In hearings last September, senators lashed out at the Internal Revenue Service, IRS agents testified anonymously behind screens, and TV cameras recorded the plight of citizens cruelly abused by the agency. People who take Congress seriously might have thought that the IRS was on the verge of extinction—or at least that the agency had finally gotten the message that it had no license to tyrannize the American people.
What has happened to the IRS since those heavily hyped hearings?
• The IRS made it much easier for informants to share in the money collected from people they accuse. Such payments were already on the upswing, doubling between 1995 and 1996, according to the Wall Street Journal. Informants will now collect 15 percent of the windfall, instead of 10 percent.