Video: Taxing times

updated 4/15/2009 7:39:26 PM ET 2009-04-15T23:39:26

President Barack Obama said Wednesday that he aims to take the dread out of tax-filing day.

Obama said at a White House event that he's working toward "a simpler tax code that rewards work and the pursuit of the American dream."

"For too long, we've seen taxes used as a wedge to scare people into supporting policies that increased the burden on working people instead of helping them live their dreams," Obama said. "That has to change, and that's the work that we've begun."

Obama also met at the White House with several working families to mark April 15 — known notoriously as file-or-else day — and underscore his efforts to make the tax code more fair and less complex.

He noted April 15 "isn't exactly everyone's favorite date on the calendar." But Obama said the day is a reminder to leaders in Washington that they have a responsibility to the people who elected them.

The president noted that he's asked his economic advisers to thoroughly review how to simplify the tax code and report back to him by year's end.

"We need to simplify a monstrous tax code that is far too complicated for most Americans to understand, but just complicated enough for the insiders who know how to game the system," Obama said.

"It will take time to undo the damage of years of carve-outs and loopholes," he added. "But I want every American to know that we will rewrite the tax code so that it puts your interests over any special interest. And we will make it quicker, easier, and less expensive for you to file a return, so that April 15 is not a date that is approached with dread each year."

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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