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Tax problems and tax law February 4, 2009

Posted by Brian Schar in General.
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It’s a ritual of American life that nominees for executive and judicial branch positions sometimes have tax problems.  Obama’s nominees seem to have more problems than most.  The media tut-tuts about how the elites feel like they don’t have to pay taxes like the little guys, and the talking heads wag their fingers at Obama for “inexperience” or “bad judgment”. 

I think they’re missing the bigger, obvious issue: even smart people like Geithner (by calling him smart, I’m not implying any agreement with him or support for his policies) who are experts in finance and/or law are unable to decipher the complexities of the tax code enough to properly prepare their tax returns.  The nominee-go-round of the last couple of weeks is the best argument for tax code simplification that’s come around for a while.  Congress would do better to take that up before another ill-advised stab at patent “reform.”

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