Paul L. Caron

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Presidential Tax Lawyers

Cox_2 We previously blogged the "Shop Talk" column in the Journal of Taxation on John Cox, the long-shot 2008 Republican presidential candidate who bragged about reading "the entire Internal Revenue Code, the regulations and something called the BNA portfolios on taxes -- all cover to cover."  The column noted that, if elected, Cox would be the first Presidential tax lawyer.   

Mckinley_5This month's "Shop Talk" column corrects the record -- President William McKinley was not only a tax lawyer, but was Chair of the House Ways & Means Committee and the author of a book on taxes.  In addition, John Nance Garner, Vice-President under FDR from 1932-40, was a tax lawyer and the Democrats' tax policy leader from 1913-32.  Moreover, Wilbur Mills was a tax lawyer who served as Chair of the House Ways & Means Committee and later abandoned his quest for the Presidency in 1972.  Mills reportedly bragged about having memorized the entire Internal Revenue Code.

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Mills, and the rest of Congress, were involved in another scandal: the tax code itself. It's too long, too complicated and too prone to corruption.

At least Cox has this right - we need to clear the decks and start over with a new way of taxing that doesn't include this abomination.

Posted by: Steve | Oct 30, 2006 6:44:19 PM

Yes, Wilber Mills was the guys froliking in teh Capital Fountain with a stripper named Fanny Fox.

But like anyone else who has seen the full Code, Regulations (just the final, or did he include the proposed and temporary Regulations) and the BNA Portfolio library on teh shelf in the Firm library back in the days of paper, I call B.S. No person alive has enough insomnia to have read it all cover to cover.

Oh well, wouldn't be the first politician to "stretch" the truth into a full fledged whopper.

Posted by: GABA | Oct 25, 2006 1:12:57 PM

Wasn't Mills involved in some sort of sex scandal? That and memorizing the tax code would be quite a full plate.

Posted by: Virginia | Oct 25, 2006 11:23:07 AM