Tuesday, June 11, 2013

The 2013 Centennial of the Internal Revenue Code

Let’s celebrate: The Internal Revenue Code is 100 years old. Others have celebrated their 100th this year: Glacier Park, Grand Canyon, Washington State Parks, the Armory School, Winston-Salem, the US Soccer Federation, and the Tour de France. A few scandals was not going to stop the Tour; why should the IRS which enforces the Internal Revenue Code? The 16th Amendment is one of the most critical documents, right up there with the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation, the 14th Amendment, and the Nineteenth Amendment, in setting the course of the United States. The 16th Amendment, providing for the income tax, was ratified on February 13, 1913, a date which should live in infamy. The IRS has much to celebrate: 1) The squeezing of more money out of working Americans than any other agency; 2) Continued success in feeding the federal government’s unquenchable hunger for money; 3) Being anointed the primary enforcer of Obamacare. The IRS’ future is bright. Let's celebrate: a party perhaps,cake, candles and ice cream. How about a donkey ride? The National Archives could have sponsored a major exhibition, celebrating one of the few long-term success stories of the American bureaucracy. No one would attend, unless the unionized workers get a paid day off. The impoverished post office could have issued a commemorative stamp, but who would buy it? The United States Mint issued a commemorative silver coin for the Girl Scout Centennial this year, but no stamps or coins for the IRS. The IRS could have thrown an extravaganza, but why commemorate their purpose when they could engage in self-indulgence and celebrate in $3,200/night suites next to Mickey Mouse and Disney Land. Fireworks would be nice, but no chance of that. Congress has no difficulty in approving letters of recognition on he anniversary of organizations. Not even members of Congress wish to commit the IRS for a “job well done.” Perhaps the IRS couldn’t find it in the impenetrable maze of the Internal Revenue Code and IRS revenues. CCH (Commerce Clearing House) has gotten rich by annually publishing a guide to the Internal Revenue Code and regulations. The 1913 version was 400 pages compared to 73,608 pages in the 2012 version. That’s before all the ObamaCare rules and regulations are formulated by the IRS. The 1913 marginal tax rate peaked at 7% for revenues over $600,000. We’re not totally sure of the real marginal rates in 2013 because of the taxes and elimination and caps on deductions in ObamaCare and this year’s Budget Bill. Doug Schulman, the recently retired Commissioner of the IRS, couldn’t figure out the Code. He has outside preparers prepare his taxes. Of course, Timothy Geithner, the outgoing Treasury Secretary blamed his tax problems on TurboTax. Tax experts have been unable to repeat the Geithner Turbo missteps. Phone calls with the same question on separate IRS help lines or on the same line but at different times to the same office will receive conflicting answers. Perhaps Commissioner was either ignorant of the February 13 date. He had no idea that “two rogue agents” in the Cincinnati office had singled out conservative political organizations for special attention. He couldn’t remember anything else. His five years as Commissioner were as a cyber. Commissioner Schulman also could not explain how he had many to visit the Obama White House 157 times compared to only once for his predecessor. He thought one time it was to bring his children to the annual White House Easter Egg Hunt. If the IRS Commissioner mistakes the IRS for the Easter Bunny, then how he possibly celebrate the centennial of the Internal Revenue Code? I don’t believe in book burnings, but why not a national, symbolic book burning of the Internal revenue Code?

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