When there are so many real issues that need our attention, why are Republicans going around the country defaming the Internal Revenue Service? They have succeeded in cutting that agency’s budget and crippling it in various other ways. The GOP opposed a major computer upgrade when the IRS’s computers were about four or five generations behind being “modern.” And they continuously beat the drum with how wicked and evil the IRS is, and how bloated the tax code is.
This is abject idiocy. First, the IRS is not responsible for the tax code, Congress is. So, here we have the picture of Congressional Republicans going around the country blaming the IRS for the bloated state of the federal tax codes which is actually their responsibility. WTF?
So, do Republicans want tax code reform? I say “no,” and there are myriad reasons supporting this. The first is simply to watch their actions, instead of their words. Between 2001 and 2006, the GOP had control of the White House, the House, and the Senate. Anything they wanted to do they could. Did they even attempt any tax reform? No.
That could be the end of my argument … but wait, there’s more! How many pages of the federal tax code do you think are necessary to cover all of the rules needed for you to file your tax return? Fifty? One hundred? So, why are there thousands and thousands of pages in the tax code? They are there to provide tax loopholes for rich people and corporations, you know, so that hedge fund managers making billions of dollars annually never leave the lowest tax bracket (15%) while middle class folks making $50K-60K make it at least into the 28% bracket. People talk about tax havens in the Bahamas and Cayman Islands like they were the idea of those countries. when actually, they were created by the U.S. tax code. I wonder how those codes got written, hmmm?
Now we are getting a sniff of what the GOP’s minions are really doing: they like the bloated tax codes because they wrote much of it (Democrats, too) to give their rich patrons tax breaks; they just don’t want the IRS enforcing any of the more punitive parts of that code. Their approach is the same as with environment regulations: corporations don’t need environmental regulations; we can trust them to respect the environment. For the rich: we don’t need to enforce any of those tax laws that cause the rich to pay more taxes than they are now; we can trust them to pay their fair share of income taxes. (“These are not the “Droids you are looking for. There is nothing to see here.”) Of course, this is with all evidence being to the contrary: corporations regularly rape the environment (dump radioactive waste in holes in the ground and leave it for others to clean up, spill huge quantities of oil and not clean it up, leave toxic coal ash dumps out in what effectively are basins that fill up and overflow with rain water, oops, and rich people evade taxation, legally and illegally on a daily basis).
Most people, especially when having just confronted how much they have paid in taxes, aren’t happy about that, but if they are given a scale upon which they place their taxes on one pan and all of the services they receive for those taxes on the other they aren’t particularly unhappy or have buyer’s remorse, etc. (And if they are it is over matters of fairness, not that they are paying taxes at all; only GOP wingnuts think they shouldn’t be paying taxes at all.) But that momentary disgruntlement we all feel when we pay our taxes can be fanned into an anti-government feeling and that serves the GOP’s paymaster’s will. But, how many times have tax measures been passed by the GOP only to find out that the major beneficiaries are the rich even though they were pitched as to how they would affect your taxes, not theirs? And even if the rich don’t benefit all that much, as long as “the government” (which is just “us” acting together for the common good) is further starved of funds, the less it can do to oppose the will of the rich and the corporations.
Currently, tons of GOP political cash is being stored illegally in “charities” prohibited from doing much politically. Because they are “charities” they need pay no taxes and need not disclose their “donors.” The fact that these organizations spend all of their monies on politics is a minor peccadillo that the IRS should not be looking into, so we see the GOP cutting the IRS’s budget, reducing the number of IRS agents, pumping up false claims that the IRS is biased against conservative groups, etc.
So, I call bullshit on the GOP’s efforts to “rein in the IRS.” It is just another ploy in its support of the rich and corporations being allowed to do any damned thing they want. Of course, they include themselves in that group because to continue their effective support of the rich and powerful, they need to be rich and powerful, too.