It is time for people in Washington to acknowledge it is impossible to get a truly simplified tax code in this current political climate. It is simply inconsistent with the other driving ideological preferences in Washington, which includes the idea of very low federal “spending”, low taxes, and a Congress that plays an active role in setting policy. It is possible to fulfill two or three of these goals at once, but not all four.
President Obama’s new budget is a prefect example of how a truly simple tax code is incompatible with the top goals of the two parties. The overview calls for making the “tax code more simple and fair” by closing tax loopholes. Yet, just a few lines later it calls for multiple new tax incentives to promote several proposals.