Monday, May 20, 2013

IRS America’s bloated system.

IRS Inspector General Russell George (left) and Steven MillerApril that the IRS singled out conservative groups for scrutiny, but the officials decided not to inform President Obama of the issue, White House spokesman Jay Carney said Monday. Ha hoe hum. So it goes with the White House claim that it knew nothing — nothing! — about the ** targeting of conservative groups by the Internal Revenue Service.
OK. We are all honest tax paying Americans ( or at least some ) we give our fair share and expect that our Governmental is well behaved .Is the IRS turning into a kind of common enemy of Average Americans . After all we are paying way too many taxes , we have already seen our government squander our tax dollars into wars on drugs and terror . Hardly any benefit to us Simple: because the government needs money, and this is not likely to change. Millions of Americans owe a lot of money to the IRS. Not many of us would volunteer to pay if not for the threat of the IRS enforcement.The first income tax was enacted in 1862 to fund the Civil War. During that war a person who earned from $600 to $10,000 a year was taxed at a rate of 3%, which was not too onerous considering the fact that the federal government was financing an enormous active military effort. People who earned more than ten thousand dollars paid a higher rate of taxation. Sales taxes were increased and the first “inheritance” tax was imposed. The Act of 1862 created the office of Commissioner of Internal Revenue. The Commissioner was given the power to enforce the tax laws by prosecution and by the seizure of earnings and private property. The income tax was abolished in 1872, but was briefly revived in 1894-95. In 1895 the Supreme Court declared the income tax to be a violation of the United States Constitution and therefore illegal.Today America has an enormous, complex and deliberately bewildering tax code which, in its ponderous printed bulk, makes all of the world’s written moral codes  what has America’s bloated bloodsucking taxation bureaucracy been up to lately? Well. . .a recent examination of Internal Revenue Service employees by the Treasury Department’s inspector general has determined that these taxpayer-supported parasites spend more than half of their on-line time at work visiting chat rooms, gambling, making stock trades and drooling over video pornography.
Deputy inspector general for tax affairs, Pamela Gardiner, put 16,000 I.R.S. employees under the microscope and discovered that most of their time at work was spent attending to personal business. Almost a quarter of the I.R.S. staff hung out in chat rooms. A fifth of them spent their time researching personal financial information. Seven percent spent their time shopping. Many of them frequented gambling and pornography services. So, to hell with you Mister and Ms Taxpayer.
Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) says he is not happy about the crappy state of affairs at the I.R.S. He noted that during this year’s tax season 37% of taxpayers calling the I.R.S. for tax information didn’t get their calls answered at all. The sorry tax slaves who did manage to get a response were given wrong answers almost half of the time (47%). Grassley wondered aloud whether I.R.S. employees were ignoring taxpayer inquiries because they were engrossed in personal activities online.
In a separate investigation, the I.R.S. inspector general monitored 82,000 incoming e-mails at the I.R.S. and discovered that almost half of them (47% again) involved non-business matters such as daily jokes, high school reunion news and news blurbs from pop-culture websites.
A wise government would never abuse its citizens this way. A dignified people would never tolerate such abuse. In a democratic republic (America?) the citizens could actually abolish a tyrannical and wasteful taxing authority. They could secure their private property. They could send the parasites packing. They could repeal the Sixteenth Amendment. It would only require determination. Two IRS managers have already lost their jobs, and it seems likely that others will, too, as Congress conducts hearings to determine who's at fault, and who bears the political responsibility. But the criminal prosecutions that some members of Congress are calling for seem unlikely and far fetched  This scandal is about bureaucratic screw-ups and inefficiency, not political manipulation of the IRS, which the American public has reason to fear.


** There are many ways to influence people or an organization, so in investigating the IRS audits of conservative groups, although it would be convincing (and legally determinative) to find a secret tape or a secret email from Obama ordering the policy, that really wasn’t necessary in order to let the IRS know what he wanted. Obama set the tone as a matter of public record, through speeches that were not the least bit subtle:
The president derided “tea baggers*.” Vice President Joe Biden compared them to “terrorists.” In more than a dozen speeches Mr. Obama raised the specter that these groups represented nefarious interests that were perverting elections. “Nobody knows who’s paying for these ads,” he warned. “We don’t know where this money is coming from,” he intoned.
In case the IRS missed his point, he raised the threat of illegality: “All around this country there are groups with harmless-sounding names like Americans for Prosperity, who are running millions of dollars of ads against Democratic candidates . . . And they don’t have to say who exactly the Americans for Prosperity are. You don’t know if it’s a foreign-controlled corporation.”
Short of directly asking federal agencies to investigate these groups, this is as close as it gets.

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