Another tax day

If you’re upset about how difficult taxes are (and I think you should be) don’t blame the IRS.

Blame business lobbies, like Intuit. NPR:

Intuit has spent about $11.5 million on federal lobbying in the past five years — more than Apple or Amazon. Although the lobbying spans a range of issues, Intuit’s disclosurespointedly note that the company “opposes IRS government tax preparation.”

Blame anti-government activists like Grover Norquist. Forbes:

A simpler, less onerous tax system would presumably make people feel better about the government, and that is the last thing Grover and his fellow travelers want.

Blame Congress. After all, tax reform is their job, and they’re the only ones who can do it. Our difficult, complex tax system isn’t the inevitable effect of government or bureaucracy. Tax reform has happened before, and it could happen again.

The primary difficulty isn’t anything inherent in taxes, it’s the combination of powerful lobbies with a vested interest in a difficult tax system and partisan divides in Congress preventing a real effort to achieve reform. And, in no small part, it’s also the fault of cynicism on the part of voters, who don’t demand effective reform because they don’t think it’s realistic.


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