem is that Congress is a place of negotiation, like it or not. While their pull-and-tug has left us with a ridiculous tax code, something will have to fill that negotiation vacuum. The adjustment costs to a new system would be high, with considerable numbers of IRS workers unemployed over the course of several years and CPA's and such also obsolete. These people will fight with all they've got, so the President needs to convince Americans that this can be done if he wants us to fight for him.

Comments:
Your mention of the numerous lobbying groups brings a question to mind. What do you suppose would be the result of getting rid of all the lobbyists? Is that desirable or even possible? Its always seemed to me that their presence does nothing but subvert the whole system.
 
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