Friday, April 3, 2015

Is Ted Cruz right?

Should we "abolish the IRS"?

Doyle McManus of the LA Times says no (my emphasis):

Believe it or not, the IRS is becoming something of a model of efficiency among Washington's bureaucracies. It collects more taxes every year than ever before, at lower cost per dollar collected than anytime since 1980. It does fewer face-to-face audits, too; most of its enforcement is done by checking electronic data and sending out letters. By the end of this year, its payroll will be about 14% smaller than five years ago, shortened by about 13,000 people. Its technologists have proposed new enforcement projects that would collect $8 to $13 for every dollar spent.

“That's a return on investment that private businesses would kill for,” notes John Hudak, who studies the management of federal bureaucracies for the Brookings Institution.

So how would Cruz suggest we collect the revenue necessary to run the federal government?

Aides say Cruz would replace the agency with a tax collection division in the Treasury Department. (Treasury already has a tax collection division. It's called the IRS.)