Howard County Maryland Blog

Local Politics and Current Events

Forget Turbo-Tax. Make them use pencils and maybe a calculator.

Posted by Ed C on Friday, January 23, 2009

I have a modest proposal to help simplify our tax code.  If Timothy Geithner, former International Monetary Fund official, former president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and now U.S. Treasury Secretary can’t properly file a correct tax return (even when using Turbo Tax) then maybe we should go back and look at the whole 16,845 pages of the tax code and start over.

My proposal is that all elected officials that vote on the tax code (and maybe those that enforce it) would be required to fill out their own forms using nothing more than a pencil, a calculator and a phone that can only dial the IRS help line (no cheating by texting your accountant on your Blackberry.)  Come tax time, the representatives would be assigned to a table in the Congressional cafeteria or a local classroom that would be patrolled by monitors (think taking your SATs again.) with only their receipts and the IRS booklets and forms to guide them.  When completed, the current tax returns and those from the past 6 years would be immediately audited by both the IRS computers and by teams of trained ninja accountants, with any errors or omissions flagged for prosecution and public ridicule.

I’m pretty sure by the end of the first session we will see a truly bipartisan bill that would make Steve Forbes smile fly through Congress before another April 15th rolls around again.

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