The Tax Man cometh again.
• “It is time to cut tax rates for all Americans and to end the unnecessarily complex tax code, replacing it with a simplified, fairer tax code that will benefit all Americans. We send enough to Washington.” — Missouri Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler on Tax Day.
Every year, Washington politicians weigh in on April 15 with their frustrations about the tax code. Almost every American agrees a simplified, fairer tax code is the way to go, as Hartzler suggests. The tough part is how to do that. Drop the mortgage deduction? Cap charitable giving? Raise rates on well-to-do Americans? Rhetoric is easy. Actually reforming the code is a different job entirely.
• “Now with automation and the electronic submission of W-2s and 1099s, the IRS just matches the information. If you don’t report something, it is almost automatic that you’ll get a letter from the IRS.” — David Kautter, managing director of the Kogod Tax Center at American University.
Kautter’s point: It’s still not easy to fool the Tax Man even though the IRS claims it’s short of money and fewer audits are conducted these days.
• “People actually booed Jeb Bush, which I was, quite frankly, not expecting.” — David Bossie, head of Citizens United, a conservative group that co-sponsored the Freedom Summit last weekend in New Hampshire.
Audience members booed when Donald Trump mentioned Bush’s comments on immigration being an “act of love.” All this begins to outline the challenge that Bush, a center-right politician, faces with conservative activists if he takes a run for the White House. Bossie described Bush as “very unpopular in New Hampshire.” New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie faces similar hurdles.
• “Most of them served in the pre-term-limits era, when longevity brought a certain level of wisdom to the General Assembly and to this chamber — when corporate political memory was an important guide to those who served here, a guide to the policies and the behaviors to those who served.” — Missourinet report Bob Priddy speaking at a ceremony Monday in the state Senate honoring former senators who had since died. (Quote via johncombest.com).
Give Senate President Pro Tem Tom Dempsey credit for re-instituting a tribute for former state senators. The last such service was 30 years ago. As the Jefferson City News Tribune reported: For a little over 30 minutes Monday afternoon at the Missouri Capitol, the names of 60 former state senators were read one-by-one, in a roll call one last time. As current senators answered “here” to each name, then carried a white rose from the back of the Senate chamber to a long table temporarily placed across the front — members of the former senator’s family stood in the upper gallery and watched as the current senator lit a candle in memory of the former lawmaker.