MacArthur Op-Ed: Simplifying the Federal Tax Code
South Jersey families and small business owners go through it every year - wading through confusing forms, sifting through 12 months of bank documents and receipts, and crossing our fingers that we don't make any mistakes. According to one independent study presented to Congress, Americans collectively spend more than 6 billion hours and $160 billion to prepare and file their taxes on an annual basis. In a place like New Jersey, the dread is compounded by the knowledge that we are forced to endure one of the highest tax burdens in the entire country.
I'm not pointing out these stats to annoy or depress you - presumably, the IRS has already taken care of that. I am doing it to promote the need for a comprehensive overhaul of our nation's tax code. Currently at 70,000-pages and increasingly beyond the comprehension of anyone without a CPA, our federal tax code is a mess and I intend to be a driving force behind fixing it.
Taxpayers deserve a fair and simple tax code that provides economic opportunity and upward mobility for all. Our tax code should encourage savings and investment and incentivize prudent risk-taking and entrepreneurship. This will help our economy grow at a healthier pace and create sustainable, good-paying jobs today and into the future.
In concert with tax reform, Washington - and Trenton for that matter - must realize that more spending and more debt will eventually lead to even higher taxes. We need to better identify our priorities like national defense, infrastructure, medical research, Social Security and Medicare, and direct money towards them, while rooting out waste, fraud, abuse and inefficiency that needlessly makes government more expensive and less accountable to the people paying the bills.
Americans are the hardest working people the world has ever known, and working harder should not result in giving more of your money to the federal government to waste. I hope you agree.