Month after month, year after year, we've watched with fascinated horror as George W. Bush revives the ancient tools of tyranny. Aggressive war, torture, secret prisons, arbitrary detention, death squads, mass surveillance, contempt for law, elitist corruption, deification of the leader, co-option of religion to serve state power, rule by executive fiat: It's like watching a ghastly pantomime of imperial Rome or some feudal state, rigged up in modern dress.
By Chris Floyd
Published: January 14, 2005
Thus it was no surprise when Bush trotted out another weapon from the oppressor's hoard last month: tax-farming, the practice of turning over government revenue collection to private profiteers. Yes, that scourge of honest yeomen from time immemorial will soon be stalking the streets of 21st-century America, shaking down the populace for personal gain.
Bush has largely excused the rich and powerful from the onerous burden of lightening their wads a tiny bit for the public weal -- with a resulting plunge in Treasury receipts. Yet he still needs mucho boodle to pay for his wars, and for the corporate welfare he doles out by the barge-load to his friends and family. Not to mention the billions in public funds he's passing to his favorite religious sects -- including the sex-crazed, anti-American cultist Sun Myung Moon, whose front groups have been set loose in the nation's schools to teach "sexual abstinence," Salon.com reports.
(But then, Moon -- who requires his followers to fornicate in front of his picture, with precise instructions as to timing, positions and even postcoital cleanup -- is a long-time Bush Family patron, having slipped millions of dollars in hard cash to George I and Babs for public appearances on behalf of his organizations, Consortiumnews.com reports. Meanwhile, according to investigator John Gorenfeld, Moon's media empire and innumerable front groups have relentlessly pushed L'il Bush's political agenda. It's a match made in heaven, really: Moon made his pile through arms peddling, covert ops, murky business deals and a self-confessed strategy of "divine deception" masking his amoral power lust with pious blather -- just like the Bushes!)
But if the wallets of the wealthy are now sacrosanct, where can Bush find enough scratch to keep his cronies and sex-cultists in the federal chips? From American working folk, where else? Yes, those eternal suckers, who for generations have sacrificed their fortunes -- and their children -- to the greed and geopolitical scheming of the nation's gilded elite, must pony up once more. And so, hiding again behind the vast flab of the 3,000-page "omnibus" budget bill he signed last month, Bush quietly removed restrictions against farming out the collection of back taxes to private firms, The Washington Post reports.
This means that any average citizen who falls afoul of the nation's great googily-moogily tax code ("Byzantine" is too slight a word to cover the convolutions of the Internal Revenue Service) will now be set upon by corporate predators who can keep up to 25 percent of their squeezings as pure profit. And since the aforesaid complexity makes it well-nigh impossible for anyone without a pricey tax lawyer to tread the IRS labyrinth without stepping on one legal land mine or another, private tax farmers have been licking their chops -- and spooning great dollops of campaign sugar to Bushist Party stalwarts -- in anticipation of presidential approval. When you add the innumerable mistakes made, either through incompetence or honest error, by overwhelmed and understaffed IRS offices, which trap innocent taxpayers in a deadly spiral of ratcheting threats and ballooning "penalty" payments, you get a steady stream of fresh meat for the corporate maw.
An array of politically connected companies are already lining up for contracts, including Diversified Collection Services, currently under indictment for alleged money laundering and illegal corporate campaign funding in a Bushist Party corruption case down in -- where else? -- Texas. These and other upstanding corporate citizens will be given the power to investigate taxpayers' private lives, in order to root out any assets that can be snatched and flogged for that sweet 25 percent. Naturally, a taste of the action will be kicked back to the politicians who greased the plow for the tax farmers, in the form of campaign contributions, corporate junkets, jobs for kinfolk and cronies -- not to mention your classic brown paper bag bulging with geetus. Oh, there'll be a right old snuffling of snouts in the trough all over the Bushist plantation.
Of course, working stiffs, small business owners and real farmers will be the main grist on Bush's tax-threshing floor: No profit-seeking collector would be stupid enough to trouble the deadbeat allies of his political patron. As for the corporate sector, Bush has been systematically and covertly removing their tax liabilities through a series of arbitrary "rule changes" hidden from Congressional oversight, The Hill reports.
One secret tax cut gives giant corporations with millions -- or billions -- in profits the same kind of write-offs intended to help struggling, small-scale mom and pop businesses. Bush's covert corporate coddling also allows the most lavish perks for CEOs to be labeled "legitimate business expenses." For example, those prostitutes who regularly serviced brother Neil Bush during his "business negotiations" with communist Chinese military contractors (as Neil himself testified under oath last year) could now be written off as ordinary operating costs, thanks to brother George. Now, that's family values for you!
And so the porcine pantomime plays on, gorging the rich while -- as always -- the weakest go to the wall. With tax-farming making a comeback, what's next for the retro-mad Regime? Debtor's prisons? Slavery? Crucifixion? Why not? For surely history has shown that nothing is beyond the pale for this blood-soaked crew in their grunting, grasping lunge for domination.
Bill allows IRS to contract out collection of debts
Washington Post, Dec. 5, 2004
Mysterious Republican Money [Moon, The Cocaine Cartel, Yazuka and Bush]
Consortiumnews.com, Sept. 7, 2004
The Dark Side of Rev. Moon: Hooking George Bush
Consortiumnews.com, 1997 archives
Tear Down the Cross: Bush Supports Anti-Christian Group
The Gadflyer, Dec. 21, 2004
Bush's Death Squads
Consortiumnews.com, Jan. 11, 2005
Bad Moon on the Rise
Salon.com, Sept. 24, 2004
Sun Myung Moon, North Korea and the Bushes
Consortiumnews.com, Oct. 11, 2000
Rev. Moon, the Bushes and Donald Rumsfeld
Consortiumnews.com, Jan. 3, 2001