[IMGCAP(1)]The 2012 Republican presidential nomination contest brought taxes front and center. The subject of tax reform -- not just tax rates -- was part of our national political dialogue. Some advocated fundamental reform and even the addition of a consumption tax. Remember Herman Cain’s 9-9-9 Plan? Nominees Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan kept the subject alive during the general election, but shifted the conversation about individual income taxes to an equation balancing lower rates with limits on deductions. President Obama narrowed the focus still further, to that of tax rates paid by the wealthy.

As many have said, the appallingly modest legislative package enacted in early January does little to address our nation’s long-term fiscal health. Delaying action on significant deficit reduction neither restores confidence in government, nor does much to convince business owners that it is safe to expand payrolls and invest in property and equipment. Unfortunately, recent events also make fundamental tax reform, already a heavy lift, much less likely.

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