Comments on: “Congress moves to turn back taxes over to debt collectors” http://overlawyered.com/2014/05/congress-moves-turn-back-taxes-debt-collectors/ Chronicling the high cost of our legal system Sun, 01 Mar 2015 12:24:34 +0000 hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.1.1 By: uncle josef http://overlawyered.com/2014/05/congress-moves-turn-back-taxes-debt-collectors/comment-page-1/#comment-287892 Fri, 30 May 2014 03:51:23 +0000 http://overlawyered.com/?p=46184#comment-287892 Da, Allan, da! Theory is much more important than experience!

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By: Allan http://overlawyered.com/2014/05/congress-moves-turn-back-taxes-debt-collectors/comment-page-1/#comment-287833 Thu, 29 May 2014 17:26:23 +0000 http://overlawyered.com/?p=46184#comment-287833 I guess, to put it another way, I trust government more than I trust for-profit corporations. Government (in theory) has the good of the people in mind. For-profit corporations only have one goal: to make more money.

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By: Allan http://overlawyered.com/2014/05/congress-moves-turn-back-taxes-debt-collectors/comment-page-1/#comment-287831 Thu, 29 May 2014 17:12:13 +0000 http://overlawyered.com/?p=46184#comment-287831 I am worried less about liberties enshrined in the constitution. I am worried more about graft and corruption caused by privatization.

For example, private prisons. I have two concerns. First, we have private entities weilding coercive power. Second, we have private entities lobbying for continuation of a program that might not be succeeding. With non-coercive functions, i.e., cafeteria workers, my concern is simply with the second.

I do not ascribe to the notion that we had “great efficiencies” from privatization. I just don’t know. We should have competitions. I think we should put competition to the test. For example, in the Smithsonian, let’s have two cafeterias, one run by contractors and one run by government employees. Give each the same amount of money to run operations. Then see who succeeds.

Why do you think the GI bill was better than establishing government run universities? We never tried national universities (except for the service academies), so we don’t know how they would do. In any case, I would guess that a majority of the GI bill money went to government run universities in any case (i.e., those run by city and state governments).

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By: Walter Olson http://overlawyered.com/2014/05/congress-moves-turn-back-taxes-debt-collectors/comment-page-1/#comment-287825 Thu, 29 May 2014 15:49:41 +0000 http://overlawyered.com/?p=46184#comment-287825 Allan, I believe, is being the captive of his ideology rather than open to the evidence of experience. Privatization and contracting have produced huge efficiency gains and service improvements in areas like cafeteria, janitorial, and groundkeeping service in federal facilities. The G.I. Bill, providing vouchers for use at private colleges, was a vast improvement over the idea of establishing universities run by the military to serve returning servicemembers. One difference is that cafeteria managers, groundskeepers and colleges receiving G.I. vouchers do not in general wield coercive power over their clientele; they cannot fine or imprison them for talking back on the lunch line or dropping out before completing their degree. Nor can they exercise subpoena or discovery power to inflict massive legal response costs and invade the privacy of those drawn into involuntary dealings with them. Privatized tax farming, probation services, traffic enforcers, and attorneys general can invoke exactly these forms of coercion. So, yes, in his way, Allan is right about the one class of privatizations putting at risk liberties we hold dear, and the other not. If he believes using private contractors to run the cafeteria service at the Smithsonian or repave a parking lot at the FDA endangers liberties we hold dear in the same way, I hope he will explain his logic.

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By: Ed http://overlawyered.com/2014/05/congress-moves-turn-back-taxes-debt-collectors/comment-page-1/#comment-287812 Thu, 29 May 2014 14:33:29 +0000 http://overlawyered.com/?p=46184#comment-287812 So, will these debt collectors go after the IRS folks who owe back taxes. Doubt it.

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By: Allan http://overlawyered.com/2014/05/congress-moves-turn-back-taxes-debt-collectors/comment-page-1/#comment-287803 Thu, 29 May 2014 14:13:12 +0000 http://overlawyered.com/?p=46184#comment-287803 Another case where a libertarian is against privatizing government services… It seems as though this only occurs when the libertarians think the private sector will affect liberties they hold dear. When the private sector performs government functions that they do not think will affect their liberties, they have no such compunction.

IMHO, all transfer of government functions transfers wealth from the publich sector (you and me) to the favored private sector. If government is going to be in a business, it should be in a business and not contract it out. That goes for prisons, defense, money collection, education, etc.

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By: Ron Miller http://overlawyered.com/2014/05/congress-moves-turn-back-taxes-debt-collectors/comment-page-1/#comment-287801 Thu, 29 May 2014 13:50:07 +0000 http://overlawyered.com/?p=46184#comment-287801 I’ve always assumed you were his brother…

I think the IRS should feel free to collect its debts however it likes. (The IRS is a person, too, after all.) If it works, great, if it doesn’t stop doing it. I don’t think prior failures necessarily doom the program. People can learn from mistakes.

This seems like the kind of work where hiring lawyers is overkill. Judgments are not going to scare these people. They have the federal government staring them down and they are not blinking. But would a collections agency work? I have no idea.

But you are 100% right about who would get this work. But sometimes I think it works a little different than you might think. You have a leadership in a lawyers’ group that has lots of PAC money? Here is a thank you for convincing your membership to look the other way while I only pretend to support you.

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By: Jack Olson http://overlawyered.com/2014/05/congress-moves-turn-back-taxes-debt-collectors/comment-page-1/#comment-287784 Thu, 29 May 2014 12:56:02 +0000 http://overlawyered.com/?p=46184#comment-287784 Are the debt collectors who buy debt from the Treasury in hope of a cut of the recovery bound by the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act? IIRC, collectors working directly for the Treasury are exempt from that act although private debt collectors are bound by it. And, can the private debt collectors seize assets the Treasury can take, such as homesteads and IRA’s? Note: I am no relation to either Walter or Nina.

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