Dr. George Reisman
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The numerous and recent tax scandals surrounding President Obama's nominees (Geithner, Daschle, Richardson, Killefer) and members of congress (Rangel, Franken) are disgusting and insulting. I simply don't believe them when they say they've made honest mistakes. But whether they're liars or merely stupid doesn't matter… there's an easy solution.
Audit them. Audit them all. Every year. Every member of congress, every cabinet official, every department head. The IRS performs hundreds of thousands of audits every year. Let's remove a few random audits, substituting instead these audits targeted at a population that has shown a predilection for being tax cheats.
Why doesn't someone pass a law to make this happen?
… oh, yeah, right.
It came out during the Geithner confirmation hearings that it's common for U.S. citizen employees of the IMF and World Bank (who are technically considered self-employed) to fail to pay their Social Security and Medicare taxes.
So, why doesn't the IRS have a check for this? Can't they get an employee list from the IMF and World Bank and specifically check all those individuals? Or can't they identify people who paid income taxes but no payroll taxes, and take a closer look?
I am suggesting that they target their auditing efforts in areas that are known to be problems. This is basic stuff. Who's in charge over there, anyway?
… oh, right, it's Geithner.