What the World Was Like the Last Time the Tax Code was Substantially Updated

A Changing World Requires A Modern Tax Code

MacIver News Service | November 23, 2015

[Madison, Wisc…] The last time the federal government seriously reformed the tax code, most millennials were not yet born. In a changing world now ruled by new media and technology, let’s take a look at what the world looked like when President Reagan signed the Tax Reform Act of 1986.

1. A typewriter was the tool business used to get things done.

And it should be noted that the obsolete technology that was the facsimile machine has withered away to nothing since 1986.

2. Gas cost 89 cents a gallon.

Compare that to the current national average of $2.101 and the statewide average of $2.117.

3. IBM released the first laptop.

It cost $2000, or almost $4,300 today when accounting for inflation. It offered 256 kB of RAM and was the first IBM computer to use a 3.5″ floppy disk.

4. Camcorders were hitting it big, with over a million sold in 1986 compared to half that the year before.

They averaged about $975, which translates to $2,076 in 2015 accounting for inflation.

5. Top Gun was the highest grossing movie of the year.

2014’s top grossing movie, Transformers: Age of Extinction, had just a bit more CGI.

6. Pretty in Pink was released.

The cult classic featured then-superstar Molly Ringwald.

7. Mike Tyson became the youngest Heavyweight Champion in history.

He didn’t get the face tattoo until almost 20 years later.

8. Pixar was founded.

It has since produced classics such as “Toy Story,” “Finding Nemo,” “Monsters, Inc.,” and “Up.”

9. “We are the World” won the Grammy for Best Song of the Year.

Co-writers Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie took the Grammys home.

10. Nintendo came to America, and “The Legend of Zelda” was first released.

It was the first time Link and Zelda were introduced to the world.

The world has changed in too many ways to count. Almost all of the technology-related items tax complexity.png on this list can now be watched or played on a single device which costs less than it ever has before.

Another thing that has changed: since 1986, the length of the tax code has more than tripled.

It’s time to clean it up and make comprehensive tax reform happen.

Thank you to the Tax Foundation for this chart.