The 4,543 Word Tax Code

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A conservative umbrella group called “Tea Party Patriots” unveiled its Contract From America today, composed of items that were the top ten vote getters from their members. Here’s my favorite:

4. Enact Fundamental Tax Reform

Adopt a simple and fair single-rate tax system by scrapping the internal revenue code and replacing it with one that is no longer than 4,543 words — the length of the original Constitution. (64.90%)

I have to admit that I like the symbolism of the 4,543 word limit, but what I’d love is to see one of these geniuses actually write a modern tax code that length. And when they’re done, I’d like them to build a 747 using instructions no longer than those used to build the USS Constitution.

And that’s that. With this little bit of snark I’ve gotten through Tax Day without writing a single post about tax rates, tax shares, income tax vs. all federal taxes, who does and doesn’t pay taxes, whether people know how much they pay, or anything else related to the barrage of tax nonsense that assaults us annually on this day. Can’t we just celebrate the birth of Leonardo da Vinci instead?

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This feels like the most important fundraising drive since I've been CEO of Mother Jones, with staggeringly high stakes and so much uncertainty. In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," I try to unpack the reality we all face and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support Mother Jones’ nonprofit journalism: We need to raise $400,000 to help cover the vital reporting projects we have planned, and right now is no time to pull back.

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