What is Earned

The AP has a story about the new head of the Internal Revenue Service in the US testifying before Congress.

“We must have the trust of the American taxpayer. Unfortunately, that trust has been broken,” Werfel told a House Appropriations subcommittee in his first public appearance since taking over the agency nearly two weeks ago.

Sadly, over the course of my life I have heard this kind of well intentioned testimony from a leader brought in to fix a scandal.  As I have pointed out repeatedly when a business is caught in a terrible scandal they will be lucky to survive in the market.  When a government entity is they get more money.  The relationship between the state tax collecting agency and the populace has always been adversarial and always will be.  No one wants to pay any more than they have to and the more the state takes at ever increasing levels the deeper the resentment will grow and temptation to cheat increased.  Trust is earned. We have not earned the trust of the IRS whose job is to be suspicious and they certainly don’t deserve our trust.  Now we know they are once again a tool to bully and intimidate political enemies.  The system should be redesigned but it won’t be because the current tax laws permit a lot of graft, alternatives no so much.

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