For every dollar we cut out of the IRS budget, we lose $6 in collected taxes. Since 2011, when the Republicans took over the House, 12,000 IRS jobs have been cut and another 4,000 job cuts are coming. Now, the IRS budget is at the same level it was in 1998, but is expected to process 30 million more returns than it did in that year. Even before 2011, we lost roughly $400 billion every year to all the free loaders who just don’t pay their taxes. It’s tragic that the Republican leadership in Congress is helping the free loaders mooch off the system. Conservatives hate taxes so much they fetishize smart ways of evading tax obligations. When he was their leader, Mitt Romney said that the country should not elect any person who paid any more in taxes than they should (then he paid slightly more in taxes than he should to get his tax rate into double digits for political reasons). Lindsey Graham said Americans make a game out of dodging taxes. IRS budget cuts accomplish two goals. Eliminating taxpayer support staff makes tax compliance complicated and taxes even more loathsome. Reducing auditors help people evade the punishment by eliminating the cop. If evading taxes is “patriotic,” then the word has lost all meaning.
For every dollar we cut out of the IRS budget, we lose $6 in collected taxes.
I pay my taxes and would pay more, because I know I have to pay the tolls needed to keep my country clean, secure and fast. I know that the taxes I pay go to support the infrastructure that made my progress possible. Sometimes I think conservatives don’t believe in taxes because they assume they pay the tolls through their mere existence. Conservatives attack every tax increase as a desperate theft by a pathetic bum or a filthy rodent, as if we’re reaching in their pocket so we don’t have to work. I’ve had it. I’m not going to try to convince any conservative that he’s his brother’s keeper, or that giving is morally right, or that Jesus would have encouraged community and charity, or that we are all interdependent, or that anyone who calls himself a patriot ought to want to fund it. These are all true, but unpersuasive. Instead, I’d say this: You pay taxes to repave, replenish, restore and refresh what you’ve eroded by your use. If you profit from our American system, then you owe us all a fee. We assume that the more money you made or inherited or won off some sad, small town where you shut down the factory and the small businesses that fed it, the more you owe in taxes. You will pay more taxes, at higher rates if you made more, because the thing that enabled you to make more was the whole magnificent ecosystem of the U-S-of-A. The Constitution that gave you the police, the military and the courts also gave you the tax collector, equal protection under the law, the roads, bridges, railroads, power lines and Internet that propels your business, as well as the schools that educate your employees and customers, the stock markets that generate dependable returns, the immigration system that brought you here, the slavery and gruesome discrimination that laid the foundation for your prosperity, the laws that make your competitors fight fairly, the cleanliness of the air and water and food in spite of you, the Social Security and Medicare that free you from living with your aging, forgetting parent, the food stamps and free lunch and temporary assistance that keep hungry people from coming to your door, and the westward migration that gave you Hollywood’s reflected dreams and hope. This is not to say that you can’t use the magnificent ecosystem – of course you can. That’s what it’s there for. You just can’t use it for free. Taxes are not punishment for success – they are the costs of doing business in America. Your bill is higher the more you make because we assume you used more of the system. Just because you’re rich and cool and smart doesn’t mean we’re so lucky to have you here that you get a free ride. If you think taxes are punishment, you aren’t special. You’re greedy and self-centered.
What kind of crappy business people would gut the billing and collections department in order to please the people who owe them money for goods and services rendered?
Let me put it into words you can understand: If you golf, you pay the greens fees. You pay less for 9 holes than you do for 18. You pay the greens fees even if you are so spectacular that people stare at you when you putt. You pay the greens fees even if you brought 20 other people with you, all at $120 a head. You pay the greens fees even if you bought a round of drinks and tipped your caddy. If you use the course, you pay the fees for the privilege. Or, let me put it into other words: If you bowl, you pay for your lane. Even if you bowl a perfect game, even if you ate 4 plates of wings, even if you brought your own ball and shoes and ball cleaner, you pay for the use of your lane for as long as you have it. Unfortunately, conservatives in Congress have forced IRS budget cuts to make the tax haters happy and more successful at dodging their obligations. Cutting the IRS budget is bad policy, bad morality and bad business. Let’s give the money back to the IRS, so people get help with their taxes, cheats get caught and we collect the hundreds of millions of dollars we’re missing.
It’s tragic that the Republican leadership in Congress is helping the free loaders mooch off the system.
Or, let me put it another way that you may understand: What kind of crappy business people would gut the billing and collections department in order to please the people who owe them money for goods or services rendered?