As published in the Winter Park/Maitland Observer, Thursday Jan. 3, 2012 Edition Offers... Read More »
Whatever Nina Wants, Nina Gets
Well, because I have so much respect for her honesty, candor and willingness to chide both the IRS and Congress when necessary, I thought it only fair that I reconsider my position on IRS budget cuts.
Here’s what Nina wrote in her midyear report to Congress:
In recent years, the IRS has been given more and more tasks, but it is not receiving the resources it needs to fulfill these tasks without cutting corners. And when the IRS cuts corners, taxpayers can be harmed and revenue collection may suffer.
Despite differing views about the appropriate level of taxation, there is widespread agreement that taxes that are due and owing under the law should be collected
Spending cuts mean the IRS will not have the resources to ensure that all taxpayers pay their fair share, thereby effectively forcing compliant taxpayers to pay more to subsidize noncompliance by others.
Moreover, the IRS will not have the ability to meet the service needs of the taxpayers who are paying our nation’s bills.
Ms. Olson at least has the dignity and class not to accuse those who believe that the IRS should not get additional funding of plotting to take down the government.
So, if Nina Olson says the IRS needs the additional funding, the IRS probably needs the additional funding.
But, still, as with every other spending increase, it pains me to see federal agencies get more money when they have demonstrated a lack of trustworthiness with the moneys taxpayers have already given them.¹
¹ Here’s what I wrote in April in And the IRS Wants More Money?
It’s one of the most oft-repeated paradoxes of our time that historically inefficient bureaucracies are able to exploit the fact of their incompetence to justify expansion rather than contraction.
Here is the familiar cycle:
IRS asks for more money to reduce inefficiencies —-> Congress gives IRS more money —-> IRS inefficiencies continue or worsen —-> IRS asks for more money to reduce inefficiences.
Does it really take a reverse triangular merger specialist to see that rewarding bureaucracies for inefficiences will encourage those inefficiencies rather than discourage them?
Here’s a simple rule that should apply to all government bureaucracies: No new funding until you’ve proven your responsibility with the old funding.
- IRS Doesn’t Get Funding it Asked For
- IRS Asks for More Money to Go After Tax Cheats
- National Taxpayer Advocate, Nina Olson, Delivers Report, Congress Pandiculates
- Taxpayer Advocate Scolds Unenrolled Preparers, Favors Regulation
- Taxpayer Advocate’s Recommendation: Go Easier on Taxpayers Experiencing Economic Hardship