I wholeheartedly agree with Allan Sloan’s complaints about the complexity of the tax code [“For accountants, ‘fiscal cliff’ deal delivers job security,” Economy & Business, Jan. 5]. In fact, the complexity of the tax code imposes a hidden tax on millions of Americans by forcing them to use paid tax preparers or to purchase computer software to complete their own tax returns.

If I could dictate one change in the law to combat this problem, it would be this: Every senator and representative must complete his or her own tax return without the assistance of any other person, without the use of any computer program, using only paper, pen and IRS forms and instructions. My guess is that this one change, if enacted, would quickly lead to a more comprehensive solution to the problem.

Richard Juhnke, Arlington

Eugene Robinson [“Capitol clown questions,” op-ed, Jan. 4] was correct about what our leaders need to do: Encourage economic recovery, and take prudent steps to reduce the long-term debt problem. But Mr. Robinson erred when he lamented that no new stimulus was included in the recent “fiscal cliff” legislation. I would submit that the real stimulus is not money but certainty.

Historically, the American people have been very good playing the hand dealt them. What the administration and Congress must do is stop shuffling the cards and deal them.

People and business must know what lies ahead, not for a few months but for the long term. Once they have this information, they can adjust their planning and investment accordingly and grow their businesses. That is when permanent jobs will be created and the needed revenue will start to flow to reduce the debt and make long-term corrections to social spending easier to accomplish.

Jack Weyand, Rehoboth Beach, Del.