Published February 23, 2013
Catching monkeys, simplifying tax lawLAWRENCE SIMINSKI
I am told that the way they catch monkeys in Africa is as follows: They start with a jar with a handle on the side. A rope is tied to a nearby tree and to the handle of the jar. Then a whole fruit large enough to just fit through the hole in the top of the jar is dropped into the jar, and left there. The monkey comes up to the jar, reaches into the jar to grab the fruit but he cannot remove the fruit because his fingers on the fruit prevent him from doing so. He can let go of the fruit and walk away; but won’t. So the human walks up to the jar and grabs the monkey. The monkey apparently knows he has the option to let go and be free but cannot let the fruit in hand go in order to do it. Tax simplification is a lot like that. All we have to do is let go of the home mortgage deduction and we can be free of the complication. But we won’t. We let Congress make monkeys out of all of us.