Writer of Mysterious Tax Return Voyeur Provision Sought

Posted on November 23, 2004

Normally, most U.S. Senators and Congressmen are more than happy to step forward to claim credit for penning a new bill. Competition is fierce to slap one's name on a landmark piece of legislation, such as the McCain-Feingold Campaign Finance Reform Act. (Ok, bad example, as that one didn't exactly work as planned.) But no one at all is anxious to step up and claim the mysterious provision that appeared in the middle of the 3,000 page budget bill that the Congress urgently needs to pass before the Thanksgiving break. The cryptic provision, shoehorned in between boring budgetary provisions, gave the chairman of the Appropriations Committee full power to look at any American's tax return and to disclose that return in public if he so desired.

When the sneaky provision was found, righteous outrage was expressed by Democrats and Republicans alike. But who authored the nasty little provision? Even The Washington Post hasn't gotten to the bottom of it. Will the author of this little gem please step forward? Don't be shy!
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