Even though I struggled through all the forms and redundant calculations in my 2010 income tax package weeks ago, I am still shaking my head. Albert Einstein said any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex but it takes a touch of genius – and a lot of courage – to move in the opposite direction.
The recent election campaign demonstrated once again how self-serving politicians, in their desperate desire to get elected, will promise inattentive voters a wide variety of elaborate programs. Over the years government bureaucrats, not known for genius, have been forced to invent more and more convoluted regulations and formulas to implement and finance these election promises.
Einstein’s insight can be applied to the inefficiencies of government in the following way: In the absence of courageous genius, when self-serving politicians interact with inattentive voters the predictable result is an increase in the amount of bureaucratic mismanagement and in the number of complex regulations.
If a political leader with a touch of genius – and a lot of courage – sincerely promises to simplify the Income Tax Act, he or she will get my vote.