Cap'n Arbyte's


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Audit Them!

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.

Comments: 5

1: anonymous
2009-02-10 05:10:03 UTC

I don't think there's any reason to suspect that members of congress cheat on their taxes any more than the rest of us. It's just much more public when they get caught.

2: Anonymous
2009-02-10 21:01:27 UTC

Finally a suggestion from Arbyte I can agree with. BTW, Franken isn't in congress, at least not as of now.

Also, even if #1 anonymous is right, auditing all of them may make them more appreciative of the complexities of the tax laws ordinary citizens have to deal with.

3: Anonymous
2009-02-14 00:36:41 UTC

I think the Libertarian Party had a good idea: as long as we're all willing to pretend to believe it was "an honest mistake", then the implication is that the guy in charge of the IRS, a finance professional, can't even understand the tax code with the help of tax software. The tax code therefore needs to be simplified into something fair and easily understood by everyone.

4: Wise Finish
2009-02-14 18:46:38 UTC

I think that this shows that the IRS is a bad idea and that the Fairtax is a really good idea!


5: Anonymous
2009-02-15 21:24:27 UTC

Give me a break! People know when they cheat on their taxes.Most of Congress does admit to doing it.. maybe they just have too much money to play with. IRS is and Congress are all friends.

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Tiny Island