Democrats & Liberals Archives

Contractors Write IRS Rules

Conservatives want to shrink government. Since, they say, that private contractors can do any job better, more efficiently and at less cost than the government can, more and more government work should be contracted out to private companies. The Bush Administration is doing this. Private companies engage in the Iraq War, in homeland security projects, writing environmental regulations, and now writing IRS rules.

Who do you suppose are being hired to write the IRS rules? Why those with most experience finding loopholes to help their clients evade taxes. The New York Times tells us:

The Internal Revenue Service is asking tax lawyers and accountants who create tax shelters and exploit loopholes to take the lead in writing some of its new tax rules.

These guys are efficient. They know exactly where to put the commas, the "and"s, the "but"s and the "or"s to best serve their clients.

They'll do a terrific job on the IRS rules. Not only are they efficient, they will save the taxpayer money because these altruistic consultants will do the work for no pay. As the same Times article states:

But in recent years there has been a quickening pace of moves to outsource the actual work of regulation, hiring contractors to write the rules. Now the I.R.S. is proposing that outside experts do it at no charge, opening up the possibility that some firms providing the draft would be working on behalf of an individual, business or association seeking to plant a favorable nuance in a rule.

I wonder what's a "favorable nuance"? What may a "favorable nuance" be worth? Could a "favorable nuance" be worth more than getting paid?

The Bush Administration has been using private contractors for practically everything. Yes, I know conservatives say that we need the government only for security and fighting wars. From their point of view it may be OK for private contractors to write rules about the environment. But even in the Iraq War they have given over many functions - including illegal interrogation - to private contractors.

And now private contractors are writing IRS rules! The rich are cheering the cheating of Uncle Sam. "Favorable nuances" will enable the rich to pay less and the non-rich to pay more. Isn't this the way it should be, say the conservatives?

Gary D. Bass, executive director of the non-profit OMB Watch, sarcastically asks:

Why don’t we just privatize Congress and outsource the development of our laws?

The country is going to pot because those in power refuse to act in the public interest. Outsourcing government activities to private companies to bypass American laws and to feed money to corporate pals is pure fraud. Outsourcing government regulations to those being regulated is pure corruption. Working for the benefit of special interests at the expense of the common interest is degrading our society.

Asking loophole experts to write IRS rules is the last straw. Everybody knows what sort of rules they will write. It demonstrates the nihilism behind the movement to get private contractors to do the work of government agencies. And the greed. And the recklessness. And the absence of ethics.

We must reinvigorate our government by reducing the number of private contractors performing government functions. Private companies are good at selling products and personal services. Government agencies are good at providing public services to all of us.

Restore our government by electing people who believe in the efficacy of government: Democrats.

Posted by Paul Siegel at March 9, 2007 5:33 PM
Comments
Comment #211281

Well we certainly get what we pay for dont we. Actually Paul I guess the proof of whether this is just a sick joke or not will be in the outcome of the laws being written. If it ends up anything like the privatization occuring in Iraq or at Walter Reed then it will indeed be a sick joke.
It makes you wonder if W’s buddy Osama will be writing the next rendition of the Patriot Act though doesnt it?

Posted by: j2t2 at March 10, 2007 12:01 AM
Comment #211419
It makes you wonder if W’s buddy Osama will be writing the next rendition of the Patriot Act though doesnt it?

Well, we already know that President Bush is sending al-Qaeda groups millions of taxpayer dollars to counter Iran’s influence in the Middle East…

Posted by: American Pundit at March 10, 2007 11:29 PM
Comment #211588

Paul,
This administration has allowed oil and energy to write energy policy. Pharmaceutical companies to write medicare plan. Anti-abortion doctor to run family planning. Horse judge to run FEMA. Banks to dictate banking regulations. Chemical plants to dictate pollution policy. Bolton in the U.N. HMO’s dictate healthcare.
Privatization and sabotaging regulatory agencies by putting people in charge who want to undermine the very organization they’ve been placed in is good policy.
It all makes sense.
Why not have child molesters write child sex laws. Terrorists can dictate aid and policy in Israel, Iranian President would love to be on that panel. Barry Bonds can write steroid policy for MLB. Lawrence Taylor can make NFL list of banned substances and illegal drugs. Bill Oreilly can write new sexual harassment laws.
Why are gays excluded from gay marriage debate?
Why don’t we ask the 12 million illegal immigrants to regulate border security?
This administration sucks.

