WASHINGTON, D.C. -- With Tax Day approaching on April 18, the pain our burdensome, complicated tax system inflicts on Nebraska families, workers, and job creators will surface once again. A survey recently conducted by Rasmussen Reports found only 9 percent of Americans think the U.S. tax system is the best in the world. This truth is well-grounded in reality.
In its annual report to Congress, the nonpartisan National Taxpayer Advocate reported U.S. taxpayers spend 6.1 billion hours each year satisfying the filing requirements of the Internal Revenue Service. It is likely this immense amount of time results from the fact income tax rules are constantly changing. This same report discovered 4,428 changes to the tax code over the last decade, which on average is more than once a day. This figure includes an estimate 579 changes in 2010 alone.
Regretfully, it's only getting worse. The new health care law will require an army of 16,000 new IRS workers to enforce its tax requirements. The Administration's budget proposal for Fiscal Year 2012 calls for $1.5 trillion in tax increases, which includes raising the Death Tax. It is not surprising the nonpartisan, educational Tax Foundation found the number of words in the tax code had nearly tripled since 1975. Representative Dave Camp (R-MI), Chairman of the House Committee on Ways and Means, once said "the tax code is 10 times longer than the Bible, without the good news."
Our current course is not one in the right direction. A bloated tax code is costly, confusing, and complicated for the taxpayer. Additionally, our onerous, excessive system is a symptom of the out-of-control spending addiction which has dominated Washington. It is time for a system which is fairer, simpler, and removes barriers to job creation because we cannot tax and spend our way to prosperity.
Reforming our tax code will put hard-earned money back into the pockets of taxpayers. Rather than rewarding those who succeed for their savings and investments our backwards system punishes them. A leaner revenue code would fuel economic growth by encouraging long-term investments which will help fuel economic growth.
As history has shown, tax reforms, like those enacted by President Reagan, help spur our economy because these policies put taxpayers first - not the government. The Committee on Ways and Means, which is constitutionally mandated to handle any legislation dealing with taxes, is committed to articulating its vision for comprehensive, fundamental tax reform. As a member of this committee, I look forward to working with my colleagues to achieve tax reform which will help taxpayers, shrink the size of government, and get our economy moving again.
For more information about tax reform issues, the latest developments from Congress, or to sign up for my e-mail newsletter, please visit my website at www.adriansmith.house.gov.