It’s common for politicians to criticize the heavy hand of government. It’s not surprising because that’s what politicians do. What is surprising is when the most vociferous critics of government assume the reins of power and become belligerent abusers of their authority.
A case in point is Attorney General Raúl Labrador and his crusade against school districts and nonprofits receiving federal childcare grants. Labrador launched an investigation, demanding quantities of records under tight time-frames, a request that will divert these organizations from their mission of working with kids.
What’s the justification? Labrador fears the grants, targeted to 5-13 year-olds, may have been misspent. Perhaps — gasp! — he’ll find some of those helped by these programs were 4½ years old. This must be a major problem because Labrador is wasting no time or effort to get to the bottom of it. Let’s not forget that two AG opinions — one issued by the prior AG’s office and one by Labrador’s office itself — said this use of the federal funds was lawful.
The Attorney General’s office is an important one and is vested with extensive investigatory powers. It’s deplorable when those powers are misdirected and misused.
William Rice, Boise
Tax policy design matters
Buried in the pandemic’s “American Rescue Plan”: a new tax rule requiring online payment processors to report to the IRS as little as $600 paid to any/all taxpayers. (This is “taxing the rich?”)
The absurd impact is the massive tax preparation burden inflicted on society. The reported income triggers a legal right to be reduced by all costs of making that income. But recognizing these reductions requires 1040 Schedules C and E (home office rental), with multiple form 4562’s and mind-numbing depreciation rules for computers and offices. All dumped on people receiving as little as $600. Do