Senate Subcomittee’s tone-deaf IRS budget


In most parts of the world, corruption and incompetence lead to firings and prison. In Washington, they lead to raises. From The Hill:

Senate Democrats on Tuesday proposed increasing the budget of the Internal Revenue Service and other financial agencies next year.

The IRS would get $12.07 billion in funding under the Financial Services subcommittee bill reported to the full Senate Appropriations Committee on Tuesday, an increase of $276.5 million.

House Republicans, in contrast, have suggested cutting the IRS’s budget by 24 percent.

So the IRS breaks its own laws, harasses law-abiding American citizens, engages in political retaliation, and refuses to hold its own accountable. Then, Congress expects to correct this behavior with a raise?

The head Senator of the Subcommittee is defending the increase, of course:

Subcommittee Chairman Sen. Tom Udall (D-N.M.), in his first markup in his new role, said the bill contains language to force the IRS to improve its management. He called the House cuts “counterproductive,” arguing they would lead to personnel cuts and result in lost tax revenue.

Senator, of all the “counterproductive” problems within the IRS, personnel cuts rank somewhere between the dirty office refrigerator and Post-It Note shortages.

As for budget cuts leading to less tax revenue, this is a common argument. Even if the argument had merit, Democrats could solve the problem by reforming the tax code so we don’t need large resources devoted to “compliance.” One possible solution is a repeal of the 16th Amendment, which would shift tax collection back to existing state infrastructures.

Either way, raises for the IRS are appalling.