Sunday, March 6, 2011

A New Definition of Insanity

The Republicans keep railing that the federal deficit is out of control. So if the government could find a way to get back ten dollars for every one dollar it invests, that would seem to be a good deal, right? Well, not according to the fiscally incompetent Republican party.

The case in point is the Internal Revenue Service. The Republicans have made tax cheating easier by cutting $600 million from the IRS audit budget. The IRS is the agency that recoups money from tax cheaters in a ten to one ratio. So while the president is pushing for an investment of an additional 9 percent in the agency’s budget to make tax cheating more difficult, the GOP is moving in the opposite direction, trying to gut the IRS’s audit ability.

The reasons are clear. The Republicans have consistently exhibited disdain for government, even though they work for that very same government. They would rather spend endless trillions of dollars on the wars of choice in the Middle East which fatten their coffers with profits from their corporate interests. They would rather allow their benefactors to take advantage of tax loopholes, some legal and some quite dubious, so that large corporations like Exxon-Mobil pay zero taxes while receiving government subsidies. They would rather put the tax burden on the middle class and foment class warfare in hopes of regaining and retaining power to do more of the same harm to the American way of life.

Remember the surpluses of the mid-90s? According to Colleen Kelley of the National Treasury Employees Union, the staffing level of the IRS today is only 80% of what it was back then, and the Republicans want to gut it further, putting more people on the unemployment rolls - people whose jobs return ten dollars to the treasury for every one dollar of their salary. If that’s not insanity, I don’t know what is.

1 comment:

  1. When I googled this topic, I got several hundred hits quoting the Associated Press article that is the source of this story. There were a handful of hits that explained what is actually going on.

    The IRS is starting to bulk up to handle the new health care law. For example, they have requested 58 new agents just to handle the new excise tax on tanning salons. The Republicans are naturally resisting this.

    Among the many fraudulent methods Democrats used to "show" that Obamacare will not cost anything was to not include any budget for increased tax compliance resources. Thus the IRS must not need those resources. If Obama wants to transfer resources from tax audits to Obamacare compliance, that is on him.