Fourscore and Seven (Thousand New IRS Agents)

21 Nov 2022

Congress passed on 12 Aug 2022 and President Biden signed into law on 16 Aug 2022 the “Inflation Reduction Act”.  Part of this law provides $80,000,000,000 to the IRS to fund modernization and increased tax enforcement. Those who voted for this bill did so (if they read it) expect to obtain additional revenues as follows [1]: a) $181,000,000,000 from improved tax enforcement; b) $74,000,000,000 from a 1% excise tax on stock buybacks; c) $222,000,000,000 from a 15% corporate minimum rate on companies with $1,000,000,000,000 in revenue; and d) $53,000,000,000,000 from an extension of the limitation on excess business losses.  These values total to $530,000,000,000 over ten years.  If so, these projections admit that it will cost 15 cents to obtain each additional dollar, which is a very high 15% collection expense ratio.  For comparison, the IRS’ current annual expenditure for FY 2021 [2] was $13,700,000,000, and its collections in FY 2021 were [3] $4,900,000,000,000, which represents a collection expense ratio of 0.27%.  That difference alone should convince you that this is not about additional revenue.

Part of the $80,000,000,000 is to be devoted to hiring 87,000 new IRS employees, but the type of employees was left to IRS discretion.  According to the IRS [4], it has already hired 4,000 new customer service employees to help answer the phone and assist taxpayers with questions, and it plans to hire another 1,000 before 1 Jan 2023.  According to another IRS statement [5], the IRS is developing a plan on how to spend the remainder of the $80,000,000,000.  Commissioner Rettig also sent a letter to members of the Senate [6], stating in part:

“These resources are absolutely not about increasing audit scrutiny on small businesses or middle-income Americans. As we’ve been planning, our investment of these enforcement resources is designed around the Department of the Treasury’s directive that audit rates will not rise relative to recent years for households making under $400,000. Other resources will be invested in employees and IT systems that will allow us to better serve all taxpayers, including small businesses and middle-income taxpayers. Enhanced IT systems and taxpayer service will actually mean that honest taxpayers will be better able to comply with the tax laws, resulting in a lower likelihood of being audited and a reduced burden on them.”

Notice that the Commissioner cited Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen’s directive to maintain the audit rate on persons making less than $400,000 annually to the historical norm.  Notice that Secretary Yellen did not instruct Mr. Rettig to ensure that the audits are non-partisan; she only instructed him to ensure the overall rate is within historical norms. We can have high confidence that, since Lois Lerner is the patron saint of the IRS, the audit rate for non-Democrats is going to be increased dramatically.  It is worse than that: Secretary Yellen does not require Commissioner Rettig to prove that the overall audit rates are within historical norms; it is merely a directive.  This legislation gives the IRS a lot more power; but power does not confer confidence in the institution, which is the IRS’ real problem. 

How can a corrupt politically-motivated government agency be reformed?  There are three things that seem like good ideas, but are impractical.  First, the IRS cannot be abolished so long as the government requires revenue, and every government requires revenue to carry out its legitimate functions.  Second, individuals will be subject to audits so long as our tax code is based on the income tax (personal and businesses).  No one in Congress is going to vote to repeal the individual income tax, so audits of individuals will continue indefinitely.  Third, the IRS is not going to give up any of its powers; in fact it will likely petition Congress for an expansion of its powers.  Any plan to promote the public’s confidence in the IRS must operate under these constraints.  The best that can be hoped for is to ensure that those who are examining our returns for compliance and auditing regular taxpayers are themselves paying their taxes.  In other words, it is necessary that all IRS employees be audited for tax law compliance.  It will not guarantee that IRS audits of regular taxpayers are non-partisan, but at least we can have confidence that the partisans in the IRS are subject to the same scrutiny. 

However, audits of IRS employees must be conducted a little differently than IRS audits of regular taxpayers.  We cannot have a situation in which one IRS employee “audits” another IRS employee, as the opportunity for evasion and cheating is too great (remember the core problem here). The audits are not intended to be punitive; they are designed solely to ensure public confidence that those who enforce the law are equally subject to it.  An IRS audit system should be set up along these guidelines.

1.  Every IRS employee (save for a few, such as the janitorial staff, who have no contact with taxpayers or with tax forms), shall be audited every three years, and said audits shall cover the past three tax years.  About 57,000 audits will be required each year, since the number of IRS employees will be about 185,000 after all the new hires are brought on.

