Forget House reforms – Congress likes the IRS just the way it is

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Apr 16, 2015 1 Comment ›› admin

by Lynn Woolley

There’s one thing about the Internal Revenue Service that everyone should understand. No matter how many times “reform” is brought up – or tax simplification — most members of Congress have no intention of abolishing the IRS. IRS-Building1

When they “reform” it – as the House of Representative is now suggesting, they typically make it even more complex.

Most of us don’t like it very much.

It makes life difficult having to keep receipts and worry about compliance – and then buy a program to calculate it, or hire a CPA. Members of Congress happily have their taxes done because they know that the IRS is what gives them power over the people. They can sell tax favors to wealthy contributors, and get lots of free stuff from the K Street lobbyists. Trust me on this: If Congress really wanted to abolish the IRS, it would be abolished.

Tax Code complexity keeps the masses under control.

The 16th Amendment — opposed at the time of its passage by the New York Times – put the hand of government into the pockets of the citizenry. It reminds me of an old Johnny Carson routine:

Carson: It was really cold today!
Audience: How cold was it?
Carson: It was so cold that I saw a politician with his hand in his own pocket.

Followed by laughter, of course. But it’s true. Government wastes money like to other institution can (any other institution would go out of business), and then taxes some more, borrows more, and keeps spending. President Obama is among the guiltiest. Free junior college? Really? But member of Congress from both parties are no better when it comes to spending our money.

The latest reforms in the House of Representatives are mild.

This new package of bills is aimed at keeping liberals inside the IRS from targeting conservative groups. It would also have the opposite effect, but conservatives are not as prone to go after political enemies in such a way. (Not that they never do; it’s just that Democrats are better at it.)

The new bills picked up support from some democrats and passed on voice votes. That’ll show that Lois Lerner. (Ms. Lerner must be laughing her head off. She got away with a lot of crap.)

Video: 5/22/13 – Lois Lerner Director of the IRS Exempt Organizations division pleads the Fifth Amendment during testimony before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

So if these bills pass – and that is a big IF – the next Lois Lerner might not be able to use the IRS to punish Tea Party groups. Here’s what Rep. Paul Ryan, head of the Ways & Means Committee, said:

“These bills are aimed at one thing: recognizing that the IRS works for the taxpayer, not the other way around.”

This would be a good place to insert a laugh track. Does Ryan really believe that the culture of the IRS is ever going to be that it works for the people?

Video: Rep. Paul Ryan questions IRS Commissioner John Koskinen in June 2014.

Number One – if Rep. Ryan really believes that, he should seek professional help. Number Two: the idea of having the IRS is to use it as a Gestapo to intimidate the dickens out of anyone who doesn’t pay up. If Al Capone were still around, he could testify to that. There are obvious exceptions, but she’s running for the Democratic nomination.

What’s in these bills is not important.

But I can tell you this. The Democrats are going along to save face in the wake of the Lerner scandal, while admitting nothing about any possible crimes. And when the Democrats and the Republicans agree on anything regarding the IRS, we are all in trouble. I’d like to hear somebody in government question the authority of the IRS to have anything to do with grassroots political organizations.

Conversely, Tea parties and Occupy Wall Streeters should not ask for tax favors.

Nor should churches. When you get tax breaks from the government, the government wants its pound of flesh, which usually comes in the form of restrictions and other controls. The only real solution is to abolish the IRS. Two presidential candidates have brought it up. Ted Cruz and Mike Huckabee. Marco Rubio has proposed some complicated tax reforms that would be more of the same.

The Fair Tax seems, well, fair.

This particular idea, which would abolish the IRS and establish a national consumption tax is not a VAT (beware of those), and it protects the poor. It is naturally progressive since the rich spend more money. It would eliminate the need to worry about deductions and compliance. It would save billion if not trillion in tax preparation costs. It would stimulate the economy. Huckabee likes it and so does…er…

Video: Huckabee on the Fair Tax

But we have the IRS and we are going to have it.

Congress has the ability to abolish it. No Congress has ever come close. None in our lifetimes ever will. Who controls the IRS controls the people. Congressmen go to Washington somewhat well off and leave Washington (usually by way of death) very rich.

Like Harry Reid.

Like Charles Rangel.

Like the late John Murtha.

Ask yourself — would you abolish the IRS if you were in Congress? Not if you wanted some lobbyist to give you free tickets to Washington Nationals games. Not if you wanted big campaign contributions from billionaires. Not if you could sell you vote to some mega corporation.

To Congress, the IRS is simply too good a deal to let it go.

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  1. There are two things that strike me as problems with the Fair Tax:
    1) It would convert the current Social Security pension plan to a marxist welfare system by eliminating the 7.65% payroll deduction while continuing payments to retirees that are independent of income. (Actually, the payroll deduction is 14 percent, because of the so-called employer contribution. The real calculation looks like this: ([7.65% + 7.65%] / [100% + 7.65%]) = 14%.)
    2) The pre-bate that is part of the fair tax system amounts to a welfare system that is applied to everybody, independent of income. For stay-at-home bums, the pre-bate is indistinquishable from welfare.

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