The Audacity of Bureaucracy

Doyle McManus opines that the IRS is a model of efficiency:

Believe it or not, the IRS is becoming something of a model of efficiency among Washington’s bureaucracies. It collects more taxes every year than ever before, at lower cost per dollar collected than anytime since 1980. It does fewer face-to-face audits, too; most of its enforcement is done by checking electronic data and sending out letters. By the end of this year, its payroll will be about 14% smaller than five years ago, shortened by about 13,000 people. Its technologists have proposed new enforcement projects that would collect $8 to $13 for every dollar spent.

“That’s a return on investment that private businesses would kill for,” notes John Hudak, who studies the management of federal bureaucracies for the Brookings Institution.

“Efficiency” is anathema to our federal government, as envisioned by James Madison. The idea that a government agency could slip money away from the citizenry before they even held it in their hands… well, the Founders fought and won a revolutionary war over less.

And pardon my language, but screw John Hudak and screw the Brookings Institution. If a business could take money from our paychecks before they were even written, in exchange for nebulous and overpriced services, then I’m sure that company would be a model of efficiency, too.

To compare free market virtues of most American businesses to the predations of the IRS to the is nothing short of lies in the service of evil.