Economics of our crap government


Charles RettigAnna Moneymaker/Getty

❝ The IRS audits the working poor at about the same rate as the wealthiest 1%. Now, in response to questions from a U.S. senator, the IRS has acknowledged that’s true but professes it can’t change anything unless it is given more money.

❝ ProPublica reported the disproportionate audit focus on lower-income families in April. Lawmakers confronted IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig about the emphasis, citing our stories, and Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., asked Rettig for a plan to fix the imbalance. Rettig readily agreed.

Last month, Rettig replied with a report, but it said the IRS has no plan and won’t have one until Congress agrees to restore the funding it slashed from the agency over the past nine years — something lawmakers have shown little inclination to do.

❝ On the one hand, the IRS said, auditing poor taxpayers is a lot easier: The agency uses relatively low-level employees to audit returns for low-income taxpayers who claim the earned income tax credit. The audits…are done by mail and don’t take too much staff time, either.

❝ On the other hand, auditing the rich is hard. It takes senior auditors hours upon hours to complete an exam. What’s more, the letter says, “the rate of attrition is significantly higher among these more experienced examiners.”…

With a White House, Senate, committed to kissing wealthy corporate butt, not much change in sight until Republicans are kicked out of power altogether. There will still be no shortage of battles with “centrist” who count on supplanting Republicans…offering the same services. Tweedledee and Tweedledum are still hard to tell apart.

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