Some bits and pieces from here and there:
- The “National Taxpayer Advocate” (a sort of IRS ombudsman position) released her annual report on . As was the case in her report last year, she complained that the IRS is overusing its enforcement techniques of levies and liens in ways that are cruel and, even from the perspective of government revenue, counterproductive — , the number of liens the IRS has filed each year has increased by 550%, but the amount of revenue collected through such enforcement efforts has not increased at all. “By filing a lien against a taxpayer with no money and no assets, the IRS often collects nothing, yet it inflicts long-term harm on the taxpayer by making it harder for him to get back on his feet when he does get a job,” Taxpayer Advocate Nina Olson said. “Absent data that show liens make a meaningful contribution to revenue collection and especially in this economy, I find it unacceptable that the IRS continues to torment financially struggling taxpayers in this way.”
- The government of Romania is threatening to tax the nation’s witches, astrologers, and fortune tellers.
A dozen witches will hurl the poisonous mandrake plant into the Danube to put a hex on government officials “so evil will befall them,” said a witch named Alisia. She identified herself with one name — customary among Romania’s witches.
Queen witch Bratara Buzea, 63, who was imprisoned in for witchcraft under Ceausescu’s repressive regime, is furious about the new law.
Sitting cross-legged in her villa in the lake resort of Mogosoaia, just north of Bucharest, she said she planned to cast a spell using a particularly effective concoction of cat excrement and a dead dog, along with a chorus of witches.
“We do harm to those who harm us,” she said. “They want to take the country out of this crisis using us? They should get us out of the crisis because they brought us into it.”