That our government wastes a lot of money is news to no one. 

And while I strongly believe that our country needs to focus on health care policy and Social Security reform, since those are the main drivers of our debt problems, it never hurts to remember when you hear debates about budget cuts and taxes that there is plenty else that government is doing that ought to stop.

The staff of Senator Tom Coburn, one of Washington’s best at policing government waste, has created a regular email report on some of the ways that Washington carves out special deals in our tax code for selected special interest groups.    

The inaugural issue highlights how big-business sports leagues are saving money by being classified as “non-profits,” big banks and businesses are using tax breaks meant for family farms, and Indian tribes are using tax breaks to create amusement parks.  It’s an eye-opening list, and one that should remind people that the complicated tax code is a friend only to politicians and the special interests that manage to squeeze out special deals.  

Our ridiculously complicated tax code is bad for the economy for many reasons, but one of the main reasons is that it encourages businesses and organizations to allocate time and resources in bizarre ways to try to minimize their tax liability.  Surely our country can do better.