Too good to be true

A domestic centerpiece of the Bush/GOP agenda for a second Bush term is getting rid of the Internal Revenue Service, the DRUDGE REPORT has learned. The Speaker of the House will push for replacing the nation’s current tax system with a national sales tax or a value added tax, Hill sources tell DRUDGE.

“People ask me if I’m really calling for the elimination of the IRS, and I say I think that’s a great thing to do for future generations of Americans,” Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert explains in his new book, to be released on Wednesday.

“Pushing reform legislation will be difficult. Change of any sort seldom comes easy. But these changes are critical to our economic vitality and our economic security abroad,” Hastert declares in SPEAKER: LESSONS FROM FORTY YEARS IN COACHING AND POLITICS…. “By adopting a VAT, sales tax, or some other alternative, we could begin to change productivity. If you can do that, you can change gross national product and start growing the economy. You could double the economy over the next fifteen years. All of a sudden, the problem of what future generations owe in Social Security and Medicare won’t be so daunting anymore. The answer is to grow the economy, and the key to doing that is making sure we have a tax system that attracts capital and builds incentives to keep it here instead of forcing it out to other nations.”

It would be delightful to see the income tax fraud shut down and the IRS banned, except that few government agencies are ever closed, and in any case, some agency will be assigned to see that businesses are collecting the sales tax. Still, that would be far less intrusive than the current system of enforced financial nudity. However, this theoretical second-term policy will be opposed by Republican and Democratic state leaderships alike, as it would play havoc on many state revenue systems that piggyback off the Federal income tax.

The fact that this is coming from a Republican leader with a book to sell in an election year makes it more than a little dubious. Sure, it’s remotely possible that someone in the Republican leadership has looked into the issue and been convinced that the present tax system is wholly indefensible in both legal and Constitutional terms – I think there’s now six former IRS agents, (who know a lot more about the realities of the situation than the pro-tax idiots on the Internet), who have switched sides and joined the tax honesty movement – but this would hardly mark the first time that Republicans have pulled a bait-and-switch on the public.

Since the IRS is an executive branch agency, the President could shut it down tomorrow with an executive order. It’s his call. As for the income tax, the law doesn’t require filing it anyhow, it requires nothing more than “voluntary compliance”. (Granted, the IRS will try to steal your bank account and garnish your wages if you don’t comply voluntarily, but that doesn’t mean their actions are legal. Quite the opposite.) If the President does something in that vein, I’ll take this seriously, otherwise, it should be taken no more seriously than that old vow to shut down the Department of Education and the National Endowment for the Arts. Having failed to deliver time and time again, Republican promises no longer bear serious consideration.