Paul L. Caron

Monday, September 27, 2004

Bush Says Tax Code Is "A Million Pages Long"; Overshoots By 983,000 Pages

Monday, September 27, 2004

Sunday's Washington Post reports that president Bush recently misspoke about the length of the tax code:

Looks as though President Bush is due for an audit of his tax code facts. "The tax code is a complicated mess," he said in Bangor, Maine, on Thursday. "You realize, it's a million pages long." Most Americans probably did not realize it was that long, because it is not. It is, in fact, 17,000 pages long, according to such experts as the conservative Heritage Foundation and Rep. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.). That's still pretty messy, but only one-fiftieth as messy as Bush asserts.

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I just read in the past couple of weeks that the Federal Tax Code increased from over 65,000 pages to 66,000+ pages. I am a tax preparer taking continuing education classes to prepare myself for the next tax season.

Posted by: Pam | Sep 16, 2006 11:37:16 AM

Sometimes people exaggerate to make their point. I doubt anyone seriously thought he was speaking literally. I've never seen an estimate as small as 2100 pages. I'm curious about where that number came from. I've looked for a definitive statement on the tax code's length, but you see everything from 17,000 to 4800 to 50,000. The copy of the tax code I used for my law school taxation course was approximately 1800 pages long. HOWEVER, that was an abridged version, containing only INCOME TAX statutes and regs. Based on that information, I find it highly improbable that the entire tax code is only 2100 pages long. Perhaps Title 26, the section devoted to income tax alone, is around 2100 pages...but that's a very different thing from the entire tax code.

Posted by: Jessica Gullett | Jan 14, 2006 5:47:35 PM

The tax code is not only not a million pages long, it's not close to 17,000 pages long either.

It's around 2,100 pages long.

Posted by: Bob Wells | Oct 12, 2004 2:09:33 PM

I think anyone would realize that President Bush was simply making a statement that the tax code is excessively complex. As far as I'm concerned, at 17000 pages, it might as well be a million pages.

Steve Lockridge
Bush/Cheney '04
Real Leaders. Not Politicians.

Posted by: Steve Lockridge | Oct 2, 2004 8:01:43 PM

What if you include the regs?

Posted by: Mike | Sep 28, 2004 4:01:25 PM

Yeah, because 17,000 pages isn't really that much. 17k or 1 million? Either way, that's a sh*tload of pages.

Posted by: Bob Sackimano | Sep 27, 2004 9:44:21 AM