Every American believes a simpler tax code would be better. But will it ever happen?
Congressional leaders from both parties would like to try to do that in the coming year. House Speaker Paul Ryan says America has one of the highest corporate tax rates, 35%. That's true, but few corporations pay 35%, because there are so many individual tax breaks. Most of them are written to benefit specific industries; some benefit specific companies.
A wonky little thing in last week's budget compromise might actually make this doable. A bunch of special tax breaks that have to be constantly renewed were made permanent. That sounds like it would make a simplified tax code harder but lawmakers say it's the other way around.
They say, lawmakers who used to get hung up on trying to renew one particular break don't have now. They're free to look at the big picture. Republican Orrin Hatch and Democrat Charlie Schumer both this is so.
A deeper problem remains. Every industry has lobbyists making their case. You don't.
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