The House of Reps. is not a big fan of this practice and passed a bill calling for its removal, but that only made fans of the ‘goon squads’ more persistent on keeping it around.
The bill passed yesterday would ban the IRS from hiring these private ‘debt collection firms’ to go after those who didn’t pay their taxes. This practice has been in place since 2005, and many Senators, who have also come out in opposition to its repeal prior to its debate in the Senate, maintain the program didn’t have a chance to work.
Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, sent a letter to Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-North Dakota outlining his opposition to the plan.“The program is still relatively new. It should have a fair chance to succeed or fail on its merits before Congress rushes to kill it in the cradle,” said Grassley.
Wow, that’s some morbid imagery there, Chuck.
On the plus side for Chuck and his fellow ‘keep the Goons’ gang, this bill has a long way to go before becoming law and President Bush hasn’t made it any easier by saying he will definitely veto it and keep the private collection firms in place. This is because if this practice is abolished the IRS will lose the $578 million already collected by the firms. Bush likes ’em and may want to expand their power from just contacting delinquents and organizing payments to more sinister threatening tactics. The number of private collectors with IRS hitlists will surely increase, and you may find one stalking your mailbox and voicemail with ‘pay now’ notices.
The debate over the feasibility of keeping these ‘collection goons’ in place will continue, but it does sound pretty unsettling to think private companies have been put in charge of hunting down delinquents and demanding money on behalf of the government. Is this really something the IRS can’t be doing on its own?
CNN Money: House Approves Bill Banning Private Debt Collection of Taxes, April 15, 2008