A bipartisan push to give the IRS more power
When lawmakers tout the benefits and good works of a bipartisan compromise, the first question everyone should ask is: who pays?
In the case of the Senate’s much touted bipartisan compromise on infrastructure, who pays is simple; you do. And the bipartisan back-slappers are going to toss more money and power into the IRS to make sure everyone gets squeezed. According to the Wall Street Journal:
…the agreement proposes to lavish $40 billion more on the IRS. The IRS budget for fiscal 2021 is $11.9 billion, so adding $40 billion would increase the tax agency’s size by more than a third over 10 years. The explicit goal is to squeeze $100 billion in additional tax revenue without changing tax laws.
So there’s no tax increase involved. Instead, there’s more spent on enforcement. What could possibly go wrong with that?
…to get anywhere close to the $100 billion in the bipartisan spending deal, the IRS will have to audit nearly every high-income taxpayer in the country. And that means harassing tens of millions of taxpayers over every deduction they’ve taken. Some taxpayers will fight, but many will be advised that the legal costs of fighting aren’t worth it. Write the check so the auditors go away.
The worthies are counting on people doing just that – write the check, and hope the IRS goes away (emphasis on “hope” – they may be back for more). A politically prudent opposition party would sink this bipartisan bill at the dock.