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  • Gutting the IRS

    Admittedly most of us would like to pay as little in taxes as possible and the IRS is likely the least favorite of Guv'mint bureaucracies, ... HOWEVER ...
    In this rather lengthy article the author details a case of "cutting off one's nose to spite their face" in that reduced funding and staffing has the IRS going after the low hanging(easy to get) fruit of poor and middle class taxpayers, rather the the Wealthy and Corporations. Granted that Corporations may be a rather problematic target since they can often bury their tax load into the costs of the goods and/or services they provide, but the wealthier among us should at least pay a similar percentage of income in taxes as the rest of us, and be the more profitable subjects of audits. That in mind, FWIW ...

    How the IRS Was Gutted

    An eight-year campaign to slash the agency’s budget has left it understaffed, hamstrung and operating with archaic equipment. The result: billions less to fund the government. That’s good news for corporations and the wealthy.

    https://www.propublica.org/article/h...irs-was-gutted
    Whiskey for my men, and beer for my horses.
    TANSTAAFL = There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch
    Bock's First Law of History: The Past shapes the Present, which forms the Future. *

  • #2
    propublica is funded by Soros and the other usual suspects : Ford Foundation, Macarthur foundation, etc ,...
    Thus : Deep State .
    What they want is : more money for the government, less for the Deplorables .
    Soros had his hedge fund in Ireland where he paid in 2013 $ 962 taxes on a net income of 3851.
    A year later the hedge fund of the man who asked to pay more taxes,moved from Ireland to the Caymans .
    Hypocrisy : your name is Soros .

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    • #3
      Originally posted by ljadw View Post
      propublica is funded by Soros and the other usual suspects : Ford Foundation, Macarthur foundation, etc ,...
      Thus : Deep State .
      What they want is : more money for the government, less for the Deplorables .
      Soros had his hedge fund in Ireland where he paid in 2013 $ 962 taxes on a net income of 3851.
      A year later the hedge fund of the man who asked to pay more taxes,moved from Ireland to the Caymans .
      Hypocrisy : your name is Soros .
      Did you read the article?

      Point of it and this thread is that the IRS is giving a pass to the wealthy(which would include Soros and similar) as a result of the funding cuts. Perhaps our Congress-critters need to provide some redirection to the IRS on it's priorities and focus.
      Whiskey for my men, and beer for my horses.
      TANSTAAFL = There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch
      Bock's First Law of History: The Past shapes the Present, which forms the Future. *

      Comment


      • #4
        For example, some excerpts;
        ....
        In the summer of 2008, William Pfeil made a startling discovery: Hundreds of foreign companies that operated in the U.S. weren’t paying U.S. taxes, and his employer, the Internal Revenue Service, had no idea. Under U.S. law, companies that do business in the Gulf of Mexico owe the American government a piece of what they make drilling for oil there or helping those that do. But the vast majority of the foreign companies weren’t paying anything, and taxpaying American companies were upset, arguing that it unfairly allowed the foreign rivals to underbid for contracts.

        Pfeil and the IRS started pursuing the non-U.S. entities. Ultimately, he figures he brought in more than $50 million in previously unpaid taxes over the course of about five years. It was an example of how the tax-collecting agency is supposed to work.

        But then Congress began regularly reducing the IRS budget. After 43 years with the agency, Pfeil — who had hoped to reach his 50th anniversary — was angry about the “steady decrease in budget and resources” the agency had seen. He retired in 2013 at 68.

        After Pfeil left, he heard that his program was being shut down. “I don’t blame the IRS,” Pfeil said. “I blame the Congress for not giving us the budget to do the job.”
        ...
        Corporations and the wealthy are the biggest beneficiaries of the IRS’ decay. Most Americans’ interaction with the IRS is largely automated. But it takes specialized, well-trained personnel to audit a business or a billionaire or to unravel a tax scheme — and those employees are leaving in droves and taking their expertise with them. For the country’s largest corporations, the danger of being hit with a billion-dollar tax bill has greatly diminished. For the rich, who research shows evade taxes the most, the IRS has become less and less of a force to be feared.

