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WASHINGTON, DC – House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) released the following statement as millions of Americans navigated our nation’s increasingly complicated tax code and prepared to file their annual income tax returns before the filing deadline today:
“Two years ago, President Bush couldn’t stop talking about how he was committed to real tax reform and simplification. But today, nearly six months after the President’s Advisory Panel for Federal Tax Reform delivered its final recommendations to the Treasury Department, the truth is that this Administration and Republican Congress have done absolutely nothing to address this important issue and give no indication that they will tackle tax reform now or in the future.
“Without question, the Internal Revenue Code has become a maze of complexity that confounds millions of Americans. It treats many taxpayers unfairly. At the same time, it creates an opportunity – some would say an incentive – for those who would exploit its complexity to avoid compliance. And, despite repeated pledges by Republicans to simplify our tax laws, the tax code and regulations actually have increased by more than 10,000 pages under this Administration and Republican Congress.
“Democrats believe it is imperative that we make our tax system simpler, fairer and more efficient. For example, we must defuse the Alternative Minimum Tax, overhaul the corporate income tax, simplify tax rules for small businesses, and streamline tax incentives for education and retirement savings.
“The Republican Party’s refusal to reach out to Democrats and to take up real, bipartisan tax reform exemplifies a party that has run out of ideas and has no agenda. House Republicans are so divided, for example, that they have failed to enact a budget – even as the country struggles with the record deficits and exploding debt that have been instigated by Republican policies.
“It’s time for a change in Washington. The needs of the American people are not being met. The Republican Party’s failure to address critical issues such as tax reform, mounting deficits and debt, the health insurance crisis and energy independence demonstrates that.”