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Audit Congress

Posted by Richard on February 10, 2009

It's come to my attention recently that we seem to have quite a few elected officials and appointees to high government office who forget to declare all their income or can't understand even the relatively simple parts of the tax code. Yet, when their past failings and "oversights" come to light, they usually suffer no consequences other than having to pay up — and usually without any penalties.

This state of affairs has at least two deleterious consequences: 

  • It breeds cynicism among the citizenry and undermines confidence in and commitment to the rule of law.
  • It suggests that there are elected and appointed officials, possibly in sensitive positions, who may be susceptible to blackmail and extortion. 

Dan Murphy and Peter Langlois have an idea for correcting this corrosive situation, and they've set up to promote the idea: 

This site is dedicated to a simple proposition.  If you serve the public in a position of high responsibility, you deserve to submit to an IRS audit annually.  If you lobby congress, hold a cabinet position, or serve any federally appointed position, feel free to get in line at the IRS.  Consider it "table stakes" for establishing fiduciary credibility.  We can't afford tax cheats as Congressman and Senators, nor as federal attorneys, prosecutors, or administrators.

When you're finished cheering, go check it out.

If you have some ideas on the subject, contact them about getting posting rights on the blog and a list of topics they'd like someone to address.

But check out the guidelines first. These guys are pretty determined to keep the discussion civil, and they're just a wee bit paranoid about things like defamation and their potential legal liability. Understandable, I suppose — the law doesn't generally cut us ordinary citizens as much slack as it does our rulers public servants.

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3 Responses to “Audit Congress”

  1. Pete Langlois said

    Thanks for your interest in this initiative. We’ve just put up a petition site to allow the public to express their voice on this subject.

    If this initiative strikes you as an issue of basic fairness and accountability, please support us with your signature.

  2. Dan Murphy said

    Richard, thanks for the mention and the link! We really appreciate it. I think there may perhaps be finally enough disgust with Washington to motivate people to take action. Signing the petition is a first step.

    Warm regards,

    Dan Murphy

  3. Nicholas Horianopoulos said is certainly on the right track. The “I got caught, I’m sorry, I’ll pay back the taxes and you don’t have to assess penalties; where’s my appointment” frame of mind is rife in the District right now.

    Right there in the “most transparent and ethical administration in the galaxy, and possibly beyond.”

    Spokesmouth Gibb notwithstanding, transparency appears to be of minimal actual concern to the apparatchiks of the Obama administration.

    And jeeze, we’re only two weeks into this affair.

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