POLICY: Taxes: Still an Uncleared Jungle

Motivated by their usual good intentions, tax reformers in Congress began moving about two years ago to clear the jungle known as U.S. tax law. Their goal: to eliminate the inequities that favor certain taxpayers—most often powerful corporations and wealthy individuals. Late last year, the House passed a mild 674-page reform bill. Last week, by a vote of 49 to 22, the Senate approved a loophole-riddled bill that is more than twice as long (1,500 pages) and, arguably, half as effective.

To be sure, the Senate version of the Tax Reform Act of 1976 would do several things for the...

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