With tax day approaching this week, host John Oliver of Last Week Tonight took on the monumental task of defending the IRS, calling it “America’s anus” — unpleasant, but necessary.
“Tax season is a lot like bathing suit season, “Oliver explained. “You probably dread it unless you’re the kind of person who already spends a lot of time in the Cayman Islands.”
Saying “people hate the IRS,” Oliver ran through a litany of abuses the government workers are exposed to — included being called “the Gestapo” — while warning that this year’s tax season promises to be even worse as the agency is beset by budget cuts, with Congress having cut their funding 20 percent over the last five years.
On top of long lines at understaffed IRS offices, taxpayers can also expect phone calls to the agency to rarely reach a person — only four out of 10 calls get through to an agent — with the IRS using a system that purposely drops calls, known as a “courtesy disconnect.”
“If the IRS’s system gets overloaded, it will give you a ‘courtesy disconnect,’ which means hanging up on you,” Oliver said. ” You can’t just put a nice word in front of an pleasant one and change the meaning. It’s like the phrase ‘politely decline’ or ‘Care Bears.’ They’re still bears, and they’ll rip you the f*ck apart.”
Oliver also noted that the IRS is having to deal with 579 changes to the tax code in just the past year, saying, “The only document that should change that often is the Wikipedia page for Bill Cosby.”
The host went on to defend the agency as one of the more effective in government, spending $1 in enforcement for every $6 reclaimed from tax scofflaws.
“Think of our government as a body,” Oliver explained. “The IRS is the anus. It’s nobody’s favorite part, but you need that thing working properly or everything goes to sh*t real quick.”
Sticking with that theme, Oliver invited 80s crooner Michael Bolton to serenade the embattled workers of the IRS with “How Am I Supposed To Live Without You,” with “anus” playing a central role in the revamped lyrics.
Watch the video below, uploaded by Last Week Tonight: