Charles Rosetti, the head of the IRS, is predicting collapse if his staff can't get the IRS computers fixed. "The whole financial system of the United States will come to a halt." If he had a Year 2000 Web site, he would be accused of being a doom and gloomer and a scaremonger, too.
Rosetti's background is computers. His firm was involved in y2k consulting. He is the first Commissioner who is not a lawyer or a CPA.
Will the IRS get its computers fixed? Of course not. The IRS has tried to revamp its computers repeatedly over the last 30 years. The latest attempt cost $4 billion and took 11 years. The project was abandoned in January of 1997.
If the financial system comes to a halt in 2000, who will pay mainframe programmers to complete their unfinished work? It takes money to pay programmers. It takes banks. The banking system will not make it. Bank runs will close them. Programmers will not get paid.
This is the scenario that most programmers refuse to consider. This is why they reject all suggestions of a major breakdown in 2000. In the face of the evidence of universaal noncompliance and the tardiness of most major software revisions, they keep saying that most mainframe-based systems will make it, especially the financial system. They expect to be at the top of the food chain, that they will get paid when everyone else is frantically trying to earn an income. They're wrong. When the financial system falls, programmers will be fired, just like everyone else except local truck farmers. Yes, even the lawyers will have a hard time. (The collapse of the economy isn't all bad!)
It all hinges on the IRS and fractional reserve banking now. Get ready for a wild ride. Especially if you live in Washington, D.C.
Without the banks, the IRS can't get paid. Neither can state governments. Politics will revert to the county, which can collect taxes in cash. The county was the locus of primary political sovereignty when the U.S. Constitution was ratified in 1788. It will be again. Soon.
This is from USA TODAY (April 2).
* * * * * * * *
WASHINGTON: Internal Revenue Service Commissioner Charles Rosotti said Wednesday he is so concerned about the year 2000 computer glitch that he wants congress to delay a massive restructuring of his agency. . . .
Preparing its computers for the next century will cost the IRS nearly $1 billion, Rossotti said. Although some new computers will be added, the lion's share of that money will go toward patching old systems.
"We've got to bring the IRS into at least the end of the 20th century," Rossotti said.
Perhaps the biggest obstacle, he said, is luring skilled computer professionals to the relatively low-paying public sector jobs. . . .
A: We've got to put things into categories so we can focus on things we need to do right away, and the things we need to do longer term. The most compelling thing by far is fixing the computers so they don't stop working on Jan. 1, 2000. . . . If we don't fix [them], there will be 90 million people 21 months from now who won't get refunds. The whole financial system of the United States will come to a halt. It's very serious. It not only could happen, it will happen if we don't fix it right."