Jewish World Review May 19, 2014 / 19 Iyar, 5774
There are worst tax agencies than the IRS
By Bruce Bialosky
http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | As someone whose chosen profession is dealing with governmental tax agencies, I am almost always flummoxed by the realization of others that the people who work for those tax collection operations would be in favor of collecting more taxes. This was recently reinforced by an editorial in the Washington Times.
The Washington Times is one of the many daily publications I read, most of which are left of center because most are left of center. The Times gives me a little respite from the other Times (New York and Los Angeles) that reek of leftist sentiment and pro-Obama cheerleading. They published an editorial titled "Displays of Obama, Democratic support common at some IRS offices." One can easily picture the celebrations that occurred in IRS offices and other government offices on January 20, 2009, when the pictures of President Bush came down and the new President went up. They probably had government-funded beer bashes and picture-burning parties.
The fact is, as the Washington Times article points out, some employees at the IRS brazenly encouraged taxpayers to vote for Obama; no shock to those of us who work with these people. First, it is because of the nature of the people who tend to take these jobs. Though some people go to work at the IRS to get high level experience and then trade that in for a career in the private sector most are not that way. Most are unsophisticated college grads, who majored in sociology and humanities, and have no accounting background or clue that debits are at the window and credits are at the door. Many years into their jobs they may understand some tax laws, but basic understanding of accounting or how to read a general ledger is something that is just beyond their grasp, and their actions are mostly from rote. They no more have a head for it than I have for Gothic literature.
The current review of IRS activities centers around the IRS treatment of nonprofit entities being improperly reviewed and some even harassed. The focal point of that has become Lois Lerner who was Director of Exempt Organizations. The interesting realization here is this hack for the Democratic Party was appointed to her position in 2006 under President Bush. Of course, Bush would have never had her doing anything other than preparing Texas BBQ if he had any idea of what she was all about, but the very nature of the organization (IRS) allowed someone like Lerner to achieve her position under a Republican President.
The fact that her abuses became clear under a left-wing President may reside in three factors. The first, that the entities under question were principally formed in response to the activities of the new president. Second, the fact that she felt emboldened by the atmosphere created by the new Administration and its Attorney General. The third being direct approval by the same Administration. Point three has not been proven yet because sufficient evidence has not been released, and no one has been turned by a Justice Department that serves only this president and not our country.
There are worst tax agencies than the IRS. They have actually somewhat been tamed by Congressional hearings over the years that have cast a very negative light on the IRS for beating up on hapless taxpayers. Some states are pretty rough on taxpayers as they grub for money instead of living within their means. The worst offenders are states like New York and California that have complex tax codes of their own and believe that a taxpayer is subject to their taxing power if they made a visit to the state to see their dying Aunt Sally in her final days. Remember leftist will use any rational to extend taxation on to anyone.
The worst I have dealt with is the City of Los Angeles. First, it is very challenging to find personnel that speak clear and distinct English. I have expressed to supervisors that I believe that is an inherent right of my client to be able to understand the auditor that is assigned to us. Often the supervisor speaks less comprehensible English than the auditor. There is no appearance of the fact that any of the people here have any understanding of producing income or that anyone would ever appear at a Republican rally.
A perfect example of the mindset occurred recently. In addition to having a business in Los Angeles, my taxpayer owns three properties in neighboring community. The auditor discovered the three properties and asserted a tax against the taxpayer amounting to thousands of dollars. I told her that the properties were in a separately incorporated city and not subject to Los Angeles taxes. She stated some properties that are in the neighboring community are actually in Los Angeles. I asked how a property that is in one incorporated city could actually be in another incorporated city. I sent her a map of the neighboring community off their website which she said was not good enough. She said we had to submit power bills showing the properties were not covered by the Los Angeles city utility. We did and then she said that was not good enough. Finally, a supervisor relieved us of the tax when we produced a copy of a Thomas Brothers map showing the properties were in the neighboring community. Does anyone believe a Republican would ever do such a thing? This staff has an animus toward the successful that goes beyond doing their jobs.
Let me be clear, over the years I have worked collegially and professionally with many fine people at all levels of government working at tax agencies. I have also worked with some hacks, but I certainly do not want to paint a picture that all of them are partisan lackeys.
On the other hand, there is a reason why Northern Virginia has turned so Democratic in recent years as the areas has boomed with the growth of our federal government. The vast majority of people who derive their income from the government have a pro-government mindset. That is, as the old saying goes, "As plain as the nose on your face."
That is why quite often today it appears the citizens of this country are at war with their government.
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Bruce Bialosky is the founder of the Republican Jewish Coalition of California and a former Presidential appointee.
© 2013, Bruce Bialosky