NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Clinton Plans Would Only Make Tax Laws Worse

February 17, 2000

The U.S. Tax Code is already up to 17,000 fine-print pages, necessitating 721 different tax forms. Even among experts, few -- if any -- understand it or can agree on what it means and does.

But matters will only get worse if President Clinton has his way, observers report.

  • The President's budget contains 221 new proposals -- including 93 tax increases, 42 "user fees," 27 new credits, five new exclusions, three new deductions and two new marriage penalties.
  • If all the administration's changes are approved, tax collections over the next five years are estimated to be $10.825 trillion -- compared to $10.829 trillion if no changes are made.
  • In other words, tax cuts over the next five years will amount to only $4.4 billion -- an infinitesimal reduction of 4/100ths of 1 percent.

When the first income tax was introduced in 1913, the form only amounted to two pages. The subsequent growth of the tax code helps explain why the Internal Revenue Service gave out nearly 10 million incorrect answers to taxpayers who phoned in asking for help.

Source: Daniel Mitchell (Heritage Foundation), "Tax Code Overload," Washington Times, February 16, 2000.


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