Time: Sun Oct 05 06:39:56 1997
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Date: Sun, 05 Oct 1997 06:27:32 -0700
To: (Recipient list suppressed)
From: Paul Andrew Mitchell [address in tool bar]
Subject: SLS: Clinton says mend IRS, but don't end it  (fwd)
Content-Transfer-Encoding: 8bit

<snip>
>
>Clinton says mend IRS, but don't end it 
>
>
>Copyright  1997 Nando.net
>Copyright  1997 The Associated Press 
>
>WASHINGTON (September 30, 1997 10:51 p.m.
>EDT http://www.nando.net) -- Rocked by stories of IRS
>abuses, the Clinton administration scrambled
>Tuesday to sooth taxpayer anger and prevent
>Republicans from building on public sentiment to
>rein in the agency.
>
>President Clinton promised to make improvements
>to the agency many are saying is out of control, but
>insisted "we should not politicize" the effort.
>
>House Speaker Newt Gingrich responded with
>criticism of Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin,
>saying Rubin's attendance at financial meetings
>overseas last week during the Senate's tax
>hearings showed he was "too busy to administer
>the IRS."
>
>>From Congress to the White House to the Treasury
>Department, the charges and countercharges grew
>hotter. Clinton found himself defending an
>unpopular agency and promising to make it better
>while rejecting a bipartisan proposal for a citizen
>oversight board.
>
>Onetime Republican presidential candidate Steve
>Forbes, who advocated replacing the current tax
>system with a flat tax, said Clinton is making a
>mistake to align himself with a dysfunctional IRS
>"that is more corrupt, more complex and more
>Kafkaesque" than ever.
>
>"That he cannot feel the pain the IRS is causing real
>American citizens is at once disturbing and quite
>instructive," Forbes said.
>
>Questioning Clinton's priorities, Gingrich said the
>IRS is "so badly managed" that it had 10 times
>more staff than government agencies battling illegal
>drugs or immigration problems.
>
>But Clinton said, "I believe the IRS is functioning
>better today than it was five years ago. I think it has
>to improve more. And I think we should not try to
>sweep any of these problems under the rugs."
>
>Rubin, in a news conference following Gingrich's
>comments, defended his oversight of the
>tax-collection agency. He also announced the IRS
>would start conducting "problem solving days" at
>offices across the country to help taxpayers.
>
>Rubin said the Clinton administration had moved to
>boost customer service with an improved system to
>file taxes by touch-tone telephone and better
>responses on the agency's toll-free tax help line.
>
>He also sought to put stories of IRS misconduct in
>context of mistakes made within an organization of
>102,000 workers who collect $1.5 trillion annually.
>
>"No matter how well it's run and how careful
>everything is done, inevitably, every year, there will
>be some number of instances that are not handled
>properly," Rubin said. "The key is to minimize it."
>
>At the White House, presidential spokesman Mike
>McCurry criticized Gingrich in unusually harsh
>terms. McCurry said the speaker "is probably one
>institution in American political life less popular than
>the IRS." McCurry added, "In fact, the more he's out
>there, the better it is in the long run for us."
>
>He said Gingrich's call to "abolish the IRS as we
>know it" was nothing more than a slogan, far from
>"the hard work of changing that agency" and
>improving its performance.
>
>Gingrich's spokeswoman, Christina Martin, fired
>back at McCurry: "I'd be a little grouchy too if I had
>to defend a privacy-invading, citizen-terrorizing,
>property-seizing bureaucratic monster like the IRS."
>
>A week after the Senate hearings on IRS
>misconduct, all sides agree that the agency needs
>reforms, but there is a sharp disagreement over
>who should oversee it.
>
>A bipartisan group headed by Sen. Bob Kerrey,
>D-Neb., and Rep. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, has called
>for a nine-member oversight board of private
>citizens to develop the IRS' budget and long-term
>planning. This bill enjoys bipartisan support in the
>House and Senate and is being championed by
>House Republicans as the main IRS restructuring
>proposal.
>
>The Treasury Department, in contrast, wants an
>oversight board of executive branch officials.
>Republicans oppose the administration plan as
>putting potential political influence over the agency.
>
>"I think that the president is protecting Treasury's
>turf here at a time when the turf battle is
>inappropriate," Portman said in an interview.
>"Rather we should be focused on root causes with
>the IRS -- poor oversight and lack of management."
>
>Clinton noted he had signed a Taxpayer Bill of
>Rights making it easier to recover legal fees in
>cases of IRS abuse and had established a board to
>improve technology and customer service.
>
>"We have done a lot of things to try to make the IRS
>more accountable, more professional. We can do
>more but we should not politicize it."
>
>The Democratic and Republican national
>committees also got into the act. The DNC
>questioned whether it was appropriate for Gingrich
>to criticize the IRS since the agency is investigating
>charges he used tax-exempt groups for political
>purposes.
>
>The RNC took aim at the president: "Maybe Bill
>Clinton didn't watch the testimony, but his continued
>opposition to reforming the IRS shows how
>extremely out of touch he is with the American
>people."
>
>At a joint news conference, Rubin and acting IRS
>commissioner Michael Dolan discussed in further
>detail the customer service initiatives the IRS
>announced after last week's taxpayer testimony. On
>Nov. 15, the 33 IRS districts nationwide will hold
>"problem solving days" at offices in major cities
>where IRS officials will be available to resolve
>taxpayer issues before they blow up into the crises
>described at the hearings.
>
>Such problem-solving days will be held every month
>in different cities within each of the 33 IRS districts.
>
>Dolan confirmed that four IRS managers have been
>suspended following last week's testimony pending
>an investigation of taxpayer allegations. He didn't
>name the people, due to federal worker privacy
>laws.
>
>--By TERENCE HUNT, AP White House
>Correspondent
>
>
 
>     
>"The First Amendment has erected a wall of separation between church and
>state,but that wall is a one directional wall; it keeps the government from
>
>running the church,but it makes sure that Christian principles will always 
>stay in government."
>--Thomas Jefferson, 1 Jan 1802, address to the Danbury Baptists
>
>
>
>
>*********** END FORWARDED MESSAGE ***********
>
<snip>

===========================================================================
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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