Friday, May 31, 2013

Dots to connect

This morning's LA Times editorializes about the "The 501(c)(4) fiasco ... the public needs to be assured that the IRS can enforce the law independently and fairly ... ."  You bet.

Trouble is that the IRS code we have (courtesy of Congress) is bizarre. The Economist (May 25) reports ("Why Americans love the IRS") Since 2001, there have been 4,680 code changes. The tax code includes four-million words. Each year, three-million man-years are spent complying with the tax code; $168-billion a year is spent complying.  The list goes on.

Today's WSJ reports "In Lithuania, the Tax Man Cometh Right After the Google Car Passeth ... Assessors Use Web Giant's Street View Photos To Find Signs of Undeclared Wealth ... More than 100 people have been identified so far after investigators compared Street View images of about 500 properties with state property registries looking for undeclared construction ..."

Big government advocates want big taxes but that means big politics -- and big and usually awful tax administration.  The latter is just a symptom. That's true in the U.S. and in Lithuania and everywhere.  These are easy dots to connect.