Sunday, April 24, 2016

The IRS: Why it's screwing America's bottom 15%

     The Berkeley-Albany Bar Association has done it again!  BABA just scored yet another resounding triumph at its latest luncheon meeting at the Berkeley City Club, where it featured a speaker who told us lots of important stuff that we didn't already know.

     The Berkeley City Club is an architectural work of art, both inside and out.  Designed by Julia Morgan in 1927, it features Moorish/Gothic architecture, carved wooden banisters, exotic chandeliers and fabulous Persian rugs.  Gotta love the place -- even though its culinary specialty appears to be rubber chicken.  I always take my granddaughter, baby Sofia, with me to BABA luncheons so that she can learn to appreciate true beauty at a young age, be instructed in the correct use of silverware and hear top-notch speakers as well (and also because I can't afford a baby sitter).

     Anyway, last month's luncheon speaker talked about the latest changes taking place at the IRS.  Apparently the IRS's budget was cut by 15% last year.  "That explains why I couldn't get anyone on the phone there to answer my tax questions," I commented to the attorney sitting next to me.  "The phone would ring and ring, but nobody would answer."  Nobody was home at the IRS!

     And the attorney sitting next to me replied, "Yes, and this fact also explains why the IRS is spending so much time auditing the bottom 15% of American taxpayers right now -- because they know that the bottom 15% can't afford to hire high-priced tax attorneys to fight their cases for them like the wealthy corporations can, and the IRS no longer has extra money to spend on hiring a bunch of tax attorneys to defend its actions.  And so the bottom 15% of American taxpayers are now sitting ducks."  Oh.  Good to know.

PS:  I sincerely hope that the IRS doesn't audit me!  Have you ever tried to represent your own self in court, in propria persona, without an attorney?  It is totally not fun!  Plus the chances are really, really good that you will get completely steam-rollered over in court, even if you are right and the opposing party is wrong -- to say nothing about not being able to afford court fees.

     Sometimes what goes on in American courtrooms is less about justice and more about who can afford to hire the best judicial procedure.

     But on the other hand, sometimes you actually do get assigned to a good judge who is fair in his role as "Trier of Fact" -- and that makes your faith in the American judicial system bloom like a rose.

PPS:  Speaking of injustice, I'll be going to Chicago on May 11, home of the most outrageously unjust probate system in the entire United States.  In Chicago, screwing widows and orphans has been elevated to a fine art!

     And also while in Chicago, I plan to attend the annual BookExpo America, always big fun.  Perhaps I will see you there.