Complex tax code has defenders

Published 5:00am Thursday, April 18, 2013

Ever wonder why filing taxes is such a pain in the you-know-what?
In many other countries, it’s a simple, free and easy process to figure out what portion of our income must be rendered unto Ceasar. But not so much in the USA.
Well here’s one good reason: There’s a lot of money tied up in making it difficult. I learned something Monday, as I trawled the net in search of column topics. It turns out that Intuit, the makers of the ubiquitous TurboTax software, spent more than $19 million on lobbying last year. That’s more than Apple and more than Microsoft.
And they certainly weren’t pushing for Congress to approve a tax code that’s easier to understand. No, for Intuit, the mind-boggling complexity of the tax code means big money, since they provide the simple software to help regular folks navigate the jungle of rules, regulations and forms.
And it’s still pretty complicated.
There’s another reason the tax code is complicated. Because the labyrinthine process leaves ample space for sweetheart deals and Easter eggs that can be stashed away to aid favored constituencies. Rarely is the average American able to take advantage of these hidden bonuses, and even if we were eligible, it’s unlikely we’d find them. The big contributors can afford tax experts, attorneys and accountants with the chops to dig them out.
The bigger and more complicated any organization gets, the easier it is for corruption and waste to flourish. And the harder it becomes for even the most vigilant watchdog to keep track.
If you haven’t heard about the horrors being aired in the trial of Philadelphia abortion-provider Kermit Gosnell, it’s probably time to steel yourself, do the search and find out. The ghoulish doctor is accused of slaughtering dozens of newborn infants. Apparently he kept a collection, too … of feet.
These babies survived late-term abortions. They breathed a few moments of fresh air before the doctor and his staff killed them
Gosnell “regularly and illegally delivered live, viable babies in the third trimester of pregnancy — and then murdered these newborns by severing their spinal cords with scissors,” according to the grand jury report.
The lack of outrage from this house of horrors has been deafening. It was only the death of a would-be mother that alerted authorities to abominations that went on in Gosnell’s Women’s Health Society clinic. Previous reports, by civilians and Pennsylvania inspectors alike, were ignored.
It puts the Alabama Legislature’s much-maligned bill to require fully licensed doctors with admitting privileges at a local hospital in a new light.
Pro-abortion groups blasted the bill as a backdoor attempt to eliminate the practice in Alabama.
I don’t know the heart of bill sponsor Mary Sue McClurkin, but that could be the case. At any rate, though, if a clearn, safe environment considered beyond possibility, if certified doctors are considered too much to ask … is it worth defending?
Headline News takes us gavel-to-gavel in the salacious trial of a brunette who insists her victim had it coming. You’d think they could spare some time for a modern-day Mengela who slaughtered the most vulnerable and innocent among us.
Metaphor Alert?: A former prostitute and Nevada brothel madam is seeking election as mayor of Vicksburg, Miss. Her ability to run a business is among the qualifications she’s touting.

David D. Goodwin is political editor of The Wetumpka Herald. Contact him at

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