Tax time from Liz Warren

I feel like a dope for having not figured this out on my own. The IRS is not an agency I feel sorry for, even though they are being taken down by the Trumpists. And the rightwingers trying to defund them are not noble people–they have their own reasons for wanting to break the tax agencies. Remember that the GOP is a libertarian small-government party and if they had their way, the IRS would be gone along with Social Security, Medicare and medicaid. But this is a proposal we should’ve heard a long time ago.

Senator Elizabeth Warren, whose proposal makes sense and will never pass.

Anyway, I’ve had respect for Warren for years now, before she ever ran for office. A professor of Law at Harvard, she understood the way bankruptcy in this country works and laid it out in a famous lecture here. I think this lecture predates the 2008 meltdown of the economy and she calls out bankruptcy law as a real issue.

Her focus has changed since the days when she began running for office. But this focus is something the middle class should care about. Again, the IRS knows everything about your finances. Why can’t they just take the minor step of just figuring out your taxes on their own? From the article about her proposal:

When Americans fill out W-2 and 1099 forms, their employer sends that information to the federal government. The government already knows your yearly earnings are before your taxes are filed. Instead of spending hours scrambling, all Americans could receive a pre-filled out tax form from the IRS with the information that the agency already has.

Tax prep companies like Intuit and H&R Block spend millions lobbying the government to stop the IRS from offering a free file option. Both companies have intentionally hidden their free filing tools.

The Tax Filing Simplification Act could end the chokehold the tax prep lobby has had on Americans for decades. Read the details here:

I don’t expect this to happen anytime soon, and not just because powerful interests are arrayed against it. Think about it: If you accept the idea that the IRS already knows all this about your income, how do you explain the IRS looking the other way on 30+ years of the Trumps cheating on their taxes? As it has been explained in the articles leaked (primarily through Mary Trump), the data on the ‘fake jobs’ of Donald and his siblings should have been pretty easy for anyone who understands accounting to suss out. And yet, until Mary Trump blew the whistle, it had continued for decades.

Mary Trump, niece of the President

Here’s a question I have–how many ‘muricans are complying with the tax code at this point? The last four years have revealed that the billionaire class doesn’t play by the rules and don’t seem to suffer for it. I’m reminded of ‘the queen of mean’, Leona Helmsley, who was finally caught in her cheating after decades of getting away with it. With Trump, you could make the case that The Donald’s own Hubris was what revealed his cheating. Would he have been facing prosecutors right now had he never decided to run for high office? Those of you who follow my blog might want to page back to the tax gaming of a certain Willard Romney who used a dodge called a CRUT to shelter income in the Mormon Church. But Willard’s cheat was small potatoes next to what Trump was doing. And have other multi millionaires gotten a pass on such shenanigans? And if so, why are ‘muricans putting up with it? I’d hate to be an IRS auditor right now facing up to people being ‘dinged’ on minor discrepancies when it’s clear the plutocrat/oligarch class have been getting away with tax cheating for a generation.

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