They call me "America's Accountant", with more than 40 Years of experience A libertarian and fiscal conservative from New York. Read my take on taxes, politics, and financial news of the day here on RS and at my website, , "The Brass Tax of Politics"


    IRS Gearing Up To Take On 501c4s Again

    During Congressional testimony on Tuesday, John Koskinen defended his tenure as Commissioner of the IRS against stirrings of impeachment among some elected officials. Koskinen maintained that there has been an ample turnover of personnel, as well as disciplinary reviews within the IRS, so that the IRS has been positively rehabilitated since the scandal erupted in 2013. While the accusation of charges against Koskinen — accused | Read More »

    Budget Deal: SSDI Gets A Bailout from Social Security Trust Fund

    The latest reports on the budget deal show some entitlement changes coming to Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and the Social Security Trust Fund. The text of the bill is here. According to analysis of the deal, spending would be increased “by $80 billion over two years, not including a $32 billion increase included in an emergency war fund. Those increases would be offset by | Read More »

    Rand Paul, Daniel Mitchell, and a VAT?

    Daniel Mitchell, a libertarian economist and Senior Fellow at the CATO Institute, offered an overall positive review of ‘s tax plan that was released today. He had three minor quibbles and one major concern with the proposal. It his his evaluation of ‘s 14.5% business activity tax that is the interesting point for discussion — Mitchell asserts is a Value-Added Tax (VAT) for all intents | Read More »

    An Education Loan Bailout — and the Backstory

    On Monday, the Department of Education announced student loan debt forgiveness for students at the now-closed Corinthian College system in California. At the end of April, the Department of Education slapped the for-profit college group with $30 million in fines for allegedly misrepresenting post-graduation job prospects and/or placement rates to some 900 students in 12 schools since 2007. Read the letter here. Never mind that | Read More »

    It’s Not Kosher: Z Street vs the IRS

    The recent Z Street Case against the IRS before the D.C. Court of Appeals is a notable example of egregious behavior by IRS employees. Z Street is a group that was created in order to educate “the public about Zionism; about the facts relating to the Middle East and to the existence of Israel as a Jewish State; and about Israel’s right to refuse to | Read More »

    The Government Raisin Ring

    Possibly one of the biggest property-rights case since Kelo has recently been argued before the Supreme Court. The property in question this time is not land, but raisins. A couple, the Hornes, who were raisin farmers in California were fined for declining to participate in a government sponsored raisin regulatory group. The raisin growers sued the government under the 5th Amendment with regard to their | Read More »

    Chris Christie’s Hail Mary

    Chris Christie recently unveiled a plan to overhaul Social Security. This is his Hail Mary to get back in the game of running for President. Though I applaud his decision to make entitlement reform a major portion of his platform, his proposal is merely another veiled tax increase on the wealthy. There are two portions to his reform plan. The first is to raise the | Read More »

    The IRS’s Growing Role as A “Rules Interpreter”

    A recent article by the National Review brought to light how the IRS has taken on the role of “rules interpretation” in recent years, which is beyond its scope as the nation’s tax collecting agency. The most notorious example of this new role is highlighted in the King vs Burwell case before the Supreme Court — where the IRS interpreted the language of Obamacare other | Read More »

    TIGTA to IRS: You Got (More) Mail!

    The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) found even more missing emails from Lois Lerner among the recycled back-up tapes, which has provided now about 35,000 emails that were deemed lost and destroyed. This new batch of roughly 6,400 emails is particularly interesting, because it spans 2004- 2013, so it covers the time frame both before and after Lerner’s hard drive crashed in 2011. | Read More »

    IRS Complains About Budget Cuts, But It Cut Its Own Customer Service Budget

    Earlier this year, John Koskinen, the IRS Commissioner, complained about the IRS budget given to him by Congress. It was reduced by nearly $350 million for this fiscal year. Commissioner Koskinen claimed the “agency’s $10.9 billion budget is its lowest since 2008. When adjusted for inflation, the budget hasn’t been this low since 1998.” Due to budget cuts, the IRS warned that customer service would | Read More »

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