You can now read 10 articles in a month for free on BostonGlobe.com. Read as much as you want anywhere and anytime for just 99¢.

The Boston Globe

Opinion

JOHN E. SUNUNU

Simplify the tax code

It will be an involved and painful process, but reform is necessary

In Washington, being right doesn’t guarantee success. Sometimes, assembling the right team, or laying out the right process, or having more stamina than anyone else can make the difference. Sometimes you need all three.

In 1986, two very different personalities on opposite sides of the Capitol had the same idea. Representative Dan Rostenkowski, a Democrat, and Senator Bob Packwood, a Republican, each decided that they would personally lead the effort to reform America’s tax code. Never short on ego, the two tax committee chairmen threw themselves into the task. After months of tortuous negotiations, they emerged with a bill that lowered rates across the board while repealing hundreds of tax breaks. Tip O’Neill blessed it, Ronald Reagan signed it, and, for the first time in decades, the tax code was simpler.

Loading comments...

You have reached the limit of 10 free articles in a month

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week