On Tax Day, IRS Commissioner Insults Unemployed American Workers

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By Joe Guzzardi

Joe is a CAPS Senior Writing Fellow whose commentaries about California's social issues have run in newspapers throughout California and the country for nearly 30 years. Contact Joe at joeguzzardi@capsweb.org, or find him on Twitter @joeguzzardi19.

The writer's views are his own.

April 18, 2016

If there’s one thing a journalist on the immigration beat should never say it’s: “I’ve seen it all.” The very next day, as surely as the sun will set in the west, something more outrageous, more incomprehensible and more destructive to the national fabric will top it.

Today’s example: During a Senate Finance Committee hearing that probed the use of fraudulent Social Security numbers to file tax returns, Internal Revenue Service Commissioner John Koskinen sanctioned identity theft as long as it helps alien perpetrators get jobs.

Senator Dan Coats (R-IN) asked Koskinen why the IRS ignores warnings from the Social Security Administration that names don’t match Social Security numbers. Koskinen’s reply was jaw-dropping.

IRS commissioner says identity theft okay.

According to Koskinen, aliens rely on identity theft – stolen Social Security numbers – to get jobs, but file their taxes under their Individual Taxpayer Identification Number. When a tax return is submitted with an ITIN, it’s a sure sign that the filer is an illegal alien since citizens and legal immigrants have Social Security numbers.

Millions of illegal immigrants have already collected billions of dollars through another IRS tax loophole that the agency refuses to correct, the Additional Child Tax Credit for up to $1,000 for each minor under age 17.

But Koskinen has no problem with stolen IDs as long as they’re put to use in what he perceives as the good purpose of getting a job, an insult to unemployed workers and Americans playing by the rules. The important thing, Koskinen said, is that “They’re paying taxes. It’s in everybody’s interest to have them pay the taxes they owe.”

What’s in “everybody’s interest” is mandatory E-Verify that would ensure that jobs are held by American citizens or legal immigrants and that significant fines and penalties – including jail sentences for employers that hire illegal immigrants – are imposed.

Koskinen’s cavalier attitude toward and liberal interpretation of the federal tax code is particularly galling on April 18, the day millions of Americans make out their checks to the government that has displayed so little interest in their well-being, especially as it pertains to alien entitlements.

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