Home > Uncategorized > Privatizing Tax Collection vs. Privatizing Schools: BOTH Bad Ideas

Privatizing Tax Collection vs. Privatizing Schools: BOTH Bad Ideas

September 14, 2015

The NYTimes wrote an editorial today in opposition to the idea of privatizing tax collection. Why?

Private tax collection was tried in the 1990s and in the 2000s. Both times it lost money. It increases the cost of handling complaints and appeals at the Internal Revenue Service, and it is far less efficient than simply increasing the collection budget of the I.R.S.

Worse, it fosters taxpayer abuse. The debts involved are ones that the I.R.S. has not been able to collect, in part because the taxpayers are too hard-pressed to pay up. A private company is probably not going to have better luck unless it uses abusive tactics.

And yet, private tax collection is an idea that keeps resurfacing. Why? One reason is that it would be a cash cow for the four companies likely to win tax-collection contracts, two in New York, one in California and one in Iowa.

So… let’s change a few words:

Private tax collectionPrivatizing schools was tried in the 1990s and in the 2000s over the past decade.Both times it lost money. It has produced no evidence that it is any better than public education. It increases the costsaves no money and has not of handlingreduced complaints and or appeals for improvement. at the Internal Revenue Service, and it is far less efficient than simply increasing the collection budget of the I.R.Seach and every school in the country. 

Worse, it fosters taxpayer abuse. The debts involved are ones that the I.R.S. deficiencies and disparities in performance are the result of factors outside of school, factors that has not been able to collect, in part because the taxpayers are too hard-pressedseemingly unwilling to pay for. to pay up. A private companyprivatized school is probably not going to have better luck unless it uses abusive tactics like expelling students, cheating on examinations, or firing veteran employees in school districts. 

And yet, private tax collectionprivatization of schools is an idea that keeps resurfacing. Why? One reason is that it would be a cash cow for the four companies likely to win tax-collection contracts, two in New York, one in California and one in Iowa. testing companies, Big Data companies, and deregulated for-profit schools. 

The similarities are eerie… but probably lost on the NYTimes editorial board.

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