CCAGW JOINS TAX REFORM ALLIANCE | Council For Citizens Against Government Waste


Press Release

For Immediate ReleaseContact:  Sean Rushton or Melissa Naudin
December 7, 2000(202) 467-5300


Washington, D.C. – The Council Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) today joined the Coalition for Fundamental Tax Reform, an alliance of tax organizations, citizen groups, trade associations, and a bipartisan coalition of members of Congress to announce its formation and push for fundamental tax reform.

“At this point, no honest observer can deny that the federal tax code is fundamentally broken and in need of major reform,” CAGW Tom Schatz said.  “The U.S. tax system is a major disadvantage to businesses and a drag on the economy.  It wastes mountains of money and time every year that could be used productively.  This coalition will educate the public on the problem and build a grassroots consensus for change.”

Some facts about the tax system’s waste:

  • Over 6 billion hours are spent filing out IRS forms, more than all the man-hours worked in the auto, computer, and airline industries combined.
  • When the income tax started in 1913, the IRS code was 16 pages long; today it’s 2,840 pages, twice the size of Tolstoy’s War and Peace.
  • The IRS issues 8 billion pages of forms every year, enough to encircle the Earth 28 times.
  • Americans spend $200 billion a year on tax compliance.
  • On some forms the IRS must ask 42 questions to establish whether one is head of a household.
  • Combined, government consumed 43 percent of the nation’s income last year.
  • The median two-earner family pays approximately $23,000 per year to all levels of government.
  • Tax evasion costs an estimated $200 billion in lost revenues per annum.
  • When Money magazine asked 46 professional tax preparers to calculate a hypothetical family's tax return in 1997, they responded with 46 different answers.  
  • According to a Harris Poll conducted in 1999, nearly 60 percent of all taxpayers seek assistance to file their tax returns each year. 
  • The federal government took $13,500 per worker out of the economy last year, nearly 50 percent more than in 1993 and more than twice the collection of 1987.

CCAGW is the lobbying arm of Citizens Against Government Waste, a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating waste, fraud, mismanagement and abuse in government.


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