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Brunswick The Post - The Gibbs Report: The Vital Need for Tax Reform

Op-Ed

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With "tax day" looming, I want to take this opportunity to address the vital need for reasonable tax reform in this country. The complexity of the tax code is a very serious problem facing taxpayers. The code is so confusing that, according to the IRS, almost 60 percent of taxpayers hire paid preparers, and an additional 30 percent rely on commercial software. This means Americans are spending their hard-earned money just to figure out how much they owe to the federal government.

Additionally, American businesses spend about 6.1 billion hours per year complying with tax-filing requirements, requiring over 3 million full-time workers.
Since 2001, Congress has made nearly 5,000 changes to the tax code -- an average of more than one per day. There are approximately 4 million words in the tax code, which exceeds the length of the King James Bible and the Complete Works of William Shakespeare. That is ridiculous. We clearly need a simpler, more transparent tax code.

The purpose of tax reform should not be to get more revenue for the federal government. The goal should be to improve economic performance, resulting in more jobs, better wages, improved retirement security and greater global competitiveness. A growing, vibrant economy will provide the necessary resources to fund services the American people expect. The rates for businesses and individuals need to be lowered. According to the Heritage Foundation, the U.S. corporate tax rate is the highest in the developed world.

Tax Freedom Day, which is the day when American taxpayers have earned enough money to pay their taxes for the year, is on April 18th. It is five days later than it was last year. This is because the fiscal cliff deal increased taxes and some of the ObamaCare taxes took effect. So, in other words, Obama's tax hikes result in the fact that America must dedicate an extra full-week's pay to account for the beginning of his tax hikes. This means that it takes 108 days for Americans to earn enough money to pay for federal and state government, which is 29.4 percent of annual income.

To put this into perspective, consider the fact that in year 1900, Tax Freedom Day occurred on January 22, with Americans paying 5.9 percent of their income in taxes.
Tax reform should not be used as an opportunity to raise taxes on hard-working Americans. The president already raised taxes this year, and more taxes are set to tax effect in 2014 as ObamaCare takes effect. Enough is enough. Spending is the problem.

I want to hear your opinions on our need for tax reform. Please email me at repbob.gibbs@mail.house.gov or call my Washington, D.C. office at 202-225-6265.


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