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News-Sentinel.com Your Town. Your Voice.
Opening Arguments

A simple idea

Well, we can dream, can't we?

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Internal Revenue Service's targeting of conservative political groups has little if anything to do with most everyday taxpayers, but some lawmakers are hoping attention to the budding scandal will swell public and political support for rewriting and simplifying a federal tax code that has undergone some 5,000 changes in the past dozen years.

"The complexity of the law didn't require the IRS to target people for their political beliefs," said Rep. David Camp, the Michigan Republican who chairs the tax-writing House Ways and Means Committee. But, he added, "I think giving the IRS less discretion is going to be important, and that's what a simplified code would do."

But wishing doesn't make it so. Simplifying the tax code wouldn't just "give the IRS less discretion," it would also take away a powerful tool from politicians and bureaucrats who like to maniulate our lives for their social-policy visions.