Typically, when a thread runs for 8 pages an incredible amount of topic drift slips in. Assuming that has happened here, my apologies to those of you who have found the current topic more interesting than the original, but recent news compels me to return to it.
I expect Carl will find this very hard to believe, but this comes from the NY Times: In response to popular outcry, the section of the bill that Moonshadow brought to our attention has been completely rewritten. The accounts that banks need to report to the IRS about are those that handle more than $10,000 in total per year EXCLUDING wages and Social Security payments.
Does that mean that every single one of those accounts will be scrutinized by the IRS? Probably not. They don't have the resources to do so.
But what about those 87,400 new agents? They are specifically earmarked for scrutinizing the tax returns of the 1% and you can just bet that they will find those bank statements very helpful in conducting those scrutinies (Yes, all of you officers of the language police, I know that's not a proper word, I just thought a snicker might relieve some of the angst I picked up as inhabiting this thread.).
Fine, but how do we know that those agents will be keep busy looking at the 1% and not take an excursion to the tax returns of the rest of us. In the first place, it would be a literal federal offense, which would undoubtedly cost the participants, including their supervisors, their jobs and pensions.
In addition, it defies the Willie "The Actor" Sutton principle. For the benefit of you American youngsters and our foreign friends of all ages who are unfamiliar with this legendary American anti-hero I'm going to digress a bit. Willie "The Actor" Sutton was a bank robber back in the day went such ne'er do wells regularly made the US newspapers (1920s and '30s). One time a reporter asked him, "So Willie, why do you rob banks?" "Because that's where the money is," the notorious gangster replied.
(That's usually good for another chuckle. I hope you had yours.)
The IRS estimates that if they could get the 1% to stop cheating on their taxes, they would increase income tax collections by 28%. By contrast, the bottom 50% of the taxpayers only shortchange the federal government by a collective 8%. So, which makes more sense? Going after a whole lot of people for a little bit of money? Or going after a relative handful for a lot of money?
So why have they seemingly been coming down harder on the middle class than the upper class? Because on yearly basis the Republican Congresses have cut the budget of the IRS and wading through large, complicated returns is a time-consuming proposition. If the Build Back Better Bill is enacted into law there will immediately (after hiring, onboarding and training) be 87.400 IRS agents with nothing better to do than to pore through rich people's tax returns.
Believe it or not.
David, the PDX Fashion Pioneer
Social norms aren't changed by Congress or Parliament; they're changed by a sufficient number of people ignoring the existing ones and publicly practicing new ones.