        The story has been different for poor taxpayers. The IRS oversees one of the government’s largest anti-poverty programs, the earned income tax credit, which provides cash to the working poor. Under continued pressure from Republicans, the IRS has long made a priority of auditing people who receive that money, and as the IRS has shrunk, those audits have consumed even more resources, accounting for 36 percent of audits last year. The credit’s recipients — whose annual income is typically less than $20,000 — are now examined at rates similar to those who make $500,000 to $1 million a year. Only people with incomes above $1 million are examined much more frequently.
        ...
        https://www.propublica.org/article/h...irs-was-gutted

        Whiskey for my men, and beer for my horses.
        TANSTAAFL = There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch
        Bock's First Law of History: The Past shapes the Present, which forms the Future. *

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        • #5
          Originally posted by G David Bock View Post

          Did you read the article?

          Point of it and this thread is that the IRS is giving a pass to the wealthy(which would include Soros and similar) as a result of the funding cuts. Perhaps our Congress-critters need to provide some redirection to the IRS on it's priorities and focus.
          Or abolish it altogether and implement fair tax.
          "Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety."
          - Benjamin Franklin

          The new right wing: hate Muslims, preaches tolerance for Nazis.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by TactiKill J. View Post

            Or abolish it altogether and implement fair tax.
            And your definition of "fair tax" is ???? .....
            Whiskey for my men, and beer for my horses.
            TANSTAAFL = There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch
            Bock's First Law of History: The Past shapes the Present, which forms the Future. *

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by TactiKill J. View Post

              Or abolish it altogether and implement fair tax.
              VAT would be easier to enforce.
              I was married for two ******* years! Hell would be like Club Med! - Sam Kinison

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              • #8
                Originally posted by G David Bock View Post

                And your definition of "fair tax" is ???? .....
                Someone or something still has to collect the 'fair tax.' Getting rid of the IRS is not the solution to any problem-real or imagined.
                We are not now that strength which in old days
                Moved earth and heaven; that which we are we are; One equal temper of heroic hearts
                Made weak by time and fate but strong in will
                To strive to seek to find and not to yield.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Massena View Post

                  Someone or something still has to collect the 'fair tax.' Getting rid of the IRS is not the solution to any problem-real or imagined.
                  I'd agree. "Fair Tax" seems a rather generic term, used in a variety of ways and meanings, and I'm curious how he would make a more specific definition. BTW, at this point I'm not advocating getting rid of the IRS.
                  Whiskey for my men, and beer for my horses.
                  TANSTAAFL = There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch
                  Bock's First Law of History: The Past shapes the Present, which forms the Future. *

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    What exactly is there to be taxed and what do taxes pay for? Outside of debt payments and other transfers the government consumes what? You can start with the military and it obviously consumes many man hours that could otherwise be diverted to other activities, then there is food, housing, pensions, healthcare, equipment etc. etc. Other government activities such as law enforcement and regulatory activities is similar with most of the outlays going to salaries. The salaries are then spent on tangibles such as other citizens consume.

                    The key to understanding the economy is that in the end only productivity can be taxed. What makes it so murky is that productivity is difficult to define. What does the entertainment industry produce for example or the banking sector? What does someone in China get for producing consumer goods for the U.S. market? What does it mean to say they received money.

                    What is money? The money supply includes cash but that is a small part of the money supply. There are all sorts of other securities and instruments that are part of the money supply. The further you get from say coinage the more abstract money becomes. If money is real where does it disappear to when the stock market takes a dive?

                    If money isn't tangible wealth then what is wealth? If I own ten "priceless" paintings with a market value of $100,000,000 dollars what exactly is it that own? What I own is the abstract value that society has placed on whatever it is that makes me wealthy. So even tangible wealth is highly abstract. If I sell my paintings the government will tax any profits I make but where is the productivity that the government is taxing? In the end someone somewhere has got to produce something that can be turned into tanks, and ships, the food that food stamps buy so on and so forth. So who are the productive members of society?

                    Beyond the obvious productivity of muscular activity there are many ways you can be productive. Someone who increased efficiency or invents a new way of doing things are equally obviously productive, even managers that keep the system organized are productive even in the absence of added value . The next group such as entertainers, sports or leisure providers are producing something of value because man does not live by bread alone. The question is which areas of productivity can be used by the government to supply the services it is required to provide. While the entertainment industry keeps the masses and even the elites occupied and engaged in non destructive activities it does make the food food stamps provide.

