Don’t you just love it when entrenched politicians run as outsiders wanting tax reform and getting rid of “Washington insiders”? That is Rep. Kevin Brady’s standard operating procedure every other year – you know, election years. In between, he’s voting for budgets that blow the roof off the house, bailouts for the rich, and John Boehner for Speaker. Saw this on his Facebook page this morning:
We’re not just dipping our toes. We’re diving in, head first.
That was in response to George Will’s column on tax reform.
“Colleagues,” said the June 27 letter to 98 U.S. senators, “now it is your turn.” The letter’s authors are Max Baucus, D-Mont., and Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, the chairman and ranking Republican on the tax-writing Finance Committee, respectively. From their combined 71 years on Capitol Hill, they know that their colleagues will tiptoe gingerly, if at all, onto the hazardous terrain of tax reform.
Together with Chairman Dave Camp, R-Mich., of the House Ways and Means Committee, Baucus and Hatch propose a “blank slate” approach, erasing all deductions and credits — currently worth more than $1 trillion a year — and requiring legislators to justify reviving them. Hence the Baucus-Hatch letter, in response to which almost 70 senators sent more than 1,000 pages of suggestions. Although some were short on specifics, the submissions were given encrypted identification numbers and locked in a safe, as befits dangerous documents.
Every complexity in the 4 million-word tax code was created at the behest of a muscular interest group that tenaciously defends it. Which is why tax simplification would be political reform: Writing lucrative wrinkles into the code is one of the primary ways the political class confers favors. Furthermore, “targeted” tax cuts serve bossy government’s behavior-modification agenda: Do what we want you to do and you can keep more of your money. Simplification would reduce the opportunities for the political class to throw its weight around. Hence the flinch from simplification.
He hasn’t even dipped his toes and now he’s talking about diving in? Brady has been in Congress since 1996 and the only thing he’s ever done about tax reform is talk about it every other year. Here he is today in Coldspring:
Talk, talk, talk. That’s all you’re going to get with Kevin Brady. He has at least one primary challenger this year: Craig McMichael. I don’t know Mr. McMichael but I hope he is a serious candidate. With only 271 Facebook page Likes and 32 followers on Twitter, probably not. If not, hopefully someone else will step up. Aren’t you tired of talk, talk, talk from entrenched politicians?