Monday, November 15, 2010

Simplify the tax code?

A very common argument that echoes through the halls of Congress is that the tax code is too complicated. The number of pages that comprise the tax code are often lauded by Senators or Congressmen looking to get on television. Those that would like to see a flat rate tax often use the length of the tax code as proof that it is bad. But so rarely is this lengthly tax code explained to the American people.

Well, listen up. The reason the tax code is so long and complex is because WE the people have continued to support politicians who give us tax breaks/cuts based on things we and our families do. Things like tax cuts for energy efficient home renovations; paying student loan interest; paying mortgage interest; donating to charities; and all the other thousands of things that people are able to claim every year in order to save some money on their taxes.

Simply put, those thousands of pages of the tax codes are thousands of pages of ways we Americans can SAVE money on our taxes, and so any effort to "simplify the code" will undoubtedly be met with strong opposition and the accusation that those trying to "simplify the code" are plotting a tax hike for hard working families. Many of the credits are aimed at the middle class which explains why the regressive taxers (those that want a flat tax across the board) are so keen to "simplify the code" and eliminate these tax credits for working families in exchange for lower tax rates on the rich.

As with all things parroted around the capitol and on Cable News, it is important to understand what the buzz words really mean in order to figure out the right course of action.

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