A startling lack of accountability inside the IRS should make Americans reconsider the effects of a large and intrusive government. As The Heritage Foundation’s John Von Kannon writes, “even after the current scandal is cleaned up, the IRS’s built-in bureaucratic problems will remain.”
Revelations that the IRS unfairly targeted conservative organizations reveal a disturbing lack of accountability and oversight inside the agency. This takes on even greater significance given the expanded power the IRS was granted to implement and oversee key parts of Obamacare.
In a recent report, Heritage’s Christopher Jacobs points out that:
Obamacare contains what the Treasury’s inspector general called “the largest set of tax law changes in 20 years.” Obamacare is so complex that auditors cannot agree on how many provisions the IRS is charged with implementing. The GAO wrote that the IRS “has responsibilities in the implementation of 47” provisions, while the Treasury inspector general concluded that “at least 42 provisions of Obamacare add to or amend the Internal Revenue Code.” Regardless, the law’s massive changes led the IRS’s National Taxpayer Advocate to worry in 2010—well before the current scandal became public—that she was “concerned about [the IRS’s] ability to administer the new health care credits and penalty taxes in a fair and compassionate way.”
This concern is justified. The IRS has a lot of explaining to do. The scandal raises serious questions about the IRS’ ability to handle its additional powers under Obamacare. The tax code is already too complicated to fairly administer, and Obamacare will make these problems worse.
Do you think the IRS’ powers should be limited, or do you think they should be expanded as Obamacare requires?