It’s tax season, and “Last Week Tonight” host John Oliver and his special guest Michael Bolton have a message for all of you out there who hate the IRS — it’s not their fault, so just lay off.
Oliver does acknowledge that he understands the IRS hate.”Is it any wonder that everybody hates the IRS? Dealing with them is obligatory, it often ends badly and it combines the two things we hate most in life — someone taking our money and math.”
He also acknowledges the IRS scandals that have plagued the federal agency. But still, the IRS is important and most of what people are angry about is not the agency’s fault.
“If you’re angry about the amount of tax you pay, that has nothing to do with them. That’s determined by a vote in Congress. … If you think our tax code is too complicated, well that’s Congress’ fault too,” says Oliver. “And you know who agrees with you? The people that work for the IRS because even they have trouble keeping up.”
“Blaming the IRS because you hate paying your taxes is a bit like slapping your check-out clerk because the price of eggs has gone up.”
Oliver says that taxpayers need to trust the IRS because there is no better way to collect revenue. And revenue is important because it provides things that all citizens need. You don’t have to like it, but you just have to do it.
“I’m not saying the IRS is a likable organization, but not everything that’s important is likable,” says Oliver. “I think they may deserve at least a few minutes of at least grudging acknowledgment of the unpleasant but necessary function they serve. Unfortunately, expression of sincere emotion is not my forte. I’m British. Luckily I have some serious help tonight.”
And then Michael Bolton burns the place down singing a slightly altered version of his 1989 hit “How Am I Supposed to Live Without You?”