The White House and House Republicans seem to be settling on a message of postcard-level simplicity for advancing their tax reform agenda.
White House budget director Mick Mulvaney on Tuesday emphasized the simplicity angle of tax reform: "[I]f it's a simpler tax code ... people are more likely to pay. That simply makes sense. If you can really fill out your tax returns on a single piece of paper, you're much more likely to actually do it. It's also easier for us to see if you're paying the right amount. A simpler code is easy for you to pay and easy for the government to see if you're paying the right amount…"
House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., expressed a similar desire in an interview with the Washington Examiner on Wednesday.
"Policy is going to be focused on making the code simpler, lowering rates for everybody, and… oh by the way it's going to be so easy that over 90% of Americans can actually do their tax returns on a postcard. That's a powerful message that not many people are talking about."
Scalise continued, "I can't fill out my own tax return and if I call this 1-800 number five different times, I literally get five different answers from the IRS because they don't even know what this tax code means. So how can I do my own taxes when I can't afford to pay a CPA. For over 90% of Americans we believe will fill out their taxes on a post card. That gets people excited about the reforms."
He also said that reducing rates, fully repealing the death tax, and reducing the number of tax brackets from seven to three are all chief Republican goals.