IRS Is the Infection, Not Cure for a Rotten Tax System

The U.S. tax system is suffering from deep and systemic rot and needs a ground-up rebuild. But with the IRS acting more as the infection than the cure, restoring effectiveness to America’s tax system will require a revolutionary legislative reform effort based on bedrock principles of fairness and efficiency.

You can see the rot on display in both the IRS commissioner’s glib TV news appearances, where he sounds more like a political party spokesman than the head of a politically neutral government bureau, and in recent boastful press releases from the Treasury Department about the 600% returns it promises to “earn” on the $80 billion “investment” in IRS agents and resources that the Biden Administration rammed through in its Inflation Reduction Act. 

But throwing money at the terminus of the complex and dysfunctional U.S. tax system and bragging that will cure all that’s wrong with revenue collection is the equivalent of exclaiming that applying a new Spiderman Band-Aid will cure a gangrenous leg. It’s insulting in its over-simplification and nothing about it will have a beneficial effect on the real problem.


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