Saturday, April 11, 2015

Recoiling from you in shock and horror

All the talk about abolishing the IRS strikes me as nonsensical talk. Reform it, sure. But we still have a government to run and someone has to ethically collect the money that is owed. Perhaps not with the same names and faces, but the same activity has to occur.

If IRS Agents Horrify Their Own Families, Maybe They're Doing it Wrong by J.D. Tuccille describes a campaign underway by the IRS and its union supporters to gin up some sympathy for their professional privations and, more importantly, some additional funding to continue what they are currently doing. Tuccille reports:
Apparently missing the point that most Americans don't want what tax collectors have to sell, Internal Revenue Service bureaucrats and the heads of unions representing its crack cash-extractors are campaigning right now to shake more money and staff loose from Congress. And also to get the public to feel sorry for them, though that seems like a hell of a stretch. So you'll be seeing a continuing stream of news stories about how hard it is to work for the IRS.

One of those pieces, by Bloomberg's Devin Leonard and Richard Rubin, perhaps unwittingly illustrates why this all may be a bit of an uphill slog. It notes, in part:
Whether they worked in Manhattan or Peoria, IRS veterans talk about something else that kept them at the service: the feeling of camaraderie. It was nice that they appreciated one another, because nobody else did. “You go to a party, and if you say you are from the IRS, half the people move into the other room,” says Richard Schickel, a former senior collections officer in Tucson who retired in December 2013. “After a while, your wife and relatives get tired of listening to your stories. They say, ‘How could you take those people’s houses and their businesses?’ The only place you get understanding is with other IRS people.”
You know...When the people who live with you and (let's assume) love you recoil from you in shock and horror because of your behavior so that the only refuge you can find is among others guilty of the same conduct, perhaps you should consider the possibility that you're doing something really bad.

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