Saturday, April 19, 2014

Tax Theft 13: Imaginary Boundaries

Continued from Tax Theft 12.

There's plenty of Stupid out there in the U.S. of A., but check this out:
"Taxpayers rely on IRS guidance at their own peril."
-Federal Tax Judge
It's not actually stupid, of course; it's another one of the clever-stupids, where elites maintain an administration office for their money, which office decrees what rules must be followed during the extraction process--but which rules are wholly arbitrary, and may be ignored at any point in time when it becomes convenient to do so.

(If you don't follow this crap, good for you; the I.R.S. has had, since inception, the power to make rules, then break them later on, sort of like playing "Blackjack" with someone who can decide, each and every turn, based on their current hand, whether the winning number is 9 or 17 or 25, and then take your house and car if you "lost." Benchmarks are set only to produce the right winner in one year, one situation, through "Private Letter Rulings" [the wealthy buying a ruling to their advantage, which the I.R.S. occasionally publishes to mislead other people, establishing a one-time rule applicable only to that situation, as well as any other situation they choose later to make it applicable to, subject to any changes or stipulations they choose later to permute the applicability of the potential application].)

This isn't anything new, of course. I mean, the "Constitution," habeas discorpus, the enaction of an income tax, whatever. Is it even funny? The head of the executive branch gets to proclaim that he's not bound by law except when he decides to be or to not be; that he can kill whoever he wants wherever he wants whenever he wants for any reason he wants using any technique he wants. There's a certain dark humor in that, certainly, as we all see the black satin with purple stripes, smell the camphor and the elephants and the rotten hot dogs, and realize we're at the wrong circus with the wrong ringmaster. But the raw atrociousness seems even larger when confronted by the same illogic--the same cheating; the same filthy, capricious, petty cruelty--over something as mundane as a tax agency's revenue rulings for how many of which kind of percentage points will be subject to billions of dollars of wasteful scrutiny, but only that one time, unless it later becomes more than one time without any guarantee of being either multiple times or zero times.

Doop-doop ditty ditty doop-doop doo-dee...

* * *

The potential criticism for this one is that the person on whom the hammer fell this time was a tax lawyer with plenty of money, playing a game he knew was dangerous. What we need to remember here is that, like high-profile assassinations, this kind of treatment falls far more heavily, and far more often, on little people. Screwing this one semi-elite guy over in one game of ridiculously expensive national tax poker is a model for several thousand acts of Internal Malfeasance--telling some poor waitress to go to the office in their locality, she misses a shift she desperately needs, then the I.R.S. changes the rules, says the local office can't handle it, sends her to capital city on a different date, whereupon the right kind of supervisor isn't there to make the decision, and didn't she know she was supposed to call the Frisco office for this, and what did her CPA say, and oh, she doesn't have one, here's a list of local help centers who can help her, can she return next Tuesday, and if she makes a prepayment now the interest won't accrue as fast, and no, she can't give them that for her mother, her mother has to come in, yes, we're sensitive to your mother's condition but maybe she needs to get a power of attorney and have a representative authorized to represent her at the hearing in a different capital city, by the way, we towed your car on account of that thing with the tips six years ago that you failed to address, on account of the military protection you were receiving while receiving those tips.

Yes, do remember that the hammer falls more often, and more quietly, on people that Forbes doesn't want to write about. We tend to dismiss those stories as unverifiable, anecdotal whining from poor losers who just don't understand the system, which is why looking at a high-class screwjob is so useful: it reminds us that screwing--e.g. heartless, rapacious, vile cheating--is in every way the game. Not even the "name" of the game, but the game itself. Cheat. Establish rules and break them. Demand that the rules be followed except when they not be. Establish a separate set of "tax courts" to suck more billions of dollars from the people, hire a bunch of tax lawyers and former I.R.S. Agents to administer and judge these courts, and then declare that their rulings will only bind the I.R.S. when it wants to be bound, depending on who is being judged and to what degree and at what time. How much more literally can you express tyranny? How much more open and forthright can it be that the executive branch can kill and extract anything, at any time, in any way?

2 comments:

  1. Well, what to do with the knucklehead liberals who are still convinced that "if we only" (change campaign finance laws, resurrect the right kind of regulations, etc. wishful thinking items on the list to correct the excesses of the rich) we will patch up an "otherwise sound system" and live happily ever after?

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    1. Nothing has to be "done" with them; they're part of business as usual. Every generational round of reform is part of the self-justifying American prophecy, proving both that positive change has just, and can again, happen. We make ourselves born again by reforming this or that oversight that was left in shambles the last go-around, while simultaneously proving our own meritocratic system of governance by being willing to address, and enact, such reforms every so often. The only knuckleheads are the ones who say they believe in it even when they're not getting rich off it.

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