Friday, January 07, 2011

Constitutional Performance Art

So they read the Constitution aloud in Congress. Some people loved it, others not so much. But is it a useful exercise?

Yes, but only if the 112th Congress actually takes it as more than a stunt. We'll spend the next two years finding out.

Instapundit points to someone named Chance Ballew who has a more useful exercise in governmental writing:

“Instead of reading the constitution, we should make congress read IRS regulations. That would keep them occupied for a few years.”

If you want to understand how far we've really drifted since the 16th Amendment passed, looking at the tax code would be a great place to start. I'd also suggest the tax code reading would be better if accompanied by a bongo drum.


Anonymous said...

were you reading this today?

Money quote:
Olsen estimates that individuals and businesses spend 6.1 billion hours preparing their returns. That equal to a year’s labor by three million full-time workers. Individual taxpayers are so befuddled by the Code that she reports 89 percent either pay a preparer or buy commercial software to help with the paperwork. The total cost of compliance in 2008, Olsen estimates, was $163 billion, or more than 11 percent of total income tax collections. The average out-of-pocket cost per taxpayer: $258. Something is very wrong when we have to pay a vendor $258 just to perform the most basic of civic duties.

One can only hope that if both sides can agree to anything, it is that we really need to revise and simplify our 3.8 million word tax code.


Mr. D said...

Happy New Year, Rich!

You'll get no argument from me on this issue. Of course H&R Block, my accountant and all the tax lawyers who make serious coin from wearing their wizard hats might not be so amenable to this. ;)

Thanks for the link, too -- looks like my lunchtime reading.

Gino said...

if they simplify the code, they cant tell us what to do.
or, not as much.

W.B. Picklesworth said...

Rich hit the nail on the head.