I had a heart attack this morning.
I was doing my usual news reading and a headline popped out at me; “US cannot overhaul tax code in two months: Geithner”. What? Did someone actually think that reform would happen that quickly? What alternate universe have they been living in? In the same article, Secretary Geithner admits that the special fiscal reduction/tax reform group won’t meet their Nov 23rd deadline. If those 6 can’t get a report done, how can the House and Senate get tax reform done?
But what if they could get tax reform done that quickly? What if Congress could work together enough, between major holidays and campaigning, to pass tax reform? What would that look like? Thoughtful and evenly distributed reform or a rag tag mess? And if they could get reform done that quickly, what’s to stop them from starting their changes immediately? Effective January 1, 2012. After all, 2012 is an election year and our elected officials might want to show their constituents that they did get something done. Last year, these same people extended tax cuts at the very last minute and threw the IRS and tax preparers into a tizzy with delayed filing for some forms. Major tax changes effective immediately = heart attack city.
Thankfully, tax reform may start this year but it won’t be completed for a while. We need Congress to think the options through and create a tax code that is fair for everyone. And when they get the changes made, I hope they continue thinking “fair” and make sure they allot enough time to implement the changes and, if necessary, phase in the changes over several years so taxpayers can absorb the changes into their budgets. Of course, I may be the one living in an alternate universe where the concept of partisanship doesn't exist.