You see, pushing for complete overhaul of something as broken as our current income tax system, when the overhaul doesn't benefit some major source of political power in Washington, is never viewed as smart politics. So rather than fight for an end of a form of taxation that results in putting a burden on initiative and risk; requires a bloated bureaucracy to enforce its intricacies; and supports a world of big accounting and law firms, the real legislative push this year will be for the so-called "privatization" of Social Security.
Now that's something that might fly, right? After all, allowing taxpayers to put some cash away in private funds might just give a big boost to those who handle investments. Not that I'm opposed to the concept. But with a thousand questions out there about the proposal's cost and workability, this proposal seems far more radical and risky than the life-altering taxation change proposed by Linder.
The fact is that John Linder has devoted his entire adult life to advancing truly conservative ideas. And on a personal note, I write this knowing full well that I am not someone he particularly enjoys reading. But unlike some of his colleagues in the House, I can shove aside the fact that John Linder is not my biggest fan and recognize his immense value.
He is as thorough in his research and planning as anyone who has ever set foot in the House. And while he is not warm and fuzzy, he is sharp and competent, which is much more than can be said about most in his business.
And he is no outsider. During Newt Gingrich's stint as House speaker, Linder played a critical role as head of the Republican Congressional Committee. GOP hardcore members will recall that the 1998 version of that effort turned out less than spectacular. But take it from one who knows -- the problems with the Republican battle that year were not of Linder's making.
And so, some six years later, we head into a new year with hopes of a true overhaul of our tax system probably having little more chance of coming to pass than Linder being tapped for Rules chairman. I've said it once and I'll say it again -- the Republican Party needs to go back to its Ronald Reagan philosophy of governance. They can start by giving John Linder and his proposal the respect they deserve.