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While tonight is New Year’s Eve for the rest of the country, inside the Beltway over the last few years December 31st has been akin to the Night of the Living Dead. Not because worn out Capitol Hill staff and interns wander the streets in a drunken stupor (though this is an accurate assessment), but because dozens of tax extenders set to expire at year’s end are usually reauthorized in bulk by Congress.
Recently, I attended a speech that attempted to lay out a case that Ronald Reagan would not have been a Tea Party President. The speaker, a conservative not terribly familiar with the Tea Party movement, made an interesting case.
Fundamental Tax Reform
The U.S. tax code is a tangled mass of complexity, containing more than 9 million words. The immense difficulty in navigating such a document creates endless loopholes and opportunities for abuse by well-connected insiders, while at the same time distorting investment decisions and hindering economic growth. It’s time to scrap the code and replace it with one that is low, flat, fair and honest. Ultimately, all Americans should be able to file their taxes on a form the size of a postcard.
This week, I decided to research the Farm Bill to write a little bit about some of the “reforms” House Republicans who support the bill are so proud of. The CBO estimates savings of $35 billion over the next ten years (vs. the current baseline). The CBO is also notorious for underestimating costs, and it looks like this time won’t be any different.
The FreedomCast - Can the GOP Become the Party of the People?
As part of the complex montrosity known as Obamacare, people signing up for health insurance can have the help of Navigators - people with little training or experience wading through the most complex law ever passed. The manual for the program describes a system that will lead to privacy violations, personal embarrassment, and identity theft.
The IRS, in its zeal to block the legal political activity of conservative groups, has still not come clean. The agency is out of control, and needs serious reform, and ought to be shuttered, its services provided in some other way.
The recent spate of scandals involving the federal government should not surprise anyone. While it's important that bad actors in government be held to account, the system corrupts even the best people. If all that comes of this exposed corruption is the firing of a few public employees, nothing will change, and those seeking power over their fellow man will be emboldened.