Thursday, June 2, 2016
Wall Street Journal, Q&A: 99-Year-Old Former IRS Commissioner Mortimer Caplin on Life and Taxes:
Mortimer Caplin has been watching the drama around the Internal Revenue Service since 2013 with the perspective of someone who has seen it all before, because he has. Mr. Caplin, who will turn 100 years old in July, ran the U.S. tax agency from 1961 to 1964 before becoming a founding member of the Caplin & Drysdale law firm in Washington.
He spoke to Real Time Economics about the IRS and how tax law has changed over time. Here are excerpts from the conversation:
WSJ: What have you been thinking as you’ve watched this controversy over the past few years surrounding the IRS?
Mr. Caplin: I think that [current commissioner] John Koskinen is a very decent fellow. He’s had a tough time. They’ve ran after him and tried to chop off his head. He’s had a broad experience, and I think he’s protective of the government interest. I just think he’s having a tough time right now. There’s no one up there really fighting to truly strengthen the IRS and give them broad appropriations. So he’s been squeezed a little bit.