The favorite government agency of statists, liberals, and progressives is worried that it might not have enough funding to adequately separate Americans from their hard earned money. The IRS commissioner John Koskinen complained to congress that the agency may not have budgeted enough next year to effectively carry out its duties. According to the AP:
Budget cuts at the IRS could delay tax refunds, reduce taxpayer services and hurt enforcement efforts, IRS Commissioner John Koskinen said Thursday.
Apparently 11 billion dollars just won’t cut it for the Federal Revenuers. In addition to needing billions of dollars to pay pensions, target conservative non-profits, and purchase almost $100 million worth of office furniture, the agency is arguing it needs a couple billion more to do its actual job. Koskinen is terribly worried that all us commoners won’t be able to receive our refunds in a timely manner. (You know what a refund is, right? It’s all that money you overpaid to the IRS, which they kept all year long without paying you interest… Yeah, he’s worried you won’t get that back on time.)
"Everybody's return will get processed," Koskinen told reporters. "But people have gotten very used to being able to file their return and quickly getting a refund. This year we may not have the resources, the people to provide refunds as quickly as we have in the past." In recent years, the IRS says it was able to issue most tax refunds within 21 days, if the returns were filed electronically.
Whoa… Twenty one days! Holy cow! We should slow things down a bit. I mean, we don’t want the general public expecting the type of efficiency generally associated with newfangled technology, like steam engine mail delivery or anything.
Seriously? Twenty one days? Can I take that long to file my return? Ya know, because of “budget cuts” within the Schaus household (due primarily to an absence of household quantitative easing efforts), I just don’t know that I’ll be able to process my return by the 15th of April. I’m sure you understand, right Koskinen?
Of course, we really wouldn’t need so much revenue, in order to fund the revenuers, if we didn’t have 74,000 pages of tax code to flip through every April. The notion that it takes over $11 billion to simply separate us from our hard earned cash is almost absurd. Especially when you consider the fact that the agency is notoriously ineffective at answering questions about the very rules they expect us to obey. Have you ever tried to call the IRS? It makes the DMV look like a model of innovation and efficiency.
Oh, and by the way, the government is not exactly short on cash nowadays. The IRS has been collecting record amounts of revenue for years (which is more than we can say for the average middle-class taxpayer). Of course the government has been spending this cash faster than the Revenuers can collect it, and we’re still managing to run historically embarrassing deficits each quarter.
It almost seems like we have a slight problem with government spending… Maybe the IRS could use a little haircut. They’ve been doing a fine job collecting people’s hard earned money despite a slight reduction in budget growth, and they’ve even found extra money to spend on things like ineffective email destruction services. Heck, maybe we can just reform the system a little, and keep those poor souls in the IRS from having to process hundreds of millions of 1040s… I bet the flat tax, fair tax, or even just a general reduction in current tax laws would help the IRS stay under budget. (Am I not helpful?)
In short, Koskinen is threatening to delay your return if he doesn’t get a little more money to grow the department. His budget woes, however, are merely a symptom of an over-burdened Federal government intent on expanding its footprint in our daily lives. And if the mere concept of reducing the tax code (and thereby the compliance, operational, and executive costs of the IRS) is too much for a statist like Koskinen to embrace, then perhaps we can come up with a backup plan…
For example, they could audit a handful of actual tax dodgers rather than harassing the President’s political opponents.