Things to Do About Taxes When You’re President
Every time we have a new President, we are treated to a new spectacle of people nominated to high office who have made questionable decisions. The new administration is not any different than its predecessors in this regard.
Often, the questionable decisions involve taxes, more specifically non-payment of taxes owed. I’ve had a few posts indicating that you can’t trust the IRS’ Statistics of Income very far because people at the top rungs of the income scale can easily hide that income from the IRS, and of course, it doesn’t seem like anyone nominated to an exalted position comes from anything other than the top rungs of the income scale. Best and the brightest and all that, but many of the best and the brightest are, in fact, corrupt.
Let’s call it like it is: neither Geithner nor Daschle would have ever “realized” that they owed taxes if they hadn’t been nominated to “serve” in Obama’s cabinet. And of course, Obama doesn’t care that they are, ahem, forgetful, cough cough, or they’d already have been booted. But the fact that this kind of thing seems to come up so often should at least be a tip-off to anyone who might care that tax evasion is a big industry.
At a time of record deficits, at a time when faith in the sort of people who have the wherewithal to engage in this sort of behavior is low, at a time when financial shenanigans have brought the country down, perhaps this could suggest something to our new President: its long past time to crack down on this sort of behavior.
Improved tax enforcement, particularly aimed the type of folks from whom we’ve seen tax evasion in the past (i.e., those who either don’t get a W-2, or who get some sort of interesting and oddball perks) could raise a lot of money. It might even increase the public’s faith in government. Finding scofflaws is probably not difficult; I imagine if Obama had the IRS take a quick look at folks on the short list for his administration and those of his predecessors, he’ll find a bunch of them.
But I’m not holding my breath.