The latest indictment of the tax code comes from the dropouts of three Presidential nominees. Two more sitting public servants are under a cloud. If we had the Fair Tax instead of today's tax code, all would have been serving - cloud-free.
The tax code forced New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson, who would have been America's first Hispanic-American Commerce Secretary, to bow out. The tax code forced Tom Daschle, nominated for Health and Human Services, to withdraw his nomination. Finally, the tax code forced Nancy Killefer, the President's pick for Chief Performance Officer, to remover her name from consideration.
Two other public officials, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and Congressman Charlie Rangel, who are primarily responsible for legislating and administering today's tax code, themselves have been entangled in tax issues.
If prominent people such as these are deterred from public service by the tax code, there are certainly thousands more qualified people at the state and local level whom the tax code discourages from stepping forward.
The answer is the Fair Tax - a national retail consumption tax that replaces the income tax, estate taxes and the payroll tax. The Fair Tax is fair to low-income people, efficient, supportive of economic growth, and - above all - simple and transparent. With the Fair Tax, the tax code will no longer get in the way of qualified public servants.
Summit, New Jersey
Mr. Bennett is the New Jersey State Volunteer Co-Director of Americans for Fair Taxation