Tuesday, April 15, 2008

"This program is the hood ornament for incompetence,"

posted by Bill Arnett @ 12:03 PM Permalink

said Sen. Byron L. Dorgan (D-N.D.). Of course he was railing against the Republican Party penchant to "Privatize, privatize, privatize, everything in sight by way of government programs. Republican's have, since I've been alive, sought to privatize every government program they can under the now completely discredited theory that the private sector can handle the duties of a government program more efficiently, with lower costs, and therefore benefit all taxpayers by eliminating unnecessary costs.

It's what I call the Republican Six Trillion Dollar Man Theory (And yes, I know it's really the Six Million Dollar Man, but Rethugs screw up everything, spend more money, get less for the dollar, expect cost overruns, and there is that whole inflation thing, y'know): "We can rebuild it, we can make it faster, we can make it more powerful than ever before, screw America for a $hitload of money in world record time and before they even know it's happened."

Excerpt from the washingtonpost.com titled, "Collectors Cost IRS More Than They Raise.":
The Internal Revenue Service expects to lose more than $37 million by using private debt collectors to pursue tax scofflaws through a program that has outraged consumers and led to charges on Capitol Hill that the agency is wasting money for work that IRS agents could do more effectively.

Since 2006, the agency has used three companies to go after a $1 billion slice of the nation's unpaid taxes. Despite aggressive collection tactics, the companies have rounded up only $49 million, little more than half of what it has cost the IRS to implement the program. The debt collectors have pocketed commissions of up to 24 percent.

Now, as Americans file their 2007 taxes, Democratic leaders want to end the effort.

"This program is the hood ornament for incompetence," said Sen. Byron L. Dorgan (D-N.D.), a leading critic who has introduced a bill to stop the program. The measure has 23 co-sponsors, all but one of them Democrats. "It makes no sense at all to be turning over these tax accounts to private tax collectors that end up costing the taxpayers money."
Not to be outdone or worst yet see only Democratic Party quotes, Republicans leapt to defend this wasteful program.
"The real choice is whether we use private collection agencies or let these tax debts go uncollected," said Rep. Jim Ramstad (Minn.), [one of the most bogus straw man arguments I ever heard. We had effective collectors on the gov't payroll that did a better job. Bill] the ranking Republican on the Ways and Means oversight subcommittee. "I hope we don't take an enormous step backward in our efforts to close the tax gap by eliminating a program that's working."[Working? Working? Millions and millions of dollars being lost. Only a Republican could term that a success - unless s/he were receiving hugh donations to keep the program in place. Bill]

After years of lobbying by the private collection industry, the Republican-controlled Congress created the program in 2004. The goal was to use collection agencies to close the relatively easy cases the IRS said it did not have the staff to handle: instances in which the taxpayer is not disputing the debt and in which the amount owed is relatively modest. Supporters hoped that the program would eventually be expanded to take over more of the agency's debt-collection duties, and the IRS predicts that the program will break even by 2010.
And to whom are the Republican referring that are making money at taxpayer expense?
Three firms were awarded contracts: Pioneer Credit Recovery, based in the western New York district represented by Rep. Thomas M. Reynolds (R), who supported the program and recently announced his retirement; the CBE Group of Waterloo, Iowa, the home state of Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R), who helped create the program; and Linebarger Goggan Blair and Sampson, a law firm based in Texas, home to President Bush. [No cronyism here! Bill]

Pioneer Credit employees have given congressional candidates and political action committees $117,450 since 1995, including $16,250 to Reynolds. CBE Group employees have given $9,372 during that period, including $2,500 to Grassley.

Linebarger Goggan, one of the nation's largest collection agencies, has extensive government ties. The firm, its employees and their spouses have given PACs and federal candidates in both parties $423,260 since 1995.
The Rethugs get hugh donations from these private contractors, reduce the effectiveness of IRS Collections, and give our taxmoney to low performing entities.

Why hasn't every single Republican idea regarding the economy, privatization, and trickle down economics been totally discredited for what they are: failed public policy, excuses for runaway spending, running up incredibly stupid deficit increases, reducing tax collecting ability, vastly increased foreign borrowing, and all the other garbage they spew?


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At 6:33 PM, Blogger The Sailor said...

Good catch Bill! If it wasn't on our site I would have missed this ... and I read a lotta news outlets.

At 12:13 PM, Anonymous Bill said...

I know - runaway spending, under taxing, etc, nothing new for bushco.


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