It’s no secret that individual senators and representatives will often slip a provision into a about-to-be-passed bill; that’s business as usual in today’s Washington. However, you may not have heard about a little sleight-of-hand that was performed when the Senate passed its version of a highway bill this summer. It included a provision to privatize tax debt collection.
That’s right. The Republican Party wants to sic an industry that is rampant with consumer abuse, on American taxpayers. The bloodsucking leeches on the far right who don’t hesitate to let corporations, private equity firms and hedge fund managers twist, wriggle and skate out of paying their fair share now want Mom & Pop America to come under the thumb of some of the most devious, underhanded and abusive tactics as practiced by private debt collection agencies.
According to Chi Chi Wu, an attorney with advocacy group The National Consumer Law Center, 79 percent of tax debt is owed by low-income taxpayers who are essentially too poor to pay their tax bills.
They’re going to try to get blood out of a stone, and that’s not good for anyone but the debt collectors.
If a similar version of the Senate’s tax debt collection bill is introduced and passed in the Republican-heavy House of Representatives, private tax debt collection will almost certainly become law.
Oh goody. Worrying about terrorism, rampant gun violence, climate change, etc., wasn’t bad enough. Let’s add abusive and harassing tax debt collectors to the mix. And we thought dealing with the IRS was bad.
Representative John Lewis (D-GA) has prepared an amendment the measure from the bill, but it’s not clear if the Republican majority will even allow a vote. Republicans believe that private debt collection agencies will be “more aggressive” than IRS debt collectors. You think? I guess it depends on how they define “aggressive.”
This is just one more example of the far right’s draconian mindset with regard to the very people they are elected to represent. What’s next? Debtors’ prison?
Here’s a 5-minute video worth viewing about the failures of privatizing tax debt collection in Washington, DC:
Featured image via business2community.com.