To the Editor:
There was a bit of news that went largely unreported recently. I only happened to stumble on a mention of it online. The IRS recently released a report that they produce every five years. This one was examining taxes collected in 2006, and provided an estimate for uncollected taxes.
The results are staggering. In 2006 alone, lost tax revenue came to an estimated $450 billion because the IRS cannot afford enough auditors to go over corporate tax receipts.
That amount of money is staggering, especially when compounded over the past five years. It would come to somewhere around $2.5 trillion in uncollected tax revenue, or enough money to pay for TARP, the Iraq war, and the Obama stimulus combined.
I understand that people grouse about their taxes, and that’s fine. But we pay them, and vote for people who reflect our ideas of tax policy. Whoever is not paying their share of the tax burden is breaking the law, and yet the IRS constantly has its budget cut.
This is akin to saying that you don’t like speed limits, so the funding for the police department should be cut. The difference is that the amount of money being lost here is tremendous. Coupled with the sequestration to be implemented in the future budgets, it would nearly eliminate deficit spending, and maybe even allow us to start paying down the debt.
It isn’t a popular view, but we must increase funding for the IRS.