January 14, 2009


In its yearly report released last week, the Taxpayer Advocate Service notes what the public has known for decades:

“America’s taxpayers deserve a simpler and less burdensome tax system that enables them to comply with their tax obligations expeditiously.” The only people in the nation who seem oblivious to this are the members of the U.S. Congress — save for Rep. Charles Rangel, the chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, who has been forced to become familiar with the mess Washington has made.

Rangel conceded last year that he doesn’t understand the very code that his lawmaking panel writes and is in an ethics mess because of his personal tax problems. The New York Democrat is getting a taste of the bitter experience that the rest of the country has to endure annually.

As I noted earlier, when the Chairman of Ways and Means, and a Federal Reserve banker who’s the nominee for Treasury Secretary, can’t get their taxes right, then it’s time for some serious simplification.

UPDATE: More on Geithner’s confusion.

ANOTHER UPDATE: “When does not paying your taxes matter?”

MORE: Geithner confirmation hearing postponed.

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