For John, BLUF: Of course we don't really "trust" government, but we continue to pay taxes like we do and that should not be undermined. Nothing to see here; just move along.
The IRS, which seemed to not understand its duties and responsibilities with regard to preserving EMail Messages now finds that its Instant Messages, which it thought were immune from having to be archived, aren't.
An Archives spokeswoman, in a statement to Government Executive, said, “The definition of a federal record includes all machine-readable materials made or received by an agency under federal law or in connection with the transaction of public business. Agencies that allow instant messaging traffic on their networks must recognize that such content may be a federal record and must be managed accordingly. NARA has issued an FAQ on Instant Messaging that provides general information about these potential records.”The hypocrisy of demanding that citizens keep seven years of information for tax purposes while not complying with Federal retention requirements is huge, perhaps as huge as the National Debt.
On the other hand, the real issue is retention of the trust of the American People. Our tax system works because the majority of our Citizens voluntarily comply with the tax rules, as they understand them, or pay someone to understand them. In an April 2013 report, CNBC put the underground economy at about 8% of our GDP, or $2 Trillion. They put lost taxes at about $500 billion in 2012.♠
I think it behooves the Federal Government to take steps, reasonable steps, to help restore and retain the trust of the American People in the IRS.
Hat tip to the Instapundit.
Regards — Cliff
♠ "A billion here, a billion there, it soon adds up to real money"—the late Senator Everett Dirksen.