Chart Of The Day: Bloated Tax Code Edition

There are few better illustrations of just how unwieldy our tax structure has become than the fact that the complete federal tax code rules, regulations, and IRS rulings is twice as big today as it was just under 30 years ago:

H/T: Cato@Liberty

FILED UNDER: Quick Takes, Taxes, US Politics
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Contracts says:

    Reminds me of what my old tax professor said: Even if you could read the entire tax code, it wouldn’t matter. By the time you finished (even if you had perfect memory), so much would have changed that you would be remembering inaccurate information anyway.

  2. Southern Hoosier says:

    Maybe we should just adopt the new simplified tax form.

    How much did you make last year? Send it.

    What about the Fair Tax? Couldn’t be any worse than what we have now.

  3. Southern Hoosier says:

    And people complained about the 1,990 pages of the Obamacare plan.
    http://www.infowars.com/feds-post-monster-obamacare-bill/

  4. There is little doubt that we need massive reform of the tax code.

    Sadly, such reforms do not appear to be in the cards.

  5. An Interested Party says:

    How much did you make last year? Send it.

    When you find anyone other than you who is spouting this line, feel free to let us know…

  6. Mithras says:

    I expect better than this simplistic nonsense from a lawyer, Doug.

    More tax regulations are better for the corporate and partnership taxpayer because they clarify things. Since 1981 we’ve had a massive increase in the use of partnerships as tax planning vehicles and in the popularity of S corporations. Because these things are not natural persons, and because they can use accrual accounting, then you need a lot of rules to make sure the tax liability reflects economic reality. Ever read a tax regulation? You should sometime. They’re written largely in plain english and are full of examples that taxpayers can rely on to guide them in determining how to account for complicated transactions.

  7. tom p says:

    More tax regulations are better for the corporate and partnership taxpayer because they clarify things.

    Real people on the other hand…. Got Vaseline?

  8. Mithras says:

    Got Vaseline?

    Regular people are not affected by the regulations that have been written since 1981. It’s a BS argument made by feckless people who want civilization for free and repeated by people who really should know better.

  9. Southern Hoosier says:

    An Interested Party says: Monday, April 18, 2011 at 17:21

    How much did you make last year? Send it.

    When you find anyone other than you who is spouting this line, feel free to let us know…

    I did Comrade Obama, the Great One.

  10. michael reynolds says:

    This terrible. Just 72,536 pages? For the 300 million people in this country?

    That’s point zero zero zero two four pages per person? (.00024) What is that, six molecules of cellulose and an atom of ink? In this, the richest country on earth?

    This is an outrage!

  11. Southern Hoosier says:

    michael reynolds says: Monday, April 18, 2011 at 22:35

    This terrible. Just 72,536 pages? For the 300 million people in this country?

    That’s point zero zero zero two four pages per person? (.00024) What is that, six molecules of cellulose and an atom of ink? In this, the richest country on earth?

    This is an outrage!

    That would be interesting to go back and compare pages to population over last 100 years to see if pages are catching up with the population. Who knows, our grandchildren may each have a page of their own someday.

  12. john personna says:

    Bigger crime? Intuit, and others, lobbied goverment to NOT offer free online tax software. I think all the other OECD nations have that now.

    Our tax processing industry lobbies for their rent, no doubt rooting for complexity along the way.

    (We do have a hodgepodge of free filing options with income caps & etc., what a mess. Designed to be a mess and to get you to pay to avoid it.)

  13. An Interested Party says:

    I did Comrade Obama, the Great One.

    I would ask if you ever get tired of just pulling random shit out of your ass and presenting that as fact, but considering how often you do that, I think I already know the answer to that question…

    Our tax processing industry lobbies for their rent, no doubt rooting for complexity along the way.

    Exactly right…I do hope that the majority of teabaggers, conservatives, and libertarians who so despise the government also despise rent-seeking and the insidious effect it has on just about everything…

  14. Southern Hoosier says:

    Southern Hoosier says:
    Monday, April 18, 2011 at 20:12

    An Interested Party says: Monday, April 18, 2011 at 17:21

    How much did you make last year? Send it.

    When you find anyone other than you who is spouting this line, feel free to let us know…

    I did Comrade Obama, the Great One.

    An Interested Party says: Wednesday, April 20, 2011 at 12:41
    pulling random shit out of your ass

    Spoken like a true liberal. Try doing a Google on “obama tax increase”
    http://goo.gl/pWY7w