                    In the end it is only labor that can be taxed. All other elements of the economy simply passes the cost of taxes on to labor. Which brings us to the next function of taxes which is social engineering. When the government gives a tax break on your home mortgage it is manipulating the population into spending their resources on the housing stock instead of say prostitutes and cocaine. When we tax the rich we are converting resources away from things like luxury boats and expensive payment into items such as food production by way of food stamps. So taxes don't just pay for things they control behavior.

                    Controlling people is literally like herding monkeys. If we tax the rich they don't stop diverting resources from say the infrastructure to luxury items they often just invest less in industry etc. When we try and reinvest in people through say welfare programs it often just leads to hopeless dependence and intercity gangs. Taxation is force and people always resist force, if you want your dog to stop pulling on the lead relax the lead. The rule of equal and opposite forces apply here. A society that isn't primarily voluntary is doomed. The principle can be explained by what the evolutionary psychologist call reciprocal altruism which explains why a population that needs governed least is governed best.

                    The question of appropriate taxation is much deeper than simply deciding what is fair. That approach would only work if people agreed on what is fair, expedient or necessary. As the U.S. becomes more like Mexico where there are only two classes the haves and the haves nots deciding what is fair is becoming increasingly difficult. Most wealth is no longer earned and the impoverished all largely that way because of poor decisions. The tax crisis is just a reflection of the coming apart of the social order and the segregation by class and geography.

                    What makes the situation particularly stupid is that we have a monetary system that is dependent on more of everything, more people, more goods, more money, more innovation, more taxes. If there is less of any of those things the system loses stride and stumbles. The only solution I can see and it brings it's own set of problems is the singularity. God help us



                    We hunt the hunters

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by G David Bock View Post

                      And your definition of "fair tax" is ???? .....
                      A flat rate consumption tax.
                      "Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety."
                      - Benjamin Franklin

                      The new right wing: hate Muslims, preaches tolerance for Nazis.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        If you read the article, the main source is a disgruntled ex-employee who was upset because he didn't reach his desired retirement rate of 50 years in.

                        Think about that: 50 years. Geriatric auditors.

                        Everyone has been clamoring for lower taxes, less bureaucracy, less government. But now, suddenly, the IRS is a sacred cow? The agency which was caught harassing political groups?

                        The simple truth is that the Tax Code remains a deliberate convoluted mess so that anyone willing to pay an expert can dodge through the loopholes. Pumping more money into the IRS will not increase taxes, because very few people of any means cheat on their taxes in the criminal sense. They exploit loopholes.

                        Yes, there are a few widely published cases of people going to jail for tax evaion, but the bulk of them are doing so because the income in question was tainted by associated behavior.

                        Every year I pay a CPA $750-1000 to do my taxes, and every year she saves me between $2000-3000.

                        The IRS is not the only agency which investigates tax fraud. Cutting it back is a good thing.
                        Any man can hold his place when the bands play and women throw flowers; it is when the enemy presses close and metal shears through the ranks that one can acertain which are soldiers, and which are not.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Arnold J Rimmer View Post
                          Everyone has been clamoring for lower taxes, less bureaucracy, less government. But now, suddenly, the IRS is a sacred cow? The agency which was caught harassing political groups?...
                          You just answered one question with another one.

                          The Left supports that kind of political repression, which is why it was focused on the Right, and it is why the Left goes to bat for the IRS when everyone else is glad to see it diminished.

                          What is yours ought to be their's, after all.
                          That's Socialism 101.
                          "Why is the Rum gone?"

                          -Captain Jack

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by The Exorcist View Post

                            You just answered one question with another one.

                            The Left supports that kind of political repression, which is why it was focused on the Right, and it is why the Left goes to bat for the IRS when everyone else is glad to see it diminished.

                            What is yours ought to be their's, after all.
                            That's Socialism 101.
                            There were 2 republican nominees who wanted to diminish the role of the irs and completely change our tax system, both of whom lost the nomination to a liberal democrat. The right claims to be small government, but never votes for candidates who are. Actions speak louder than words.
                            "Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety."
                            - Benjamin Franklin

                            The new right wing: hate Muslims, preaches tolerance for Nazis.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by slick_miester View Post

                              VAT would be easier to enforce.
                              Don't you believe it. VAT fraud is a major but under reported problem across Europe
                              Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe (H G Wells)
                              Mit der Dummheit kaempfen Goetter selbst vergebens (Friedrich von Schiller)

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