Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Two Really Good Ideas on Public Officials and Taxes

From the Jim Bennett via Instapundit: “There must be some way for the GOP to move out aggressively on the administration’s IRS problems beyond making speeches that will be forgotten within days. I am sensing a huge anger on this out there. What about the idea of a moratorium on IRS audits for middle-class taxpayers (using any of Obama’s campaign-trail definitions, from $250K/yr on down) for at least a year? Obviously the IRS is short on auditors, so why not deploy them where they are most needed?”

And this one from Jason Mazzone:
News stories at tax time about tax cheats and the IRS cracking down are likely to undermine tax compliance. So, too, stories that Daschle (and others) under-reported are likely to have a negative effect on compliance. Overall, it is likely that most members of Congress and high-ranking members of the Executive branch (and the judicial branch for that matter) faithfully pay what they owe. So here is a proposal: let’s audit them all. The details of their returns need not be released, just final information on whether they owe back taxes. (Some might even be entitled to a refund!) News that Daschle is an exception to the pattern of overall compliance would be good tax news indeed.
The problem with Geithner/Daschle/Rangel is not that they didn't pay taxes (which is a problem) but that they insist that we pay taxes when they don't. It is the hypocrisy of the matter that galls most people. For me, Geithner and Rangle are bigger problems, one writes the tax laws (Rangel) and the other is not responsible for running the IRS. I mean, if they don't pay their taxes, what is the incentive for me to do so?

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