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Scrapping the Tax Code

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How many times have you heard cries that "Our country is in desperate need of tax reform!" or that "We must overhaul the tax code!"? The current federal tax code is broken beyond repair and it is obvious that tax reform is absolutely necessary. However, efforts to reform the tax code have all stalled.

The fact is our current tax system has spiraled out of control. Virginians simply trying to follow the letter of the law when filing their federal tax returns are confronted with a 17,000-page behemoth in the Internal Revenue Code. A few years ago, Money magazine asked 50 professional tax preparers to file a return for a fictional family. No one came up with the same tax total, nor did any of the preparers calculate what Money magazine thought was the correct federal income tax. The results varied by thousands of dollars. At a time when Americans devote a total of 7.4 billion hours each year to comply with the tax code, we need tax simplification.

Additionally, enforcing this huge and complicated tax code is such an impossible task that stories of IRS inefficiency and unpredictable enforcement are not surprising anymore.

While many questions remain about the best way to reform our tax system, I am certain that if Congress is forced to address the issue we can create a tax code that is simpler, fairer, and better for our economy than the one we are forced to comply with today.

For this reason, I have introduced the Tax Code Termination Act. This bipartisan legislation is quite simple. It will repeal the entire tax code, except portions that deal with Social Security and Medicare by December 31, 2009, and calls on Congress to approve a new Federal tax system by July of the same year.

While this legislation represents a tall order for Congress, we were sent here to represent the interests of our constituents, and it is obvious the American people are fed up with the current system - and rightly so. The only way to solve this problem is to fully confront it and abolish the current tax code.

Today's tax code is unfair, discourages against savings and investment, and is impossibly complex. We can all agree that the current tax system is broken, and keeping it is not in America's best interest. Whatever form the new federal tax system takes, it should be a simpler, fairer, and less burdensome tax code which will ultimately benefit not only the national economy but the citizens who make America the greatest nation on Earth.

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