The Watch

The Watch is concerned about the increasing pressure towards feudalism in the United States from corporations, social regressives, warmongers, and the media. We also are concerned with future history concerning our current times, as non-truths which are “widely reported” become the basis for completely false narratives.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Whom should we audit today? Tough one. Hmm, let me see . . .

Yesterday, the IRS revealed that it was going to remove political party affiliation information from its database of taxpayers. This caused many people to say, "huh?", as yesterday was also the first time that it revealed that it had gathered such information.

And make no mistake, this information was "gathered". It didn't just come along for free with the tax returns. Party affiliation information is state information, and the feds had to hire outside contractors to associate taxpayers lists from state information with federal returns. In other words, they were working hard on this. The information was gathered for taxpayers in 21 states, including Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas, Utah and Wisconsin.

The deputy commissioner of the IRS claimed that the IRS doesn't use such information because that would be illegal. He really used that argument, swear to god, even in the face of laws meaning nothing to this administration. Here's the quote:

"However, the IRS makes no use of any information related to political party affiliation because IRS rules prohibit such usage," he wrote. "The only portion of voter registration information that is used relates to the voter's address."

Wow, I'm so relieved. Gee, I wonder why they were gathering the information, then, if they weren't planning to use it?

This humongous potential for abuse (do YOU think this administration would use the IRS to punish its political opponents?) was exposed by the union of treasury workers. Good old unionized civil servants, much maligned as they are, are still looking out for the people in this country.

Here's another article:

Kelly said the collection of such data was even more troubling because the IRS intends to start using private collection agencies later this year to go after back taxes.

“We think Congress should suspend IRS plans to use private collections agencies until these questions have been resolved,” she said.

This one has more GOP humor:

IRS officials acknowledged that party affiliation information was routinely collected by a vendor for several months. They told the vendor last month to screen the information out.

“The bottom line is that we have never used this information,” said John Lipold, an IRS spokesman. “There are strict laws in place that forbid it.”

Ha ha, make them stop, they're killing me. Love the logic: it's illegal, therefore we couldn't have done it!


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