Posted by: Andre M. Hernandez at March 12, 2007 3:12 PM
Comment #211597

Paul
If you don’t want tax experts to help write the tax laws, who do you believe should?

What part of government does the IRS belong too?

“Yes, I know conservatives say that we need the government only for security and fighting wars”

No, the Constitution says that. Well, that and it limits the rights of the government and protects the rights of the people. But we all know that doesn’t really mean much on this side.

Posted by: kctim at March 12, 2007 3:50 PM
Comment #211603
But we all know that doesn’t really mean much on this side.

Why would you think that, kctim? It’s the other side’s that’s been tearing up the Constitution so hard that the Supreme Court’s slapped em down four or five times now.

If you don’t want tax experts to help write the tax laws

LOL! These aren’t tax experts, they’re tax dodgers. These are the guys who help move our corporations offshore so thay don’t have to pay any taxes whatsoever.

You probably think those guys are heroes for evading taxes, but it kinda sucks for the rest of us left holding the bag.

BTW, I thought it was funny the way the NYT reported this: “It’s not the fox guarding the hen house; it’s the fox designing the hen house.”

Posted by: American Pundit at March 12, 2007 4:11 PM
Comment #211610

Why would I say that AP? Because I believe in the entire Constitution, not just parts of it. And when it comes to taxes, the left does not believe in individual rights or freedoms.

“You probably think those guys are heroes for evading taxes, but it kinda sucks for the rest of us left holding the bag”

Would that be the same bag that holds all those feel-good programs you support? Why does using your own money to support what you believe in, suck?

You call them tax dodgers, I’ll call the tax experts. I’m sure our definitions of income and voluntary differ also, no biggie.

But maybe you can help me here. What part of govt does the IRS belong too? Seems to me that branch of govt should be responsible for writing these “rules?”

Posted by: kctim at March 12, 2007 4:48 PM
Comment #211637

Are you saying that, when the politicians write the rules, you can be certain they are honest and reflect the benefits to the taxpayers? Wow, since when?
Clay

Posted by: Clay Barham at March 12, 2007 7:19 PM
Comment #211666

kctim, doesnt the 16th amendment give the feds the right to tax incomes? Isnt the 16th amendment part of the constitution? What is the individual rights thing as it affects taxes?

Posted by: j2t2 at March 12, 2007 11:53 PM
Comment #211689

j2
Forcefully taking from one person and giving to another is violating a persons individual rights. Telling a person who and what they should care about, is violating a persons individual rights.

Are income taxes considered an indirect or direct tax? How so?

Posted by: kctim at March 13, 2007 9:25 AM
Comment #211867

kctim, direct tax as it goes ditectly from me to the government.
Where are these individual rights you speak of enumerated in the constitution?
Corporations tell us all the time who and what to care about is that ok cause it a corporation not the government?

Posted by: j2t2 at March 14, 2007 12:16 AM
Comment #211899

“Corporations tell us all the time who and what to care about is that ok cause it a corporation not the government?”

YES, Corporations can’t tell us who or what to care about. They can suggest, but you always have the right to walk away. Not so with government

Posted by: tomd at March 14, 2007 8:19 AM
Comment #211993

Clay,
At least when politicians write bad rules, we the people get to hold them accountable during the next election. When private corporations write the rules there is no direct accountability to the people, and the businesses are insulated. It’s win-win for those who profit, and lose-lose for the rest of us.

Posted by: Patrick Howse at March 14, 2007 5:41 PM
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