2.  The auditors shall not be current or former IRS employees, and shall have no first-degree relatives (siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins, or children) who are currently employed by the IRS.

3.  Any IRS employee subject to such audits found to be in arrears on tax payments (excluding extensions and other allowances per the current law, same as other taxpayers) shall be permitted an appeal. Said appeal shall be finalized within 30 days of the initial audit findings.  If the appeal shows that the IRS employee is in fact delinquent on their taxes, they shall be dismissed with prejudice (ineligible for future employment) within 24 hours.  There shall be no managerial discretion permitted regarding dismissal.  Payments on delinquent taxes shall follow the current guidelines per the existing law, same as all other taxpayers.

4. The statistics of the audit shall be published annually, noting how many audits were conducted, how many were found in compliance, how many were not, and the locations in which those dismissed resided (by State and county only). 

References

[1] Analyses as cited in: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inflation_Reduction_Act_of_2022

[2]  https://www.irs.gov/statistics/irs-budget-and-workforce

[3]  FY 2022 IRS Agency Financial Report, (Form 5456), available at: https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p5456.pdf

[4]  https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/irs-quickly-moves-forward-with-taxpayer-service-improvements-4000-hired-to-provide-more-help-to-people-during-2023-tax-season-on-phones

[5]  https://www.taxpayeradvocate.irs.gov/news/tas-tax-tip-what-the-inflation-reduction-act-means-for-you/

[6] Commissioner Rettig to Members of the United States Senate, 4 Aug 2022; available at:

https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-utl/commissioners-letter-to-the-senate.pdf

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The Open Border Policy Rationale

There was a recent convocation of the ruling elite in Aspen, CO.  During the presentations, Trymaine Lee, a correspondent from MSNBC, interviewed the U. S. Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Majorkas on 21 Jul 2022, and part of it went like this:

Trymaine Lee: “Is the border safe now? I was watching a news channel and they were talking about an invasion that was happening.” 

(Audience laughs)

Alejandro Majorkas: “The border is secure; the border we are working to make more secure.  That has been a historic challenge.”

Majorkas’ claim may seem quite a surprise, first, since about 3 million illegal aliens (that we know of) have already crossed into the U. S. in the past year.  All these people are being let in; we don’t know who they are, where they are, or what they intend to do (besides getting free benefits paid for by U. S. taxpayers).  The second major point is that illegal alien immigration was much less under the Trump administration.  The U. S. is in fact being invaded, and (finally) a few State Governors have found the backbone to state the obvious. 

When Majorkas said “the border is secure”, what he really meant was “the border policy is secure”.  The Biden administration has at various times issued several lies to justify the open border.  The first one was that the people of Central America must be allowed to come here because we (Americans) have induced so much climate change that we are driving them out of their traditional occupations.  The second lie was that the white people of America are so racist that we owe the indigenous people of Central America an equal opportunity to come here as historical compensation.  The third lie was that opening the border will facilitate trade, and thus promote prosperity for all, i.e., the globalist argument.  The fourth lie was that unlimited immigration is good because immigrants create jobs, or take jobs that Americans won’t do, or immigrants have special skills that Americans don’t have; in other words, foreigners are simply better people than Americans.  The good news is that Vice President Kamala “Smirky” Harris (the “border czar”) has promised to find the “root cause”.

But the real question remains: if illegal immigration was almost zero during the last part of the Trump administration, what is the purpose of the completely open-border policy under the Biden administration?  Some conservative commentators have noted that we are generally importing poverty, social dependence, and ignorance; and that large immigration means that the American taxpayer gets to pay for other nations’ socialist incompetence.  Some have observed that many of the illegal aliens come here with no intention of assimilating into American culture, and the result of unrestricted immigration is that Americans end up tolerating any movement that dilutes western civilization.  Some have also claimed that this is a ploy to import as many ignorant people as possible because the Democratic party leadership, relying on historical trends, are confident that the invaders will all vote for Democrats as soon as they get voting rights, with citizenship or without. In other words, the former illegal immigrants will partly cancel out the votes of those who still believe in the Constitution and the legitimate control of borders.   Those are probably all correct to some extent.  I will now suggest a reason that I have not heard mentioned elsewhere.

