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UNITED STATES - APRIL 06: Rep. Dave Camp, R-Mich., right, Chairman of the Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT), and Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., Vice Chairman, conduct a discussion of the JTC on the topic of reforming the U.S. Internal Revenue Code in the Capitol Visitor Center. Also attending were James A. Baker III, former Treasury Secretary, and Dick Gephardt, former House Minority Leader, who were architects of 1986 tax reform plan. (Photo By Tom Williams/Roll Call)
Tom Williams/Roll CallRep. Dave Camp, R-Mich., right, and Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont.
Each year, the average American doing her own taxes spends 13 hours just on pretax planning, gathering records and such -- and that's before filling out the first line of her tax return. That adds up to about 6 billion hours being wasted annually, and it's one of the many reasons why U.S. Rep. Dave Camp (R-Mich), chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, and Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.), the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, came together Thursday to launch a new online platform where people can suggest the changes they want to see in the tax code.

Through TaxReform.gov, the congressmen hope to start a discussion between lawmakers and everyday folks about the difficulties they have with the system, and use their suggestions to devise a modern new tax code. Previous attempts to modify the tax code have only added more layers of complexity to it, as well as building in loopholes that allow corporations and the wealthy to evade taxes.

Because of their roles as the heads of the two congressional committees that germinate tax law, any genuine change in the tax code will start with (or at the very least, near) Baucus and Camp, and they want the public to help them make it happen. "We are dedicated to writing bills in an open and transparent fashion. No cutting deals behind closed doors," they state on their website.

A perfect tax system might be too ambitious a goal for the imperfect world of politics, but Baucus and Camp hope to simplify it and make it more fair for American families. If you'd like to help them, they're waiting for your input.


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