Thursday, September 5, 2013

Great question

"Who will audit the auditors?" is the title of an excellent piece at the City Journal by Steve Malanga.  Lost in all the attention and rightful indignation directed at the IRS and the scandal it propogated is the fact that similar such behaviors likely occur at the state and municipal levels all across the country.  Malanga's opening paragraph:
The Internal Revenue Service’s targeting of conservative groups has revived old fears about the agency’s vast taxing and auditing powers, so easy to abuse. But the IRS isn’t alone in holding those powers. Across the country, states and municipalities have endowed thousands of revenue and audit bureaucracies with similar capabilities. Critics complain that officials use these entities to harass enemies and help allies. The evidence makes clear just how well-founded those concerns are—especially since these agencies typically receive far less scrutiny than the IRS does.
Malanga describes politicized tax power abuse in New Mexico, Puerto Rico, Oregon, and Idaho in his scary, but worthwhile article.[]