Paging Captain Obvious.......
Secretary Snow Admits U.S. Tax Code is Incomprehensible
WASHINGTON, April 10 /U.S. Newswire/ -- Institute for Policy Innovation (IPI) Economist and Senior Research Fellow Dr. Lawrence A. Hunter released the following statement:
"Treasury Secretary John Snow finally admitted to the Congress what every American taxpayer has known for years: the Internal Revenue Code is incomprehensible and unintelligible even to the experts who prepare the tax returns, enforce the law and collect the taxes.
'The problem you're talking about,' Snow told a U.S. Senate subcommittee, 'is the bewildering complexity of the code itself.'
"Senator Patty Murray of Washington State, apparently more concerned about the federal government's ability to collect revenue than about the tremendous burden the tax code places on the American people, hammered the Secretary to enforce the code and collect federal taxes despite its bewildering complexity.
"When Murray insisted it is still necessary to enforce the law no matter how impossible the code is to understand, Snow responded by quoting his wife as saying: 'How do you expect people to comply with the tax code when I, a reasonably intelligent person who had a course in the taxes, can hardly figure it out myself?' Yes, Senator Murray, how do you expect people to comply with your handiwork? Rather than scape-goating the firms that prepare our taxes, shouldn't you be working to fix the mess you and your congressional colleagues created?
"President Ronald Reagan said it best in 1983: 'Our federal tax system is, in short, utterly impossible, utterly unjust and completely counterproductive...(it) reeks with injustice and is fundamentally un-American... it has earned a rebellion and it's time we rebelled.'
"Secretary Snow's candid admission is courageous and laudable in a town where frankness and honesty are in short supply but it hardly constitutes the 'rebellion' Ronald Reagan called for. The question now, Mr. Secretary, is what are you going to do about it? Are you simply going to complain about it and continue to fine and penalize taxpayers and their tax preparers who make honest mistakes, or are you and the President going to send the Congress a tax reform plan to remedy this unconscionable situation? The voters await your answer with anticipation as they prepare to go to the polls in November."