Keep the IRS out of healthcare

The Internal Revenue Service is an agency of the federal government like no other.  The IRS is more powerful than the Department of Justice; it is bigger than the governments of many small countries; it is able to strike fear in the hearts of the most self-assured and upright citizen with a single phone call; and if the Congress has its way, it will become even bigger and more powerful.  Under both versions of the health care legislation passed late last year by the House of Representatives and the Senate (totaling some 4,000 pages), the IRS will grow in size, budget and control.  It will become in many respects, the new gatekeeper for health insurance.

Considering that the IRS admitted in its most recent annual report to the Congress that it already is overwhelmed in its ability to respond to issues and questions raised by American taxpayers, it is indeed a troubling prospect that this single government agency would be empowered to decide if a family is maintaining the appropriate, government-favored health insurance. 

The IRS is able now to demolish the ability of an individual or a company to access their own monies.  It can freeze your bank accounts in an instant, and keep them sealed off virtually indefinitely – forcing you to defend yourself even as the government prevents you from having access to your assets.  The Service has long-enjoyed the power to find out everything it wants about your income and financial resources, under the guise of ensuring that you meet your burdens under our income tax system. By using its power to enforce income tax withholding schedules, this single agency can dictate how much of your salary you are entitled to take home.

Now, a majority of members of the Congress of the United States, purporting to “reform” and “improve” health care, are proposing to throw into the lap of this already-too powerful agency, additional powers.  This would come with quite a price tag attached to it, of course.  The current budget of the IRS already exceeds $12 billion; a bundle of cash spent on — and by — more than 90,200 employees of the Service.  The Congressional Budget Office has estimated IRS would need up to $10 billion more to meet the demands the health care proposals would impose on it, over the next decade. 

Tax considerations have long-served as the tail that wags the dog for businesses large and small; tax considerations often dictate whether a company saves or invests, hires or fires, and whether to raise or lower salaries and dividends.  Similarly, families and individuals deciding whether to invest earnings, save or borrow money, or plan their estate, must carefully consider tax consequences in making those decisions.  Frequent changes to the complex IRS Code, which already stretches to more than 70,000 pages, make the hurdles faced by even many tax experts formidable.

Also, under the massive legislation now being prepped for final passage and submission to President Barack Obama (waiting to proudly sign it in a huge Rose Garden ceremony), the most private  information in your tax returns and your files with the IRS, would be made available to the new federal overseer of the proposed health care system.  The Health Choices Administration Health Benefits Advisory Committee – with heaven knows how many employees — would have legal access to confidential tax and financial information on millions of taxpayers.  

Considering past abuses by IRS employees in misusing tax information — such as detailed in lengthy, 1998 congressional hearings – greatly expanding the universe of bureaucrats privy to sensitive, personal financial information should raise the hair on the back of every taxpayer’s neck.

Aside from the myriad other reasons America does not need government-mandated health care “reform,” putting the IRS into the mix may be the single best reason to defeat it.

56 comments Add your comment

Swede Atlanta

January 19th, 2010
4:04 pm

Re: Captain @ 3:28

Yes, up is down and down is up…started by W where unprovoked war = security and peace, etc.

If you read through the blog you will see several posting from people that are in tax that dispute Bob’s claims. I worked with the IRS when I was a law student in a tax clinic and found the processes and procedures fair. They don’t levy on property, wages, etc. until you have had multiple, multiple opportunities to dispute and establish why you don’t owe or owe different from the IRS calculations.

As to your claims about cost of trials, etc. Yes, if we are to be a nation of laws we have to recognize there are costs associated with that principle. I haven’t seen your quoted $250M figure in any reliable press but the value of standing for the idea that a person is entitled to a fair trial cannot be measured in dollars and cents, especially when we are fighting an ideological struggle. It is very important that we demonstrate that we are not afraid for our system of justice to try the worst of the worst. Unless we, in the form of the prosecution, mess up, he will be convicted and sentenced to a very safe and secure tiny room for the remainder of his natural life.

Jims

January 19th, 2010
4:59 pm

Go BROWN!
Thanks FOX News, you are the best.

Remember:
Drug testing for welfare would save millions.

Dean Girardeau

January 19th, 2010
5:26 pm

Blæ Blæ Blæ. Get a real job and don’t forget to unload your guns!

Marcos

January 19th, 2010
6:00 pm

Why stop at health care Bob?

A True Patriot

January 20th, 2010
8:31 am

Union City

January 18th, 2010
11:32 am
Well…I trust the government a whole lot better than I do big business. I know the government will at the end of the day, protect its people.It certainly will cost me something for it though.

WOW……Union City, what Planet have you been living on for the past 200 years?

Hard Right Hook

January 21st, 2010
11:47 am

Glenn

January 19th, 2010
9:13 am
Hard Right Hook

“Does it matter what your balance sheet says when you fudge all of your expenses?”

Fudging on expenses is called fraud, and should be caught by GAAP and the audit.

I really don’t care how much they pay the CEO; the Corporation is beholding to the policy holders and the share holders. And as tighly regulated as the insurance industry already is, I cannot see how the “evil insurnace companies” could continually get away with fraud when the Insurance Commissioner and his mignions are constantly looking over their shoulder.