So, on tax day, President Obama has pledged to make future April 15ths less stressful by simplifying the tax code:

“It will take time to undo the damage of years of carve-outs and loopholes. But I want every American to know that we will rewrite the tax code so that it puts your interests over any special interest. And we will make it quicker, easier, and less expensive for you to file a return, so that April 15 is not a date that is approached with dread each year.”

Why do I have the feeling he’s not talking about a flat tax. Or replacing income taxes with a sales tax or a VAT tax. Or any other major overhaul. Unfortunately, while many presidents and others in Washington come into office with a sincere desire to simplify our tax system, the result is usually the opposite. New deductions and rules are added with the intent of making things fairer or easier, but all the old loopholes and convolutions remain in place, resulting in more frustration for the taxpayer.

Maybe I underestimate Obama’s commitment or abilities, but as long as our tax code is written by a Congress more interested in rewarding their own supporters than creating a simple system, all the presidential declarations in the world aren’t going to make April 15th any less painful.

Politics Simpler Tax Code? I’ll Believe It When I See It.