The U.S. Taxpayer: Due, Blue, and 97% Pure

The advent of April 15 each year is hailed, as sure as death, by newspaper accounts of heavy punishment being visited upon miscreant taxpayers. The timing is no accident: the Internal Revenue Service likes to give the impression at filing time that, like the Mounties, it always gets its man. Last week, as some 62.9 million Americans went through their annual throes, they could reflect on the well-publicized tax indictment of J. Truman Bidwell, chairman of the board of governors of the New York Stock Exchange.

Then there was the invasion of Fordyce, Ark., by 30 tax agents who checked...

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