Wow! Real Tax Reform!

In a stunning reversal, a Senate panel okays a tax-simplification bill

It all happened so fast. One minute, the long-cherished dream of streamlining and simplifying the cumbersome U.S. tax system seemed moribund, unable to withstand the hordes of lobbyists and influence peddlers arrayed against it. Then, shortly after midnight last Wednesday, the entire Senate Finance Committee was on its feet roundly applauding the chairman, Oregon Republican Bob Packwood. In the committee's offices down the hall, jubilant committee staffers uncorked a case of champagne. In an auditorium downstairs where the deliberations were heard on an intercom, an overflow crowd of lobbyists hissed.

Packwood, who until two weeks ago seemed the least likely champion...

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