Time: Thu Oct 02 08:47:17 1997
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Date: Thu, 02 Oct 1997 08:28:08 -0700
To: (Recipient list suppressed)
From: Paul Andrew Mitchell [address in tool bar]
Subject: SLS: President opposes citizen oversight of IRS (fwd)

>Published in Washington, D.C.
>5 a.m. -- September 30, 1997
>White House champions current structure of IRS 
>President opposes citizen oversight
>By Paul Bedard
>The White House yesterday came to the defense of the embattled IRS,
>vowing to "vigorously oppose" congressional efforts to create a citizen
>oversight board to protect Americans from agency abuses.
>=2E . . . "It is a recipe for conflicts of interest, and the notion that
>the right way to deal with these problems with the IRS is to decrease
>accountability and have part-time managers who would be themselves
>involved in a range of financial transactions would be a serious step
>backward," said Gene Sperling, the president's top economic adviser.
>=2E . . . House Speaker Newt Gingrich swiftly called on President Clinton=
>to repudiate Mr. Sperling's statement or "you will have allied yourself
>with the IRS' bureaucratic machine and turned your back on the millions
>of Americans who have been pulled through its gears."
>=2E . . . Congressional Democrats and Republicans pushing their reform
>agenda, meanwhile, shrugged off the White House attack and pledged to
>push on.
>=2E . . . Mr. Sperling, speaking to reporters in the White House briefing=
>room, said the president was "extremely disturbed" and "appalled" by IRS
>officials who admitted to misdeeds at Senate hearings last week.
>-- Continued from Front Page --
>=2E . . . But he warned Congress against reacting hastily by legislating
>broad reforms that could possibly lead to the death of the agency.
>=2E . . . "People should not forget that the overwhelming majority of
>people who work at the IRS are, you know, honest, hard-working Americans
>who themselves pay taxes and themselves found the examples there
>disturbing. IRS agents have been the targets of violent attack over
>recent time," Mr. Sperling said.
>=2E . . . He singled out for criticism a bipartisan measure -- the IRS
>Restructuring Act -- that would create a nine-member citizen oversight
>board to help the Treasury Department reform the agency despised by many
>Americans. The president would name seven of the nine members.
>=2E . . . Mr. Sperling echoed Treasury complaints that the board would
>include corporate executive officers, a charge flatly denied by Sen. Bob
>Kerrey, Nebraska Democrat and a co-sponsor.
>=2E . . . "The president would make the appointments and the Senate must
>confirm -- plain and simple. I suggest that perhaps Treasury's concerns
>that our recommended board would be filled with corporate
>self-interested CEOs is more a statement of who Treasury thinks our
>president will appoint, than on our legislation," Mr. Kerrey said.
>=2E . . . "Like a breath of fresh air, a mixed board of private and publi=
>experts is exactly the kind of new thinking that will bring real reform
>to the IRS," Rep. Bill Archer, Texas Republican and House Ways and Means
>Committee chairman, said in a statement.
>=2E . . . Mr. Gingrich wrote a letter to the president demanding that Mr.=
>Clinton "disavow" Mr. Sperling's remarks.
>=2E . . . "Surely you do not agree with Mr. Sperling's bizarre assertion
>that the bipartisan recommendations of the IRS reform commission headed
>by Rep. Rob Portman [Ohio Republican] and Sen. Bob Kerrey would lead to
>less accountability and less trust. Does Mr. Sperling truly speak for
>you when he said that you will vigorously oppose those recommendations?"
>asked the speaker in his letter to Mr. Clinton.
>=2E . . . The White House refused to back down, and Chief of Staff Erskin=
>Bowles said the president agrees with Mr. Sperling.
>=2E . . . In a letter sent to Mr. Gingrich late last night, Mr. Bowles
>portrayed the bipartisan reform as a Republican one and said there would
>be the "potential for conflicts of interest" in the independent board
>even though the president would pick seven of the nine members.
>=2E . . . He said the president hopes the differences over the citizen
>board will not kill joint reform measures, and Mr. Bowles added that the
>Treasury Department has pledged to "redouble our efforts to root out
>cases of malfeasance and promote accountability at the Internal Revenue
>=2E . . . Mr. Gingrich said reforms are needed because "clearly the IRS i=
>out of control and needs to be reformed. Every year we delay will result
>in tens of thousands of additional nightmares for taxpayers who are
>unfairly targeted, hounded, abused and bankrupted by the agency."
>=2E . . . Democrats pushing the reform legislation said the administratio=
>was stuck in a territorial dispute with Congress over reforming the
>=2E . . . "It's a self-manufactured turf war. We don't want to take over
>the IRS, but they don't want us to meddle, so it's become a turf
>battle," said an aide to a Democrat pushing the legislation.
>=2E . . . White House spokesman Michael McCurry, meanwhile, shot down
>other potential IRS reforms, such as a call for a flat tax to replace
>the complex tax code -- and the tax man.
>=2E . . . Instead, he defended the 10,000-page tax code, claiming it back=
>up significant federal policy and administration efforts to reduce the
>tax burden on Americans, such as supplying mortgage and
>charitable-contribution deductions.
>=2E . . . While trying to protect the Treasury Department's responsibilit=
>for reforming the IRS, the White House expressed concern about agency
>abuses detailed at last week's hearings before the Senate Finance
>=2E . . . "Nobody who can watch the IRS hearings could not be extremely
>disturbed by the accounts that were told. The IRS themselves have said
>so. Clearly, every American looking at that would be appalled by some of
>the abuses," Mr. Sperling said.
>CORRECTION: A story in yesterday's editions incorrectly stated that
>Americans for Tax Reform has been targeted for audit by the Internal
>Revenue Service.
>Copyright =B8 1997 News World Communications, Inc.

Paul Andrew Mitchell, Sui Juris      : Counselor at Law, federal witness 01
B.A.: Political Science, UCLA;   M.S.: Public Administration, U.C.Irvine 02
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