Letting Cheaters Prosper
What isn't so easy to understand is why the Bush administration and Congress aren't falling all over themselves to give the IRS more money. Tax enforcement pays for itself many times over, and it would seem to be a good way to cut the deficit.
The administration is asking for a budget increase, but keep in mind that a big chunk of that will be eaten up by routine payroll increases, so there's less there than meets the eye. Commissioner Everson says the Bush budget is adequate, but that's what all IRS commissioners say. It's part of being on the president's "team." Only Charles O. Rossotti came clean about the lack of resources, and that wasn't until he was going out the door.
So what does this mean for you as a taxpayer? Well, you've got four choices:
• Pay more taxes to make up for the cheats.
• Settle for less service from the government.
• Become a cheat yourself (I don't recommend it).
• Start screaming to your representatives in Congress that you want the tax laws enforced.
Teenagers who earn wages are skeptical about the future of the Social Security system. Nearly half -- 48.7 percent -- say they don't think the program will be around in its present form when they reach 65, according to a poll by Junior Achievement and the Allstate Foundation. That's up from 44 percent in 2002. However, that doesn't appear to have spurred them to invest in the stock market. Only 15.5 percent said they have money invested in stocks, down from 25 percent in 2001.
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