“In fact, the best thing we could do on taxes for all Americans is to simplify the individual tax code. This will be a tough job, but members of both parties have expressed an interest in doing this, and I am prepared to join them.”
It was not a priority. There was no “we must” or “I will”. It was more a “wouldn’t that be nice”.
Earlier in the address he stated -
"I ask Congress to ... make permanent our tuition tax credit – worth $10,000 for four years of college."
And the call for simplifying the Code was preceeded by –
“And if we truly care about our deficit, we simply can't afford a permanent extension of the tax cuts for the wealthiest 2 percent of Americans.”
It seems he doesn’t get the idea of starting from scratch and removing “tax expenditures” from the Tax Code.
So the leadership needed for real tax reform will not be coming from the White House. Let’s hope it comes from somewhere.