Though the presidential election of 2012 is still some time away, national politics have been in the thick of one for several months now. One of the top issues being debated is the tax code. Most agree that the tax code should be simplified, but to say that the proposals to do this are various is an understatement. This perennial question of reform has been a fixture of the national debate for a long time, so little of what can be said about it is particularly novel. All the same, a brief overview of the purposes behind our system of taxation and how they inform the present debate about tax reform is useful. The ultimate conclusion, unsatisfying as it may be, is that there are serious systemic obstacles to any substantive changes to the tax code.

Citation Note

This Comment was originally cited as Volume 1 of the University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform Online. Volumes 1, 2, and 3 of MJLR Online have been renumbered 45, 46, and 47 respectively. These updated Volume numbers correspond to their companion print Volumes. Additionally, the University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform Online was renamed Caveat in 2015.