Wednesday, May 15, 2013

The IRS & Wallace’s The Pale King

From yesterday’s BBC article “Outrage grows at IRS 'targeting' of conservative groups:”
The outrage over reports the US tax collection authority singled out conservative groups for extra scrutiny has continued to build. Three Congressional panels are planning hearings into actions by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS)...
The number of groups filing with the IRS for tax-exempt status shot up between 2010-12, after a Supreme Court decision loosened restrictions on campaign spending by groups not formally affiliated with candidates' campaigns.
Ahead of the 2012 presidential election, conservative groups complained to the IRS and to members of Congress that their applications for tax-exempt status were being held up and had received undue scrutiny…
While the head of the IRS tax-exempt division has said the "absolutely inappropriate" actions were limited to the agency's branch office in Cincinnati, Ohio, the Washington Post reported on Tuesday additional queries to conservative groups came from the Washington office and at least two other branch offices.
For a novel about the IRS, try The Pale King by David Foster Wallace:
The agents at the IRS Regional Examination Center in Peoria, Illinois, appear ordinary enough to newly arrived trainee David Foster Wallace. But as he immerses himself in a routine so tedious and repetitive that new employees receive boredom-survival training, he learns of the extraordinary variety of personalities drawn to this strange calling. And he has arrived at a moment when forces within the IRS are plotting to eliminate even what little humanity and dignity the work still has.

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