Air travelers familiar with the O'Hare to LaGuardia orHartsfield to LaGuardia routes (or most flights to LaGuardia for that matter)have resigned themselves to the fact that delays and cancellations are a factof life.

The weather in New York could mirror Georges Seurat's"A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte" and yourafternoon flight will most likely depart or land roughly the time Jay Lenofinishes his monologue.

I dredge up this painful scenario only because taxreform, or any related action thereof, is, in fact, beginning to lookfrighteningly like LaGuardia's departures and arrivals board.

I take you back to January of 2005 when then PresidentGeorge W. Bush established a bi-partisan panel with a rather simple, yetimposing charge: reform the Tax Code to make it simpler, fairer and morepro-growth.

The panel conducted a series of meetings over the ensuingmonths, (including several of its members visiting the editorial offices ofAccounting Today) in an effort to elicit suggestions and advice on reformmeasures. At the end of the year, the group submitted its report to theTreasury Secretary and exactly nothing happened.


Flash forward to the tax subcommittee of the President'sEconomic Recovery Advisory Board formed under President Obama, and headed byformer Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker. Now, one could make a powerfulargument on how badly Volcker's expertise is being underutilized by anadministration seemingly befuddled by the complexities of the economy, butthat's fodder for another column.

The mandate was more or less similar to theBush-established reform panel, that is to debate tax simplification, enforceexisting tax laws, but also, reform the corporate tax system withoutconsidering policies that would raise taxes on families making less than$250,000.

In any event, the PERAB tax committee was scheduled torelease its report last Friday, but to no one's surprise has decided to delaythe reform outline due to an influx of more than 500 online submissions on taxreform.

On the White House blog, Volcker said"I want us to review as manysuggestions as possible and to have sufficient time to fully consider thehundreds of suggestions that have come in already."

The subcommittee said it would reopen the Web submissionform and extend the deadline for any suggestions in keeping with its marchingorders. Suggestions may also be submitted via e-mail to

Volcker said that the group would most likely report backto the administration after the holidays.

I wouldn't bet on that.

Tax reform is not something that can be pushed throughwith a four-week extension. It will be a long and involved process for sure,but something resembling progress has to happen in 2010.

Because like passengers at LaGuardia, the tax-payingcitizenry are becoming weary of delays.

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