Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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April 5, 2006
By: Kevin Drum

SUNSHINE vs. IRS....Readers with good memories will recall a post from a few months ago about Susan Long, a Syracuse professor who has been tracking the IRS since 1976 and publishing analyses of how thoroughly they audit big corporations and the rich. A couple of years ago the IRS suddenly decided to stop providing the data despite the fact that they were under court order to do so.

Long sued, and you'll be glad to know that on Monday a federal judge ruled in her favor. Unless the IRS stonewalls some more, the data will begin flowing once again.

Kevin Drum 1:00 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (11)

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the data will begin flowing once again.

Believe that, and you'll believe anything.

Posted by: craigie on April 5, 2006 at 1:11 PM | PERMALINK

Too bad the requirements of the unitary executive prohibit the release of that information. So the IRS can and will ignore the court order.

I am serious, BTW.

Cranky

Posted by: Cranky Observer on April 5, 2006 at 1:20 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin roots for liberal judicial activism!

Posted by: Al on April 5, 2006 at 1:24 PM | PERMALINK

The President's wartime powers trump the orders of any Federal Judge on this or anyother subject. If the President thinks we should be kept ignorant, well, he has his reasons.

Posted by: Ron Byers on April 5, 2006 at 1:26 PM | PERMALINK

I'm fairly certain that the biggest corporations in the U.S. are under continuous audit by the IRS. Whether the auditors do a good job is another question.

Posted by: Ugh on April 5, 2006 at 1:33 PM | PERMALINK
A couple of years ago the IRS suddenly decided to stop providing the data despite the fact that they were under court order to do so.

Long sued, and you'll be glad to know that on Monday a federal judge ruled in her favor. Unless the IRS stonewalls some more, the data will begin flowing once again.

So, what you are saying is, unless the IRS refuses to comply with the court order to supply the data that it was, up until the court order, refusing to comply with the previous court order to supply, the data will start flowing again? Right?

Why does that not inspire confidence?

Posted by: cmdicely on April 5, 2006 at 1:35 PM | PERMALINK

Max Sawicky has recently edited a book on tax administration:

The Internal Revenue Service estimates that as much as $350 billion in taxes are not paid voluntarily and on time. Only about $50 billion of that is eventually collected by the IRS.

Why that 'shrinkage' alone is enough to wage a war in the Middle East!

Posted by: Davis X. Machina on April 5, 2006 at 2:48 PM | PERMALINK

Yeah, please tell us why you think that an organization willing to disobey one court order would obey a different court order to do the same thing?

Posted by: S Ra on April 5, 2006 at 3:07 PM | PERMALINK

Ordinarily, I am not one to take on Al or his many impersonators; I find he is best left ignored, but if that was a serious post, he's demonstrated the fatal flaw of the "anti-activism" crowd. It's not judicial activism just because a judge tells someone to do something, but that seems to be their stance as of late. If the judge makes any decision that is not "deference," even when deference isn't possible (like, say, this case), it's judicial activism.

This isn't actually activism. This is the judge saying, "Yeah, that previous court order, unchallenged by the legislature, was right." That's about as far from activism as you can get.

Unfortunately, I think Cranky is right. This is an Andrew Jackson situation. The courts have made their decision, now let them enforce it. Welcome to the Jacksonian presidency: if they can't physically come after us, why do we care?

Posted by: jhupp on April 5, 2006 at 3:58 PM | PERMALINK

The courts actually can enforce this kind of a thing pretty easily. The admin came up with some straw man that they claimed invalidated the previous order, and so they refused to comply pending outcome. Now that the straw man is thrown out, IRS officials can be held in contempt if they don't comply, with heavy personal and organizational fines, and even jail.

Posted by: JamesP on April 5, 2006 at 5:45 PM | PERMALINK

Mike Furir Mike 936

Posted by: Mike Furir 196 on April 8, 2006 at 12:43 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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