Fact or Fiction?

    February 16, 2003

Does life duplicate fiction or does fiction duplicate life? Yes, the statement is meant to be backwards.

You see, I’ve begun to wonder and here’s the reason why.

Over five years ago, I finished my novel “Conspiracy” and now I see in the February 14th edition of the Wall Street Journal where Reporter Deborah Soloman mentions how a 2,700 page report tells how Enron manipulated tax laws to achieve $2 billion in tax benefits.

Part of the story line of my murder, mystery ebook has to do with whether there is a conspiracy between Corporations, the IRS and Congress. Pardon me, if I get a little nervous when I see “real life” articles which cause me to wonder if what I wrote may be true.

Being a former IRS Revenue Officer, I know certain codes can be input into their computer system. So I used this scenario in “Conspiracy.” Now I read how Enron was able to reduce their tax over a six-year period.

Excuse me but how is this possible? We’re talking $2 billion here folks not the $25 to $100 tax benefit you or I might take on questionable items. Where were the Revenue Agents? Why weren’t they looking over Enron’s Corporate returns with a fine-tooth comb?

This Corporation was one of the largest in the nation and should have been audited every year. Was there a code input that said “Sorry, don’t need to because these are honest folks?”

Deborah Soloman goes on to quote Senator Grassley “The report reads like a conspiracy novel…” and again I’m thinking — hmmmmmmm. But the quote that Ms. Soloman used from Senator Max Baucus of Montana, the ranking Democrat on the Finance Committee really tightened my jaws. He said, “They ensured that no one — particularly the IRS — would ever discover what they were up to.”

Cough, cough, choke, choke — anybody who’s ever been in an Audit will tell you the IRS knows “what’s up.” You’re guilty until proven innocent. So how come this Corporation didn’t come under the same kind of scrutiny? I explain why in my fiction ebook but hey, it was fiction when I wrote it.

Or was it? And my reason for asking “Fact or Fiction?”

Judith Tramayne-Barth’s site is http://www.agoodread.com which has free books, articles and link pages you’ll love. She also writes excellent “how-to” books.