The IRS admitted in early 1997 that its 11-year program to integrate all IRS computers had failed. This had cost over $4 billion.
The IRS official in charge of its computer systems has admitted that the highest priority he has is to get the IRS computers Year 2000-compliant. He has assigned 300 programmers to fix the IRS's 100 million lines of code in 50,000 applications. (TECHWEB, April 21, 1997)
Social Security has 30 million lines. It began working on the repair in 1991. As of June, 1996, the 400 programmers had gone through 6 million lines and had repaired bad code. Only 24 million to go!
The IRS started long after Social Security did. It has over three times as much code to go through. It has fewer programmers. Why should anyone believe that the IRS will finish the project on time?
If it doesn't, what happens to "voluntary" tax compliance in 2000?
What happens to government credit -- T-bills, T-notes, T-bonds -- in 1999 if the investing public at last realizes that taxpayers will not be able to be located by the IRS in 2000?
Multiply your estimate by every Western government: local, regional, and national. Then start making your plans.