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Will Congress Deliver on Tax Reform?

Will Congress Deliver on Tax Reform?

(AP/Khue Bui)

By Monday, 09 January 2017 07:28 AM Current | Bio | Archive

Comprehensive tax reform is big news these days.

But then again, it’s also old news.

Let’s take a trip down memory lane to December 1975, when the Secretary of the Treasury, William E. Simon, gave a speech before the Tax Foundation calling for a fundamental overhaul of the U.S. tax system.

He said that he felt he was speaking for the millions of Americans who were---remember this was over 40 years ago--- fed up with the current tax system and wanted it replaced with one they could understand and trust.

Secretary Simon said it was time to start over from scratch. America needed to develop a new tax system based on the principles of equity, efficiency, and simplicity. The antithesis of the existing tax system.

He realized after years of seeking to reform the tax system, he was convinced that tinkering is no longer the answer.

American needed an entirely new tax system.

In 1977, the Department of the Treasury, William E. Simon as Secretary, issued its 217 page Blueprints for Basic Reform.

It presented two alternative proposals for a new tax system—a comprehensive income tax or a consumption base tax called a cash flow tax.

Of the two, the Blueprint says the cash flow system is: simpler by avoiding the most difficult problems of the comprehensive system; more equitable since everyone is treated alike although the tax would be progressive; and it would eliminate the disincentives inherent in the comprehensive tax system to saving and encourage capital formation.

Not many years later, the Kemp Commission also said that the current income tax system should be repealed and replaced. Its report made reference to Secretary Simon’s Blueprint for Tax Reforms.

We find ourselves in an accelerating desperate condition with an income tax system that should have been already repealed and replaced. Instead of having an equitable, efficient, and simple tax system which would have enabled America to flourish, successive Congress’s spent four decades enacting layer upon layer of tax complexity and oppressiveness.

Worse, American is progressively subordinating control of its tax system, and its economy, to be ruled by a global governance. All facilitated and sanctioned intentionally by some in Congress and merely willingly by others.

This is the context in which this new Congress of the same old politicians once again tells us that this time they will do fundamental tax reform.

Will Congress finally deliver to America a tax system that is understandable and trusted by the taxpayers, administrable by the Treasury, and protects American sovereignty?

Excuse me if I say I doubt it. 

Denis Kleinfeld is known as a strategic tax and wealth protection lawyer, widely published author and creative teacher.  

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Comprehensive tax reform is big news these days.
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Monday, 09 January 2017 07:28 AM
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