Tuesday, December 7, 2010


As discussed in Friday’s post BO’s National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform’s issued its final report titled “The Moment of Truth”.

It seems that the report will join all the other reports that came before it in gathering dust on a shelf in some government library – despite some good serious work by its writers.

Kay Bell explains in “Deficit Commission Tax Overhaul, Take 2” at DON’T MESS WITH TAXES.

Obama, who appointed the panel, and Bowles and Simpson {Commission Co-Chairmen – rdf} had hoped that the proposals would be a starting point for Congress to examine overhaul of our current convoluted tax system.

No such luck.

While some of the ideas might eventually show up in separate pieces of legislation or amendments to other bills in the upcoming 112th Congress (and beyond), the full report itself is dead on arrival.

The deal was that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) would bring the deficit recommendations up for a floor vote, but only if the proposal got the support of a supermajority of its members. That meant that 14 of the 18 panelists had to sign off on the report.

It got just 11 "yea" votes.

The main reason for the defeat was that there were too many sitting Members of Congress on the commission. And we all know how loathe those folks are to take a controversial stand

Kay suggests in her post that Congresscritters are not totally to blame, as “they have to be sure that taxpayers (aka voters) are on board, too”.

One of the tax quotes that appeared in my recent filler “Speaking of Taxes” applies here.

"A tax loophole is something that benefits the other guy. If it benefits you it is tax reform." – Former Senator Russell B Long

The members of Congress are not the only ones who are greedy. American taxpayers are all against “abusive” tax loopholes, calling for their closing, unless the loophole benefits them personally.

I don’t think anyone, including the members of Congress, would disagree with the opening statement of the section of the report that covers Tax Reform –

America’s tax code is broken and must be reformed.”

Yet the idiots in Washington continue to add complexity to the Tax Code each year so that it is more of a mucking fess than it was the year before.

And, however much the American public complains about the complexity of our tax system, as Kay points out, “we still love a lot of those complicated tax breaks”.

She is right when she states (although I do not wish to be included in her “we”) -

We have, in essence, reached a sort of rapprochement with the tax code. We can deal with it as long as it has the tax breaks that apply to us personally.”

However something must be done. The Tax Code is truly broken and must be fixed. The report is correct in observing that it is “fundamentally unfair, far too complex, and long overdue for sweeping reform.”

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