A few days before our tax returns were due, the Tax Policy Center held a forum that explored some of the idiotic tax laws that Capitol Hill creates and how the IRS adds insult to injury.
Please note the use of the present tense in the last portion of that preceding sentence. Future tense (and future tax stupidity) is implied.
The forum's main address, entitled "Stupid Tax Tricks," was by Leonard Burman, Senior Fellow at the Urban Institute and Director of the Tax Policy Center.
Some of the provisions, he notes, are simply pork barrel spending dressed up as tax code. Others are good tax intentions gone awry.
Burman, who served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Clinton administration, said the joke back then was that when Bill felt someone's pain, the staff scrambled to invent a new tax credit for that sympathy. (See, Democrats can laugh at themselves!)
To find out about a collection of stupid tax breaks -- such as the hybrid tax credit that, as set up, encourages people to buy less fuel efficient vehicles or the tax break for producing energy from poultry waste and other "renewable" sources -- listen to Burman's podcast.
You also can visit this Web page to read about the Tax Policy Center forum, where you'll find audio links to the event's other presentations.