America’s founding fathers were wise in many respects. They were revolutionary in setting up a republic, based on the separation of powers and a system of checks and balances. One even presciently warned against the mischief of factions. What they did not foresee was two nationalized factions paralyzing government, a viable means of resolving disputes between elections, and an answer to “or else what?” should one branch refuse to comply with the demands of the other.
- What the IRS audit programs looks for, including duplicate information, deductions, income level, credits, and other outliers from the median information: If you file something on your return that doesn’t compare to others in your income bracket, the system will flag your return, and it will be reviewed by a human. Just because the DIF system flags your return, it doesn’t mean it is an automatic audit. You could easily have a one-time bump in income from an inheritance or you make a substantial charitable contribution that is unusual for others in your income bracket.
- Two full weeks (and one new Congress) after the federal government entered a partial shut down, neither congressional Democrats nor the Trump administration seem any closer to a deal. Instead, both sides dug in their positions on whether or not to provide $5 billion for President Trump’s border wall.
- At a press conference in the Rose Garden on Friday, the president confirmed a threat made to Speaker Pelosi and Minority Leader Schumer to keep the government closed for “months or even years.” He also hinted at using emergency powers to bypass congress and build the wall.
- The Transportation Security Administration insists an increase in employees calling in sick since the shut down began is having “minimal impact” on the agency. This was in response to a CNN report that mass call-outs by personnel forced to work without pay had affected four major airports.
- The shutdown is also having adverse effects on everyone’s favorite government agency, the Internal Revenue Service. Tax refunds may be delayed, questions may not be answered, and those requiring proof of income for loans may not be able to receive transcripts.
- Will the Democrats cave, or will President Trump declare victory and leave? Politico Magazine sat down with eleven analysts across the political spectrum to collect their thoughts on how we got here, and how we might get out.