Tax Reform Game: How Low Will Obama Go?


"A dreaded day is coming: tax day -- complete with needless forms, confusing instructions, and piles of paperwork. New Jersey's middle class families deserve better," said Menendez in a statement. "Real reform will wake millions of Americans up from this nightmare, eliminate special deals, and lower taxes for hardworking families and small businesses. That's not a fantasy land, that's real tax reform based on common sense."

In other parts of Capitol Hill, other groups are weighing in on the discussion.

Tonight, five lawmakers are expected to participate in the "first ever" Tea Party town hall and lower taxes are among the issues most likely to be discussed. The event, hosted by the Tea Party Express and, will feature an "interactive dialogue" between Sens. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, Rand Paul, R-Ky., Mike Lee, R-Utah, Reps. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., Steve King, R-Iiowa, and a 70-member audience. The town hall, at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., will also feature pre-submitted questions to the lawmakers through YouTube.

Levi Russell, communications director for the Tea Party Express, said his organization encourages tax reform though Tea Party members are debating about how to reform the tax code much like members of Congress. He said he does not have a timeline by which Congress and the White House would actually implement tax reform.

"We advocate for changes in code that encourage small businesses and investment and lead to growing jobs and stimulating the economy," said Russell. "Our standpoint is that we push to get the right people in office and trust their judgement. We're willing to give members the freedom to make the right decision without telling them how to do their jobs day by day."

The House Ways and Means committee is also trying to move the discussion forward by hosting a series of hearings entitled "Fundamental Tax Reform." The committee held their first meeting on Jan. 20. Michelle Dimarob, a senior advisor for the committee, said upcoming hearings will be announced soon.

"We are at the beginning of a dialogue," wrote Dimarob in an e-mail. She said the input of the committee, Congress, the White House and "most of all, the input of the American people" will guide the discussion about tax reform.

The road ahead to tax reform promises to be a long one. According to the Government Accountability Office, in 2009 the US Tax Code was over 67,000 pages long.

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