Tuesday, February 14, 2006

IRS Finds $345 Billion Tax Gap---but, hey, who's counting?

The IRS announced today that unpaid taxes, in 2001, amount to close to $350 billion (yes, ladies, that's "b" as in "boy.") Were these renegate Fortune 500's who evaded UncleSam? Nope---the unpaid taxes are traced mostly to individuals. Arguably, this may be more bad news for Mr. Cheney as the "error rate," in tax filings, appears to be more egregious, as the Associated Press reports, "among indivudals reporting income from a business." But, when Uncle Sam knocks, do you think anybody from Halliburton will be home?

You recall the marvelous photo op yesterday when our esteemed vice president managed to tear himself away from peppering his hunting partners long enough to sign a check for $7 to pay for a license which he seems to have neglected acquiring. It looks like Mr. Cheney may well have to pony up a lot more than $7 to the IRS. How come when you and I make this little $345 billion mistake, it's called "tax evasion," and when corporate lions underreport their taxes, it comes under the heading "error rate." Talk about double standards!

There is some good news, after all, in quail-gate. It turns out the president and vice president do have something in common--they've both committed acts that are considered "illegal," and not just by the opposing party, but by the American Bar Association. It was the ABA, earlier today, and not Hillary Clinton, that chastised the president for not working towards amending FISA if it was so outmoded, but instead opting to merely defy the 1978 legislation which requires that warrants precede searches. We live in dangerous times indeed when due process and equitable taxation can be disposed of in one fell swoop.