All this talk about China taking over Taiwan is a diversion: the real goal is the strategic encirclement of the U. S.  Taiwan can be blockaded at any time; that requires only a sufficient Chinese navy and a convenient pretext. Pretexts are easy for Communists, and they and build the navy.  Taiwan is small potatoes: China could gain world domination if it could acquire control of Central America. It seems to me that President Joe “Wimpy” Biden, either a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Chinese Communist Party or under blackmail pressure, has been ordered to de-populate El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, and Ecuador.  (I exclude Costa Rica because it is relatively prosperous and has abolished its military.)  It will be much easier for China to establish colonies in empty places than to deal with people who may prefer their traditional nations.  Keep in mind that China is a long way from the western hemisphere, and it probably can only transport an army of 100,000 or 200,000 troops in a reasonable amount of time.  It will not be practical to transport the heavy weapons necessary for a real battle. A small, lightly-armed land force could conquer Central America quickly if: a) it is mostly empty; b) the remaining people are unarmed; and c) the local governments and military establishments are corrupt. The last two were accomplished decades ago. 

Consider the basic arithmetic as shown in the table.  The totals lead to an average population density of about 275 people per square mile (about the same as our major cities, such as Philadelphia, New York, Boston, etc.).  If 4 million per year are resettled in the U. S. over the next seven years, the total population will be reduced by 28 million, and the net remaining will be 18 million or so. The average population density would then be about 105 per sq. mile (roughly the same as Iowa, Kentucky, and eastern Oklahoma).  Since most would remain in the cities, the population density in the rural areas would be significantly lower.  The Chinese could export 10,000,000 people to Central America reasonably quickly if camouflaged carefully enough, and thereby establish solid, durable colonies.

Nation Population Area (sq. miles)
Guatemala 18,576,000 42,042
El Salvador 6,550,000 8,260
Honduras 10,225,000 43,277
Nicaragua 6,784,000 45,678
Panama 4,453,000 29,761
Total 46,588,000 169,018

Chinese control of Central America would give it enormous advantages. First, it could establish military bases in these (former) nations (plus Cuba), and form an alliance with Mexico, America’s traditional enemy.  (Recall that Mexico sided with Germany in both World Wars.)  Secondly, it would have full control of the Panama Canal: not just the operation of the canal itself, but all the approaches to it.  Third, the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico would come under full Chinese surveillance and intimidation.  Fourth, China would gain indirect control over the U. S. ports at Corpus Christie, Galveston, Houston, New Orleans, Mobile, Pensacola, Tampa, and Miami.  Fifth, China would have direct leverage over all the Caribbean island nations, including islands populated by British nationals. Britain has foreign policy control and defense obligations on its’ Caribbean dependencies: Anguilla, Bermuda, the British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands, Montserrat, and Turks and Caicos.  If the U. S. was unwilling to assist Britain in defending these islands (or sides with China as the ruling elite prefers), a breach would occur between the U. S. and our greatest ally.

Majorkas was right if you accept the fact that he is always lying.  The open border is not causing an “invasion”; it is facilitating an “evacuation” for the benefit of Communist China.

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Gun Control (again)

Practical Gun Control   <— pdf

Once again, the shootings in Buffalo and Uvalde have led our illustrious leaders to consider “gun control”, as if inanimate objects are the real problem.  The health and stability of a society is based on the virtue of the people, not the text of the laws.  But once again, the bodies have barely cooled off, and Congress and the Biden administration have once again seen fit to reduce the rights of the people as an antidote for the actions of the criminal elite and the mentally disturbed.  I have enclosed a set of essays on the subject written just after the last big school shooting in Newtown, CT in 2012.  Nothing has changed, and the rationale for gun control is as weak as ever.

Thanks,

EDD

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A History of U. S. Coinage

History_Of_US_Coinage      <— pdf

Dear Readers:

The attached pdf file describes the history of coinage in the U. S. since 1791.  “Coinage” here means gold, silver and copper coins (referred to as “minor coin”).  Although Congress authorized coinage of money in 1791, none was actually coined until 1793.  The dollar was defined as a weight of silver, and was changed at various times in the 1800’s.  The dollar was defined de facto as a weight of gold in 1879, and formalized in 1900.  In 1933, the dollar was separated from gold, and became a fiat currency domestically, although was technically still defined as a weight of gold.  Silver was removed from U. S. coinage in 1965, and since then all our coins consist of nickel, zinc, and trace amounts of copper.

All the data in these charts are from my recent book “The Control and Manipulation of Money”, available for free download at https://fremontvalleybooks.com

The book also contains a complete history of monetary legislation, bank condition statements, descriptions of the various banking systems, as well as a tutorial on free-enterprise economics.  I hope you will find it informative.

Thanks for reading,

Ed Duvall

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