WASHINGTON - As taxpayers recover from finishing their annual filing chores, a presidential commission studying the tax laws has reached the conclusion that there are just too many deductions and credits.
Two credits, a deduction and special savings plans help taxpayers cut college costs; special urban and rural tax zones encourage investment and job creation; dozens of other tax benefits help families raise children and save for retirement, encourage adoption, nudge drivers toward hybrid cars and push businesses to invest in new equipment.
"We have lost sight of the fact that the fundamental purpose of our tax system is to raise revenues to fund government," according to President Bush's advisory panel on federal tax reform.
The panel's chairman, former Florida Sen. Connie Mack, said its nine members have been surprised at the number of tax deductions and credits.
The White House budget office ranks the cost of a deduction for businesses that provide health insurance to employees as the top tax break, worth $126 billion next year. Also high on the list are mortgage interest deductions, a capital gains break for home sales, a break for charitable giving and the child tax credit.
Yeah: Connie Mack is a Republican.
Who else is on the committee? Read it here.