Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Another victory for privatization! Tax collection... 

Yeah, that's right:

Six employees of a company that processed federal tax returns were indicted Tuesday on charges they hid and later destroyed about 80,000 returns and $1 billion in payments to make it appear employees had met a deadline.

The employees faced charges of conspiracy and theft for the activities at Mellon Financial in the spring of 2001, during the peak tax-return processing period.
(via AP)

Of course, in the grand Bush tradition of taking a bad idea and making it much, much worse, Bush has already further privatized tax collection. The beneficiaries? Why, none other than major Republican Party donor Delay crony Diversified Collection services, already indicted for money laundering and illegal campaign contributions:

When Reps. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) and Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) teamed up in September to get the House to pass an amendment blocking the use of private companies to collect back taxes from delinquent taxpayers, it seemed the Bush administration plan might be doomed for at least a year.

But in the final hours of drafting a 3,300-page spending bill last month, House and Senate negotiators eliminated Capito's and Van Hollen's handiwork, clearing the way for the Internal Revenue Service to hire commercial debt collectors.

One company that lobbied for the change is California-based Diversified Collection Services Inc., one of eight companies indicted in September by a Texas grand jury, along with three Republican fundraisers for House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Tex.), on charges of alleged money laundering and illegal corporate campaign contributions.

The company has contributed about $435,000 to Republican Party organizations since 1999, Federal Election Commission records show.
(via WaPo)

Gee, there are several life lessons here, aren't there?

1. For Capito (R) and Hollen (D), bi-partisanship meant nothing, because the Republicans just undid all the compromising in commmittee. And how much you want to bet Rove now percieves Hollen as weak, and targets him for elimination in the next election?

The obvious corrolary here is that bipartisanship on Social Security is worse than useless—it's dangerous, because as soon as the Dems give the Republicans any cover at all, they'll have different bills passed in the House and Senate, and then "reconcile" them in Committee, in secret, and where Dems have no voice or control, and any compromise will get thrown out there too, and we'll end up with a backdoor Social Security phase out.

2. When you see Delay frothing and stamping on the tube, think of this bill. What does Delay mean by "the culture of life"? Harassing phone calls from the IRS, apparently.... Some life!

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