Sep 30 2003
Committees will analyze tax code
Rebecca Wilder (202) 224-0379WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Senate today overwhelmingly passed legislation sponsored by Sen. Bob Bennett calling on the Senate Finance Committee and the Joint Economic Committee (JEC) to hold hearings and consider legislation providing for overhaul of the Internal Revenue Code and implementation of a federal flat tax.
“Since my ‘92 campaign, when I called for a simplified tax code and a 1040 form the size of a postcard, I’ve been working to convince my colleagues that this is something we should consider,” said Bennett, who chairs the JEC. “An overwhelming majority of the Senate today said we should study this proposal and has named my committee as a key point for this debate. I’m gratified that my calls for this reform are gaining support and will be considered in the Senate.”
The Bennett Amendment, also sponsored by Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA) and Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA), chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, passed by an overwhelming 70-30 vote. It calls for the Senate Finance Committee and the JEC to undertake a comprehensive analysis of tax simplification proposals, including flat tax proposals, and to conduct appropriate hearings and consider appropriate legislation.
When discussing tax simplification options, Bennett noted some estimates that show the flat tax will expand the economy by $2 trillion over seven years. He also noted that the current Internal Revenue Code is over 17,000 pages and 6,900,000 words.
“Americans spend more than $194 billion and five billion hours each year complying with a tax code that has grown out of control. We must provide for a more productive use of our time and money,” Bennett said.
“It’s time to demystify the tax system, and consideration of a flat tax is a good place to start,” he said. “It is simple and fair and could be a strong addition to the other economic boosts in the Jobs and Growth Package we’re voting on today. JEC is uniquely qualified to do this analysis. “
The Bennett Amendment passed as part of the Jobs and Economic Growth Reconciliation Bill which is expected to pass the Senate today. It will then go to a conference with the House.