Contingency fees + IRS = sound policy?

Yet again — we covered this issue last year — lawmakers on Capitol Hill are considering sending private debt collectors on contingency fee after those who owe money to the Internal Revenue Service. Here’s an issue where I can agree with Washington Post columnist Catherine Rampell: contingency fees and tax collection don’t make for a good mix. Will we ever learn our lesson on law enforcement for profit?


  • Real Congressional action on this issue would mean unraveling the tax code. But that would be difficult. It seems easier to hire mercenaries to put a hard shell around protected interests.
    I see Sen. Grassley (R. Iowa) supports the idea. I couldn’t find who actually inserted the rider in the bill. In politics dumb ideas never go out of style.

  • Isn’t it ironic that such tax collectors were called “publicans” at one time?

    Or perhaps this administration is bent on re-introducing scutage?

  • Re Mr. Olson: “Will we ever learn our lesson on law enforcement for profit?”

    I don’t think the aim of this project is “law enforcement” at all.

    It is patronage. I was amazed, when I started my career in government, how much time politicians spend trying to put taxpayer money into the hands of their supporters.

    The “lesson” is not learnable.