The IRS has a tough job requiring tough measures.
With a tax gap approaching $400 billion – that’s the estimate of annual unpaid taxes – the big brother of all agencies has its hands full collecting from scofflaws. And honest taxpayers suffer from fewer services and the effects of higher federal debt because of the shortfall.
But the IRS can make even innocent lives miserable just at the thought of the collections powers the revenooers possess.
I understand. There has to be some degree of fear factor to make people comply. However, having the power to expeditiously garnish pay, raid bank accounts and levy liens seems to be inspired by the Nancy Grace concept of justice – you are guilty until executed.
Power can be abused, so it is a good thing when the IRS has to face an angry Congress and White House and take some harsh medicine. As a result of its policy of targeting conservative non-profit groups, the IRS has overreached and deserves a smack-down. Singling out a specific ideology to measure up to a higher bar of compliance treads on freedom of speech, especially in the midst of a national election.
The general public already holds our tax system in low regard; this scandal made it worse. It will make compliance even more difficult as taxpayers push back on Congress to place limits on the agency’s power. The gap will grow faster.
However, for all the noise about whether there are too many non profits acting as a conduit for campaign contributions, you would think the IRS would have looked at the public unions right here in Los Angeles. The millions of dollars they have been lavishing on select candidates certainly cannot be for the benefit of society. The 2013 mayoral campaign set a record for spendingwith public union PACs backing Wendy Greuel setting the pace.
The best solution to this mess is to eliminate PAC and corporate contributions completely.
Fat chance when our elected officials depend on them.