The time is right for tax reform
If you drive a car, I'll tax the street.
If you try to sit, I'll tax your seat.
If you get too cold, I'll tax the heat.
If you take a walk, I'll tax your feet.
The Taxman – The Beatles
It’s that time of year again and the Beatles’ famous lyrics are more real than ever as the U.S. tax code has grown to over 5,600 pages. When our government last embarked upon real tax reform in 1986, the IBM PC Convertible “laptop computer” had only been in existence for six months, and programs such as Turbo Tax that handle our complex tax filings were still in their infancy.
There is no doubt that our tax code is broken. The average family still spends 13 hours just to accumulate all of the paperwork necessary to complete the task. As a whole, Americans spend more than six billion hours on the paperwork necessary to file their taxes.
I believe Congress has an opportunity to get tax reform done this year to fix this broken system. Our efforts should focus on simplifying the tax code, closing loopholes for special-interest groups, and lowering rates for American families and small businesses. Such reform would boost our economy and ignite job creation.
But this won’t get done without the support of taxpayers across the country. Leaders in Washington need your input, and from time-to-time, a little push in the right direction doesn’t hurt either. With social media changing the way we communicate, sites like Facebook and Twitter (follow me using @patrickmchenry) are a good way to let your representatives know that you support a fairer and flatter tax code.
The road ahead will be a bumpy one filled with political potholes, but it’s time to steer clear of partisan games and get something done for the American people. It’s the right thing to do.