BUSH'S IRS GOES AFTER POOR FOLKS

You've gotta love the consistency of the Bushites. When they ram through their multibillion-dollar tax giveaways, it's the superrich and corporations that gain. And when they unleash their IRS to look into tax cheating, they don't probe the tax shelters of millionaires or the multibillion dollar offshore tax havens of corporate finaglers – instead, they go after the working poor who're entitled to tax credits of only a few hundred bucks each.
Jim Hightower's Radio Lowdown
Jim Hightower's Radio Lowdown
BUSH'S IRS GOES AFTER POOR FOLKS
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Counter conformity.

Stand out with Lowdown gear.

You’ve gotta love the consistency of the Bushites. When they ram through their multibillion-dollar tax giveaways, it’s the superrich and corporations that gain. And when they unleash their IRS to look into tax cheating, they don’t probe the tax shelters of millionaires or the multibillion dollar offshore tax havens of corporate finaglers – instead, they go after the working poor who’re entitled to tax credits of only a few hundred bucks each.

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With Bush & Co., them that’s got is them that gets… and everybody else should watch out! That’s the hard lesson learned by some 1.6 million low-income workers who have not only had their tax refunds frozen in the past five years, but also have had their tax filings officially labeled “fraudulent” by the IRS. This crackdown on the poor has allowed Bush to claim that, by gollies, he’s tough on tax fraud.

But the IRS’s own inhouse taxpayer advocate, Nina Olson, says – wait a minute – she and her staff analyzed the returns of these accused poor folks and found that two-thirds of them were actually entitled to the tax credit they sought…. or entitled to even more money. Another 14 percent were due at least a partial refund, and of the remaining 20 percent, almost none had committed fraud, but instead had simply been confused by the complicated tax forms and made honest errors.

By the way, the average income of these supposed tax deadbeats was only $13,000. The great majority were working parents who were using the earned-income tax credit, which was first advocated by the laissez-faire guru Milton Friedman and first implemented by Ronnie Reagan. But now these good folks are being browbeat by the Bushites for crass political gain.

This is Jim Hightower saying. If you’re a corporate tax cheat, the Bushites and their congressional henchmen look the other way – but if you’re a working stiff, you’re presumed to be a fraud… and the IRS comes down on you.

"Two wrongs don't make a right, but three left turns do." --Jim Hightower


Sources:

“Guilty Until Proven Innocent,” The New York Times, January 20, 2006.

“I.R.S. Move Said to Hurt the Poor,” The New York Times, January 11, 2006.

“A tax offensive against folks without money,” January 16, 2006.

“Battling the bastards is about as much fun as you can have with your clothes on.”

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