January 20, 2015—Hello, everybody, and thank you for tuning in. I want to visit with you today about one of my least favorite organizations ever created, and that is the IRS.
Of course, I’ve taken a very strong position on this for a long, long time. I made it very clear in the presidential campaigns that we didn’t need an income tax and we didn’t need an IRS and it caused nothing but economic troubles and it leads to trouble with our civil liberties because of the loss of privacy in our financial records.
There are always gimmicks to get the maximum amount of revenues for the government. Of course, that stems from the fact that the government is too big. They’re involved in welfare redistribution, they’re involved in war overseas, so they need a lot of money to run this big government. But nobody is seriously considering that, so the IRS is going to be around for a while longer.
In the news now, Congress recently cut the IRS budget by 17 percent, and this is great. John Koskinen, the head of the IRS, is complaining. He says they’re going to lose revenues because they won’t be able to do as many audits and they’re very worried about it. Quite frankly, I don’t think all of a sudden they’re going to have a lot less revenue. They’ll figure out something. But it is good news. The funding was cut. There are less audits going to happen, but not tremendously.
There were 1.4 million audits in 2013, and this year there are going to be 1 million, so the threat is still out there. They’ll probably have high-profile punishment of certain individuals because that’s what they do to intimidate the rest of the people. Oh, if they’re going to punish so-and-so and put him in prison, we’d better just be very, very frightened.
The IRS has been around, of course, since the income tax in 1913, and their abuse of powers has continued to get much worse. One of the motivating factors for cutting the budget has been the abuse of the IRS to punish in recent years under the Obama Administration, punish conservative organizations, not allow them to get a tax exempt status and also to punish some of the conservative groups. That is what prompted the decrease. This, of course, is good but not an answer.
One of the other problems the IRS is facing right now is connected to health insurance, to Obamacare, because, as we all recall, the Supreme Court said the only way it can be legal is if you call this a tax, not a penalty, so you get a tax if you don’t do what the government tells you to do. That means they have to know the records.
This year you have to check a box whether or not you have your insurance. Then, not only that, individuals who got a subsidy may not have calculated correctly their income, so they have to investigate that to find out whether your income was really as low as you said to get the subsidy as well as whether or not you have the insurance. That is a lot more confusing, just another thing. They could end up using people coming out of the medical funding to do the investigation just as much as the IRS.
Of course, the best answer for all this is to change the role of government, shrink the size of government, reduce the need for all this money, get rid of the IRS and get rid of this hounding of the American taxpayer. The founders of this country didn’t give us income tax. This is more or less a 20th century invention. It’s tragic that we have it. You can make two curves: increase in the authoritarianism of the IRS and decrease in our personal liberties. Bad curves; we need to reverse it.
Thank you for tuning in today and come back soon.