Extending Tax Cuts
Submitted by AMY DALEN
The financial problems that this country and its citizens are currently facing are due in part to Congress’s haphazard way of passing “patch” legislation – legislation that extends provisions, implements temporary fixes, and ultimately delays the need to thoroughly analyze the underlying problems. Unfortunately, this type of legislation has become the norm with legislation dealing with the tax code. So the answer the first part of your question – should the tax cuts be extended – my answer is no. This country cannot be expected to function properly if Congress continues to simply extend and patch the tax code. Each year tax planners like myself attempt to predict what the next piece of tax legislation will throw at us. Each year we’re inevitably wrong. Congress should not focus on passing legislation to extend anything. Instead, Congress should focus on fixing the tax code, putting in place permanent provisions, and developing a comprehensive piece of legislation. This needs to be a bi-partisan effort that attempts to encompass the values that we, as Americans, stand for. Right now the political atmosphere in Washington is toxic, and it will continue to be until a new president is elected (perhaps even after). I hope, once the elections are over, Congress will finally begin to address the issues that need addressing, and actually accomplish something that will last longer than a year or two.
As for my own personal beliefs, I identify most strongly with conservatives in this country. I believe we need to promote the creation of new businesses in order to improve the economic health of this country. I believe the federal government has become too big and that we are spending too much on programs that are not accomplishing the goals that they are meant to achieve. It is too easy for people to take advantage of these programs, which ultimately hurts the people that genuinely need them (case in point: the Earned Income Tax Credit, which, as a refundable credit, is a magnet for unscrupulous tax preparers who seek to take advantage of the potential for higher fees). I believe there is too much “poor vs. rich” going on, which does nothing but poison any meaningful debate that can take place. The poor are convinced that the rich need to pay more simply because they have more. The rich are convinced that the poor want free handouts and are unwilling to work hard and make something of themselves. And the definitions of who is “poor” and who is “rich” varies considerably, depending on who you talk to and where in the country you live. No one seems to be looking at the big picture: this country is in trouble, and everyone has to make some sacrifices.
Thanks to Amy Dalen for her submission. Amy L. Dalen is an attorney in Naples, Florida, and works in the tax department of a mid-sized accounting firm. She focuses on estate, gift, trust, and individual taxation and loves to research genealogy and spend time with her boyfriend, dog and cat in her spare time.
It’s Guest Post Week on Taxgirl! For more information about Guest Post Week, check out the prior post.
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