Mt. Vernon Register-News

Opinion

October 31, 2013

IRS scandal a bad omen

(Continued)

Don’t look for it to be done anytime soon. IRS officials told the inspector general that the program was too complicated to administer correctly, and even if it were less complicated, they would not want rigorous enforcement measures to discourage legitimately qualified people from applying for the credit. In the words of the inspector general’s report: “The IRS cited the complexity of the Earned Income Tax Credit program as well as the need to balance the reduction in improper payments while still encouraging individuals to use the credit as the two main reasons why reduction targets have not been established.”

Given that, inspector general Russell George concluded, “The IRS is unlikely to achieve any significant reduction in Earned Income Tax Credit improper payments.” So, look for billions more to be wasted in improper payments this year. And next year. And so on.

This is the very same IRS that will administer Obamacare’s subsidies and penalties. Does anyone doubt that in coming years the IRS will use the same excuses — complexity, a desire not to discourage qualified recipients — to explain its lack of enforcement, or perhaps refusal to enforce, Obamacare’s requirements?

The process has already begun. Back in July, the Obama administration announced it will not require state-run Obamacare exchanges to verify whether individuals who receive subsidies for health coverage are actually qualified for those subsidies. The administration will rely instead on an honor system in which it accepts an applicant’s word that he or she is eligible — a decision many analysts call an invitation to fraud.

In September, the Republican-controlled House passed a bill to require verification for all subsidies. This month, a much weakened version of that proposal became part of the settlement of the government shutdown. But the bottom line is, don’t expect the federal government to do much checking on who is receiving subsidies.

Text Only
Opinion
  • Remember the pledge Editor:The county board chairman is not being factual with his recent comments concerning the Public Safety Tax Pledge made by the 2004-2010 County Board.First of all, the debt we were facing was caused by the foolish actions of nine board members of

    July 31, 2014

  • Back to the future for death penalty? The surreal national debate over the death penalty reached a climax of sorts July 23 in a prison execution chamber in Florence, Arizona. Double murderer Joseph Wood was put to death by lethal injection shortly after his lawyers went to the Supreme Co

    July 31, 2014

  • Reduce property tax Editor:The regular July meeting of the Rend Lake Conservancy District Board of Trustees is always interesting, and this year was no different. It is at this meeting that the board makes the annual tax levy for the district. Like every year, the debat

    July 31, 2014

  • Away from the tyranny ‘Without courage, we cannot practice any other virtue with consistency,” the late poet Maya Angelou reflected in an interview with USA Today in 1988. “We can’t be kind, true, merciful, generous or honest.”What a poem Angelou might have written about

    July 31, 2014

  • No Headline Provided House and Senate conferees have agreed on a $17 billion bill to address the scandal over poor health-care service at the Department of Veterans Affairs. The legislation is now on a fast track to pass Congress before its August recess, showing that Re

    July 31, 2014

  • Shackled by 'dead men' In theory, the American people’s elected representatives decide every so often how much to tax the public and how to allocate the revenue among various priorities, both short-term and long-term. In practice, however, Congress and the president have a

    July 31, 2014

  • Close the tax loophole that sends US corporations overseas Since we last overhauled our federal tax code, in 1986, countries around the world have lowered their tax rates, leaving the United States with the highest corporate tax rate in the developed word. At the same time, the system has become full of inef

    July 29, 2014

  • Israel and the U.S.: Whose survival instinct is stronger? There’s something darkly coincidental in the fact that the latest weapon to be deployed against the survival instinct of both Israel and the United States is an alleged “heartlessness” when it comes to children. The people of Israel are castigated in

    July 29, 2014

  • College cost isn't big problem for poor students To judge by this summer’s banner policy proposals, the most important question for higher-education reform right now is giving students easier access to loans. But evidence from Canada suggests those changes won’t address the greater need: Getting mo

    July 29, 2014

  • Ducks, geese a blessing I would like to respond to the “Geese and ducks causing problems in Veterans Park” article that was published in the Mt. Vernon Register-News on July 16, 2014. I must share that I do understand that at times there have been a great number of the Cana

    July 29, 2014

Twitter Updates
Facebook
Stocks