A Letter, From Open Circuit to His Colleagues in the IRS

Gentlemen,

I am distressed to see the way your organization has taken such a pounding among the media and news pundits in the last few weeks. Undoubtedly all this has done a great deal of damage to an otherwise sterling reputation for solid, respectable work among the people of our community. It is disappointing to see a group once the first weapon of war in the arsenal of the iron first reduced to blathering about Easter egg rolls on the White House lawn. There were such hopes for the place you could have in the new order. But perhaps the IRS can still make an impact on the future.

I have taken the liberty of applying my unique talents to borrowing this modest media platform and contacting you (knowing, of course, that people of your resources cannot possibly overlook it.) Please do not be dismayed, the normal blather usually posted in this section will be resumed next week and none of the so-called content will be lost, although I doubt that will make an impact on your work in any way, as it certainly wasn’t creating revenue.

In the mean time, I present you with a few suggestions as to how you might regain the initiative in the battle for public opinion and restore your reputation for ruthless efficiency in the face of the protests of the populace.

  1. Remind Congress who’s in charge. They don’t have the power of the purse unless you fill it, but you can’t go around not collecting taxes because then people will forget who you are. So you should audit all those who have been asking questions. The best part about this is that, with all the free stuff they get from lobbyists there’s bound to be something, and probably a lot of somethings, you can charge them with. It takes one to know one, especially where corruption is concerned, so if Congress wants to go there, go right there with them.

  2. While you’re at it, remind the accountants who’s in charge. If anyone tries to dispute your findings while you’re carrying out step one, remind them you can always start playing hardball with all their clients. You’re publicly funded, so bankrupting a few private accountancy firms through litigation is child’s play.

  3. Audit the president. Figureheads are only so useful, sooner or later they outlive their usefulness and you’ll need to have distance between you when that happens. It might be time to take a few steps away.

  4. Pull out all the stops on the media obfuscation campaign. Harassing Apple about using tax shelters was a good start but too many people love that company for it to work well. Time to pick some new targets. Might I suggest GE, Microsoft, Ford or perhaps Warren Buffett? That last comes with the added bonuses of working against the ideological demagoguery people are using against you and, since he already says he doesn’t pay enough taxes, he won’t fight you!

  5. Weigh in on issues that have nothing to do with your normal sphere of influence. The EPA does this all the time, and you should study their recommendations to developing nations for further insight. Just to give one example, you could offer to help build third world tax systems from something that crushes the population into poverty into something that confuses them into paying others to help the process along! (This also proves you’re playing hardball with American accountants only because you have to, not because there’s some kind of personal or political grudge in play.)

  6. Begin mandating some kind of distinctive identifying mark or piece of clothing for your agents. Armbands were popular last century, hats for a while before that. Perhaps a particular style of glasses or a unique cut of suit jacket, something that will make your agents highly visible to the public so that they become more aware of your constant and invasive presence in their lives.

  7. Set visible, incremental objectives to expand your influence and be seen doing it. Taking over healthcare the Department of Education “to ensure fair treatment of all parties” would be a good place to start. A national tax on income from the Internet would also work well!

  8. Most importantly, stop apologizing. No one will ever bend the knee to a government who apologized for something in recent memory. Own that policy with a scowl and they’ll back away. Then you can take all you want.

In short, with a few simple steps that I know are well within your abilities and temperament to execute you can quickly solidify your position and stand ready to quash dreams like never before. The IRS has been a powerful force of confusion and oppression for over one hundred years, and I have high hopes of working with you personally in the future. I look forward to your good work,

Open Circuit 

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