Harassing the Poor

HARASSING THE POOR….Back in the 1990s, conservatives managed to simultaneously lower the number of audits performed on high income taxpayers and raise the number of audits on the working poor who claimed the Earned Income Tax Credit. Odd, isn’t it? After all, cheating by the wealthy certainly costs the Treasury way more money than cheating by the poor, doesn’t it?

Indeed it does. But conservatives whipped up scare stories about poor people practically forming consortiums to rip off Uncle Sam for hundreds of thousands of dollars, followed up by dramatic hearings about jackbooted IRS agents raiding peaceful businesses with machine guns blazing. A few months later it all turned out to be bogus, but by then the damage was done.

Well, it’s a new decade, but the same old strategy. The target this time is labor unions, who apparently require stronger auditing because hundreds of thousands of dollars have been embezzled! Nathan Newman has the details.

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