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Talk is cheap! If you want Congress to quit talking about tax reform and start moving us toward a new tax code that is simple, low, fair, and honest, Citizens for a Sound Economy needs your help.
On April 13th, the U.S. House of Representatives is scheduled to vote on H.R. 1041, "The Date Certain Tax Code Replacement Act." This bill, sponsored by Rep. Steve Largent (R-OK), would force politicians to quit talking about tax reform and really take action by giving them a deadline of December 31, 2002 to agree to a new system.
On that date, the current tax code - with its 44,000 pages, 5.5 million words, and 721 different forms - would expire and a new system will have to be in place!
But there are a number of politicians who are trying to block this vote in order to protect the status quo and all the special interests and lobbyists who live off the tax code. They don't want to be put "on the record" defending the current system during an election year and just days before we have to file our taxes.
Here are four things you can do to force Congress to debate real tax reform:
1) Call your member of Congress at (202) 225-3121, and tell them to support the Largent bill to sunset the tax code. Tell them that voting yes on the Largent bill is a vote to debate tax reform, it is not a vote for any specific tax reform plan. So it is OK if your representative hasn't decided between a flat tax or a national retail sales tax. The point of Largent's bill is to give Congress a deadline to debate the issue. Most of us work better, and produce real results, when we face a certain deadline.
2) Write a letter to the editor of your local paper in support of Largent's bill to force Congress to debate a new tax code. Remind people that taxes are now at a peace-time record level high. In fact, since 1993, federal income tax revenues have been growing 68 percent faster than American's incomes! Remind them too that a recent U.S. General Account Office audit found that the IRS cannot balance its own books or comply with legally required accounting procedures. And point out that Bill Clinton's solution is to give the IRS a $769 million budget increase. The honest solution is to Scrap the Code and give the American people a new tax system that is simple, low, fair, and honest. Suggested text for a letter may be found by directing your browser to http://www.cse.org/informed/570.html
3) E-mail your Congressman and Senators to let them know you don't think the IRS should get a bigger budget. Instead, Congress should debate how to replace the tax code. You can link to your legislative offices through http://www.cse.org/action/write.html
4) Join other members of Citizens for a Sound Economy on April 17th (this year's tax deadline) at your local post office to distribute Scrap the IRS Code literature, bumper stickers, buttons and yard signs. To find out where other tax activists are getting together, or to get Scrap the IRS Code material, call your local CSE State Chapter listed below:
Alabama: 334-263-5066 or 877-273-8678, Arizona: 480-657-3876, Connecticut: 860-872-4004, Florida: 561-266-8876 or 877-4FLA-CSE, Illinois: 815-522-2040 or 877-455-4723, Iowa: 515-274-2246 or 877-288-IOWA, New Hampshire: 603-229-3000, New York: 203-254-7336, North Carolina: 919-807-0100 or 88-THINK CSE, Oregon: 888-893-0497, Texas: 512-476-5905 or 877-476-5905, Washington: 425-257-9156 or 877-257-9156