Donald Trump boasts that he will reform the Internal Revenue Code. Our tax code was first codified about 100 years ago, is now some 17,000 pages and still growing; but, not all of our tax statutes have been included yet! Previous changes and additions had political motivation, based on the ideology of whatever party was in power. And thus, Tax Reform has truly become a political football; but, without any coherent agenda!
Real reform must be placed in the hands of a totally bipartisan Commission, composed of tax and other financial professionals. The job at hand, however, could be compared to tearing down an old dilapidated building, and then starting from scratch. The existing tax code is much too vital to the on-going functioning of our federal government to go on without it! Therefore, the Tax-Reform Commission needs to be appointed for, let’s say, a ten-year term, and be subject to the oversight of a bipartisan Senate Tax-Reform Select Committee.
Such a Tax-Reform Commission, should be totally staffed and directed by professionals, who are knowledgeable in the functioning of the federal government. Similarities to the operation of the bipartisan Congressional Budget Office easily come to mind. The Leadership could be appointed by the (to be formed) Senate Select Committee, with the committee appointing replacement commission members, as needed.
The Commission should be expected to operate over, let’s say, a ten-year period, so as to: focus on the truly long-term nature of its mission, as well as to remove it from the regular political process. Furthermore, the establishing legislation should include a provision for a subsequent commission to be appointed every several decades.