Your Influence Counts ... Use It! The SPOTLIGHT by Liberty Lobby

Reprinted from, home of The SPOTLIGHT archive

Here's How to Stop IRS Abuse

  • A widespread computer nightmare could be a blessing in disguise for Americans.

Rep. Steve Largent (R-Okla.) May have the cure to the public's problem with the Internal Revenue's fear of an impeding computer freeze with the coming millennium.

The answer is Largent's H.R. 2490 (SPOTLIGHT, Oct. 13). The congressman's bill would terminate the Internal Revenue code on December 31, 2001.

If that plan were simply pushed up two years, that is, eliminating the code on December 31, 1999, taxpayers would save billions of dollars the government is estimated to be spending to prepare IRS and other federal computers for the year 2000.

Experts, of example, claim it costs between $1 to $2 per line of code to prepare business computers for life in the next millennium. Businesses and government agencies have billions of lines of computer code to search.

Banking giants are worried about AD 2000 as well. They want to buy some time just in case international financial institutions do not have a corrected system in place by 2000.

Visa International and MasterCard International have told banks not to issue new cards with expiration dates past 1999.

The problem is, computer programs have historically kept track of the year portion of dates using only two bytes of storage, according to Glenn Farkas, the "Internet Patriot." For example. 1997 would be represented as 97.

When we enter the next century, most experts say, computer systems, programed years ago will suffer a massive breakdown New Year's Day, 2000.