Jeff (http://www.jeffvail.net) had a very astute comment at my previous post, Job Openings – $500,000+. The thrust of his comment is apolitical. He basically states (my words, not his) that the first priority of any bureaucracy is to grow larger.
Being a bureaucracy, the IRS is merely taking advantage of the huge tidal swings in Washington, D.C. In order to hold on to the power that it has, the IRS must keep pace with every other agency as the dollars are flowing in Washington. Rather than an unusual thing as I protrayed it in my earlier post, the IRS grab for 16,500 new employees and another $10 Billion is what we should have expected.
If you look at the history of the IRS, you find that it has grown steadily like any bureaucracy. It was started to pay off the Civil War debt but then the income tax was ruled unconstitutional in 1895. That gave way to the 16th Amendment to the constitution when Wyoming ratified it in 1913. Since then, and a start of 1% tax on income, look at what we have now. The IRS collects about a Trillion dollars a year.
Aside from the brief history of the IRS, the purpose of this post is to suggest you give serious consideration to Jeff’s Theory of Power which has a very interesting discussion of the failings of hierarchical systems, like our government agencies. If you have a chilly spring weekend with nothing to do and want to sit inside and read, I promise you a book that will challenge much of what you take for granted. You don’t even have to buy the book. He offers it in a free electronic version as a GoogleDoc via his website.