The Second Hundred Years of The Federal Individual Income Tax
--there are over 1000 sections to the Internal Revenue Code. This does not include regulations, court decisions or tax treaties
--an SELECTIVE volume of IRC and Regulations runs close to 2000 pages in length; no small amount of which is small print. Again, this excludes court decisions and tax treaties.
--Even with the discontinuation of the RTP program, there are three separate licensure programs for tax preparation: enrolled agent exam, CPA exam and bar exam.
-- During the upcoming year, we have the "fiscal cliff" tax changes and "Obamacare" tax regulations to implement--and President Obama has called for more changes as part of avoiding "sequestration."
--Individual income taxes rake in about double what was produced in the 1980s--and the country STILL has run a deficit of over $1 trillion for the past four years (although the CBO has projected slightly less than a $1,000,000,000,000,000 deficit for FY 2013).
Given the monumental appetite for US Government spending by the President and large numbers of Senators and Congressmen/Congresswomen; it is virtually impossible to develop a taxation system that would meet these needs fairly and effectively and my experiences with individual IRS agents have almost always been positive; in my opinion, the IRS is less of the problem than the people we elect. Nevertheless, for the second decade:
--Please simplify tax law. I realize that I have made blog posts have been inconsistent with this; but tax simplification ties up fewer person-hours, adds to the perception of horizontal equity and probably would improve tax compliance.
--Build up the not-for-profit sector, both secular and faith-based. One of the GOOD things that both President Bushes did was to encourage private charity. While, the not-for-profit sector cannot immediately replace governmental social and entitlement programs, they can be more flexible and often offer more actual compassion than a faceless check from the government.
--Re-evaluate what government can actually effective do. I do not doubt the good intentions of many of those who want the government more involved in the economy; instead I wonder why in the face of past results they expect actual solutions to occur. The US Government has spent trillions of dollars on anti-poverty programs over the last 50 years--is there any significant evidence that poverty has lessened?