Republicans Often Vow to Dismantle IRS, but Governing Without Tax Agency Would be Mighty Tough

Promising to abolish the Internal Revenue Service is a good talking point for political candidates who are looking to fire up the Republicans' most conservative voters. It's also unlikely to ever happen, no matter what folks like Sen. Ted Cruz say.

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The Texas Republican is pledging to scrap the IRS as he runs for the GOP's presidential nomination in 2016. Other Republicans want to get rid of the IRS, too.

Easier said than done.

The IRS collects more than $2.4 trillion every year — money that pays for the military, Social Security, Medicare and much more.

Analysts say that even a simple flat tax would require a huge number of tax collectors and enforcers.