Bob Goodlatte (R-6th) seldom bothers to introduce legislation, but he has roused himself from his usual lethargy to add one other bill to that ridiculous “balanced budget amendment” he introduces every session of Congress. Goodlatte is proposing HR 352, the Tax Code Termination Act, which would abolish the Internal Revenue tax code. The bill would repeal the entire existing tax code, except for Social Security and Medicare taxes, by December 31, 2017.
Goodlatte rightly points out that both Republicans and Democrats know that the present tax code is badly broken and riddled with preferences for those with the money to buy them. Somehow, Goodlatte thinks that ending the tax code at a date certain will force Congress to sit down, sing “Kumbaya” and miraculously write a simpler, fairer tax system. You think?? How did that” fiscal cliff” go, folks?
By making deep cuts to defense and domestic programs, the rationale for the so-called “fiscal cliff” was that it would force Congress to compromise and come up with a better solution to our long-term deficit. So far, I simply see Congress, House Republicans in particular, simply kicking that can of fiscal dynamite down the road for a couple of months and refusing yet again to face reality. Goodlatte’s latest fiscal folly, HR 352, would do nothing but put the broken tax code in the same place that the budget has ended up – held hostage by rigid ideologues on the right who have no idea of how to govern a representative democracy.
As long as the GOP is manipulated by a group of extremists who believe that compromise is surrender, as long as the main goal of Republicans remains to make President Obama fail, we will not be able to solve very real and very serious problems we face as a nation. We need leadership, not empty attempts to gum up the works of government like Goodlatte’s lame proposals.