We have heard politicians talk about tax reform for at least 20 years. The people love to hear about how their taxes will be simplified or cut. We hear how a flat tax will be simple and more fair. We now have presidential candidates saying we should abolish the IRS. It all sounds good, but nothing ever changes. So why doesn’t it? |
Let me start with an example. In 2005 California experimented with a tax return (ReadyReturn) that was like a credit card bill. The information the state had was already filled out (because they have all your W2s) and then it was sent to the tax payer to approve or challenge? 96% of the people who used it loved it. It saved time, money and stress. When it was expanded to see if it could be done, great opposition came to stop it. “Leaders in the California legislature blocked a broad-based rollout of this immensely popular improvement in the efficiency of the California tax system because it would hurt the profits of businesses who sold software to make California’s existing and inefficient tax system more efficient” (Republic Lost, Lawrence Lessig).
In other words, there are many who don’t want our complicated and unfair tax system changed. Lawrence Lessig said, “To understand the nature of the tax law in America, you have to understand one simple point: its complexity is a feature, not a bug....When simplicity is pushed, complexity pushes back harder.”
Another barrier to tax reform is a power and control game played by the wealthy and our politicians. There are many temporary tax benefits that are added, renewed and created to benefit certain organizations. These are known as “sunsets.” When a new law is approved to help a certain company (sometimes the law only benefits one) it is put into law for normally two years. Every two years those laws have to be renewed or the organization will lose the advantage. This gives our politicians leverage to ensure they continue to receive large campaign contributions. Lawrence Lessig continued,“ “The problem is Congress’s learning how it can threaten the richest in our society with higher taxes, so as to get them to give the endless campaign cash Congress needs.” “One tax rate for everyone would give no one a special reason to write a check to their congressman.”
To summarize, there are a lot of powerful people and organizations who maintain power and make a lot of money because the tax system is complicated and inefficient. That is why the system cannot change without my two imperatives being met (the Republicans and Democrats have to work as a team and big money influence has to be neutralized or minimized). Just another reason why we need an independent as our next president. If we don’t, don’t plan on the tax system being altered much and especially not a drastic overhaul or change.
If you want more information on Tax Reform, Please Visit or Site at: http://www.BrianReckforPresident.com
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