Champions of a simpler, more fair tax system should take heart at the growing chorus of top government leaders clamoring for reform.

It grew a bit more Friday when Vice President Mike Pence returned to his native state to further discuss plans of the Trump administration to deal with the issue.

U.S. Rep. Todd Rokita, R-Ind., a Munster native, effectively summarized one of the most glaring problems with the U.S. tax code earlier in the week.

"In 1935, income tax instructions were two pages long. Today they are 241 pages. According to the Tax Foundation, the federal tax code is more than six times as long as it was in 1955.

"There is no reason we can't return to a simpler, fairer tax code that doesn't require professional help to navigate and doesn't result in billions of hours in lost productivity and billions of dollars in wasted money," Rokita wrote in a guest column.

That the burdensome tax code has so many citizens perplexed and essentially double-taxed with expensive tax-filing services to make sense of it all is bad enough.

But it becomes even more unacceptable when businesses leave our nation for friendlier shores to escape the code's complexity and cost.

Meanwhile, some federal leaders have reported that American companies keep trillions of dollars in profits in offshore accounts because the United States has the highest corporate tax rate of the industrialized world.

Our nation needs tax policies that ensure citizens and businesses alike are paying fair shares of our nation's expenses.

Any and all unfair loopholes should be closed for the good of our country. Credits that aid families with working parents should be preserved.

But we also need a code that's welcoming to both citizens and businesses alike.

It's a common sense approach Indiana's state and congressional leaders should be demanding of the federal government.


Members of The Times Editorial Board are Publisher Christopher T. White, Editorial Page Editor Marc Chase, Editor Bob Heisse, Politics/History Editor Doug Ross and Managing Editor Erin Orr.