Joe Stack was right about the tax code

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by Contumacious, Feb 23, 2010.

  1. Contumacious
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    Contumacious Radical Freedom

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    Joe Stack wasn't wrong about the tax code

    Even the sponsor of the 1986 amendment that punished thousands of software programmers realized it was a mistake

    By Andrew Leonard

    That 1986 change in the tax code that Joe Stack, the suicidal pilot who crashed his plane into an IRS building on Thursday, cited as a primal grievance in his online manifesto? According to David Cay Johnston, writing in the New York Times, Stack's beef was legit: the law "made it extremely difficult for information technology professionals to work as self-employed individuals, forcing most to become company employees."

    And the original reason for the law, well, one can understand why some people would find it a little crazy-making.

    The law was sponsored by Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, Democrat of New York, as a favor to I.B.M., which wanted a $60 million tax break on its overseas business.

    Under budget rules in effect at the time, any tax breaks had to be paid for with new revenues. By requiring software engineers to be employees, a Congressional report estimated, income and payroll taxes would rise by $60 million a year because employees had few opportunities to cheat on their taxes.

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  2. Contumacious
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    Contumacious Radical Freedom

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    The law was sponsored by Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, Democrat of New York, as a favor to I.B.M., which wanted a $60 million tax break on its overseas business.


    Under budget rules in effect at the time, any tax breaks had to be paid for with new revenues. By requiring software engineers to be employees, a Congressional report estimated, income and payroll taxes would rise by $60 million a year because employees had few opportunities to cheat on their taxes.

    Within a year, however, Moynihan changed his mind, and unsuccessfully sought for the law's repeal.

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  3. Contumacious
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    Contumacious Radical Freedom

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    "The Times inexplicably does not link back to Johnston's much longer article exposing the law in 1998. In that piece, Johnston extensively documented the devastating effect the law had on software programmers who wanted to set up their own shop."
     
  4. ScottBernard
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    ScottBernard Member

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    I wonder how exactly independent contractors cheated on their taxes. Was it that big of a problem? Or was it a big corporation just making sure that it wiped out the competition before there was any chance of it becoming competition?
     

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