IRS Funding: Seems Adequate to Me

Some say the biggest problem at the IRS is that they are not allocated enough money to be able to administer the tax laws fairly and competently.  Even Nina Olson, the National Taxpayer Advocate, has bought into this theory:

Today, the IRS is an institution in crisis. In my view, however, the real crisis is not the one generating headlines. The real crisis facing the IRS — and therefore taxpayers — is a radically transformed mission coupled with inadequate funding to accomplish that mission. As a consequence of this crisis, the IRS gives limited consideration to taxpayer rights or fundamental tax administration principles as it struggles to get its job done.

~ Nina Olson, in her mid-year report to Congress

What’s ironic about this quote is it was released today along side juicy headlines about IRS employees using government credit cards to make some highly questionable purchases of alcohol, expensive meals, party supplies, and even porn.  Of course many of these purchases were made on cards that were reported stolen.  I’m sure that’s true because there is no way any IRS employee would abuse his card privileges.

I don’t know Nina, I usually agree with your opinions, but it seems to me that the crisis is fairly well summarized by the headlines.  Why downplay the high-profile mistakes that are so very telling of what’s going on at the IRS?  And how is it that the IRS’ mission has been “radically transformed”?  Regardless of any official mission statements, their mission has always been, and always will be, to collect as much revenue as possible without too much regard to fairness, tax relief, and taxpayer rights.

So if the “real crisis” is inadequate funding, then why should we turn a blind eye to outrageous spending abuse?  There is no way in this world we should increase funding to the IRS until they clean house.

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