You would think that this is a conflict of interest. However if you assume that the interest of the Bush administration is to promote the interest of its corporate suppoprters there is no conflict! The whole article is here.
I.R.S. Letting Tax Lawyers Write Rules
By DAVID CAY JOHNSTON
Published: March 9, 2007
The Internal Revenue Service is asking tax lawyers and accountants who create tax shelters and exploit loopholes to take the lead in writing some of its new tax rules.
The pilot project represents a further expansion of the increasingly common federal government practice of asking outsiders to do more of its work, prompting academics and other critics to complain that the government is going too far.
They worry that having private lawyers and accountants draft tax rules could allow them to subtly skew them in favor of their clients.
“It’s not the fox guarding the hen house; it’s the fox designing the hen house,” said Paul C. Light, a professor of political science at New York University, who studies the federal work force.
Donald L. Korb, the I.R.S. general counsel, defended the plan, saying in an interview that he believed that the pilot project was “not changing this process one iota.”
“We are still getting comments; we are still having hearings,” he said, and I.R.S. lawyers will still review any new rules before they are final.
But John D. Graham, the official appointed by President Bush to streamline the federal rule-making process and give private interests a greater voice, said even he was surprised by the I.R.S. plan.
“Whoever’s pen the first draft comes out of has a big advantage,” said Dr. Graham, who ran the Office of Regulatory and Information Affairs for the White House before becoming dean last week of the graduate school at RAND, the nonprofit research organization.
The I.R.S. staff has been cut by a fifth in the last decade, even as Congress has made the tax code vastly more complex. The agency, in a formal notice, said it lacked the resources to issue as much guidance as taxpayers are seeking.