On October 8th, ABC News did a report titled Steve Jobs: 7 Secrets to His Success. Number 3 was “Say No to 1,000 Things.” The report went on to say that “In 1997 when he (Steve) returned to Apple, Apple was close to bankruptcy. He took 300 products and condensed them to 10” The US government has been close to shutting down how many times this year? And each time Congress voted on raising the debt ceiling, not an option that a small business has. I propose that the US government start running itself like a business and furthermore I propose that it could learn from Steve Jobs and simplify the tax code.
I’m not a proponent of the flat tax because I believe it would be harmful to those people who currently pay nothing into the tax system and it would reduce the amount of tax paid by those who can afford to pay more. But what I do propose is that the tax code is trimmed from its 16,000 pages to something more manageable. For starters do we really need an American Opportunity Credit, Lifetime Learning Credit, & Hope Credit? Couldn’t we just have a credit for those attending higher education? Do we really need depreciation rules for autos, trucks and SUV’s? Couldn’t we just have depreciation for vehicles? If a husband and wife own rental property together, do I really need to report 50% for the husband and 50% for the wife? Can’t I just fill out one form for both of them? There are countless silly confusing rules cluttering up the tax code.
If Congress is so worried about those individuals who do not have medical insurance they could allow a deduction on your tax return for medical expenses that isn’t limited to your AGI instead of mucking up the tax code with a credit to small business owners who provide health insurance and a penalty to larger business owners who don’t provide it. Why make it so confusing? I think there are lots of ways the tax code could be made simpler and who knows, if we simplify the tax code, the US might be admired like Steve Jobs.