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COMMITTEE ON THE JUDICIARY
JAMES O. EASTLAND, Mississippi, Chairman
JOHN L. MCCLELLAN, Arkansas
ROMAN L. HRUSKA, Nebraska
SUBCOMMITTEE ADMINISTRATIVE PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE
EDWARD M. KENNEDY, Massachusetts, Chairman PHILIP A, HART, Michigan
STROM THURMOND, South Carolina BIRCH BAYH, Indiana
CHARLES MCC. MATHIAS, JR., Maryland QUENTIN N. BURDICK, North Dakota EDWARD J. GURNEY, Florida JOHN V. TUNNEY, California
THOMAS M. SUSMAN, Chief Counsel
ANN L. PHILLIPPI, Staff Assistant
statements concerning freedom of information.
dow of information reading room.... III, Jurnal Bavenue Service Chief Counsel's classification of records
under the Freedom of Information Act, June 30, 1967-IV. kmse of Commissioner Alexander to questions of Senator Kennedy
(Jan. 17, 1975)-
SENERAL BOOKBINDING. 99.
BB 005 2
FREEDOM OF INFORMATION: IRS
MONDAY, APRIL 1, 1974
Washington, D.C. The subcommittee met, pursuant to notice, at 10 a.m., in room 2228, Dirksen Office Building, Senator Edward M. Kennedy, chairman of the subcommittee, presiding.
Present: Senators Kennedy (presiding) and Thurmond.
Also present: Thomas M. Šusman, counsel and Ann Phillippi, staff assistant.
Senator KENNEDY. The committee will come to order.
Every American used to believe in the old adage that no matter who you were or who you knew, only two things in life were inevitable death and taxes. Many are no longer so sure about taxes. They are now convinced that a few=individuals with rich and powerful friends and corporations who buy political clout with campaign contributionshave found a way to escape the April 15 reaper.
Certainly it is true that the compliance of Americans with their tax laws has always been the envy of the free world. It is equally true that the reason they comply is because they believe that our system of taxation is founded upon fair, uniform and even-handed enforcement of the law.
Yet when we fill out our form 1040 this year, it is hard not to think of individuals earning hundreds of thousands of dollars who escape Federal tax liability completely; of oil companies with soaring profits who pay only 6 percent of their income in taxes, while workers pay more than triple that amount; and of a vast number of corporations who obtain special treatment under the tax laws.
We also think about White House plans to use tax audits to harass political enemies; of White House plans to obtain embarrassing personal information from tax files; of White House plans to revoke tax exemptions for public interest organizations; and of White House plans to secure special treatment for friends. And we think about the allegations that the President himself may have avoided paying his lawful share of his own tax bill.
Our system of self-assessment, backed by the full weight of the law whenever necessary, has produced a greater degree of voluntary compliance than the tax system of any other free people. But it is little wonder these days that, when Archie Bunker's daughter catches him cheating on his tax return, he replies, "I'm just, what do you call it, exercising my loopholes, that's all. Like the big guys.” Last year a Harris poll found 60 percent of those surveyed in sympathy with