The GOP are masters at protecting the interests of their real base – the wealthy and corporations.
- 2017’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA): This scam that ended up hurting low- and moderate-income Americans, while delivering huge tax cuts to the wealthy and corporations, many of the latter owing $0, while costing the country $1.9 trillion dollars over 10 years.
- The CARES Act: The GOP managed to sneak in a $90 billion dollar loophole that they left out of the TCJA, a bonanza for approximately 43,000 millionaires who had businesses suspiciously like Donald Trump’s.
- H.R.23 – Family and Small Business Protection Bill: They are selling this with an anti-government, fear-based campaign (A “SHADOW ARMY” with “AK-15s” and “trained to kill Americans” is “ready to shoot some small business person in Iowa.”) They all should be ashamed. What it will actually do is harm those mentioned in its title, protect the top 1% from audits and create $114 billion increase in deficits over the next decade.
Call/email action – Tell your senators – Make the wealthy tax cheats pay their fair share!
Minimal script to your senators: I’m calling from [zip code] and I want Sen. [___] to vote “NO” on the House GOP’s duplicitous and deficit-building H.R. 23 – Family and Small Business Protection Bill. I want the IRS fully funded, both to assure that the wealthy and corporations finally pay their fair share and to provide more service agents to help taxpayers with questions and to get their refunds faster.
More script if you want it: I also want the Senator to press forward with a new version of the Presidential Tax Filings and Audit Transparency Act. We, the public, just found out that the IRS did not comply with mandatory audit requirements for Trump in 2017 and 2018 and that he had financial ties to foreign countries throughout his term that could have violated the Emoluments Clause, endangered U.S. national security or both.
More script if you want it: If the GOP REALLY wants to help the low-and middle-class, here are some suggestions:
- Repeal the TCJA, a failure at everything but increasing income inequality.
- Since the GOP is so enamored with their mythical paradise of the 1950’s, return to 1950’s tax rates of over 90% for the wealthiest.
- Pass a new version of the Social Security 2100 Act, would apply the Social Security payroll tax to earnings over $400,000 in addition to earnings below the current maximum taxable amount.
- Senator Feinstein: email, DC (202) 224-3841, LA (310) 914-7300, SF (415) 393-0707, SD (619) 231-9712, Fresno (559) 485-7430
- and Senator Padilla: email, DC (202) 224-3553, LA (310) 231-4494, SAC (916) 448-2787, Fresno (559) 497-5109, SF (415) 981-9369, SD (619) 239-3884
- Who is my rep./ senator?: https://whoismyrepresentative.com
The GOP is in a battle for hearts and minds by using fear and misinformation. Even though President Biden will assuredly veto this bill, their poisonous rhetoric is spreading. Share the truth behind their actions with your friends, relatives and neighbors.
(Watch his short speech here: https://mobile.twitter.com/RepThompson/status/1612613461384601607)
(cbpp.org) House Republicans have announced that their first legislative priority is to rescind nearly all of the Inflation Reduction Act’s $80 billion in ten-year funding for the IRS, while repeating falsehoods and inflammatory rhetoric about how that funding will be used. While the Republicans have launched a campaign about a false “army” of 87,000 agents, the debate should focus on one accurate and alarming number: the IRS has 2,284 fewer skilled auditors to handle the sophisticated returns of wealthy taxpayers than it did in 1954. The decade-long, House Republican-driven budget cuts have created dysfunction at the IRS, where relatively few millionaires are now audited. If House Republicans succeed in rolling back this critically needed funding and maintaining this dysfunction, the IRS would be woefully understaffed, hindering its ability to administer the tax code and collect legally owed taxes — particularly from high-income and high-wealth taxpayers. On behalf of honest taxpayers, policymakers should reject the House Republican effort to protect wealthy tax cheats.
The IRS workforce is composed of civilian public servants, such as accountants and customer service representatives, who collect nearly all the federal revenue to fund our government, from Medicare and Social Security to our armed forces. Its skilled auditors, also known as revenue agents, are highly trained to handle sophisticated tax returns of wealthy people and multinational corporations. All of these IRS employees perform a core function of government, are central to the workings of our democracy, and work on behalf of honest taxpayers.
Republican IRS critics, however, have constructed a narrative around the IRS workforce becoming an “army” of 87,000 “armed agents” whose enemies are “hardworking American families and small businesses.” This rhetoric is false and dangerous.
Fact checkers have repeatedly debunked the 87,000 figure, which comes from a prior Treasury estimate that it would use new funding to hire 87,000 total staff over the next ten years, including IRS employees in all departments, not just skilled auditors. These are people who answer phones, process returns, program computers, as well as a fraction — albeit an important one — who audit complex tax returns.
The House GOP campaign ignores the reality of today’s IRS — which has resulted from the sharp budget cuts that Republicans have pushed since 2010 — as well as the harm that would flow from rescinding much of the Inflation Reduction Act’s new IRS funding. The upcoming debate needs to cut through the obfuscation of the House Republican campaign and focus on honest and pertinent numbers.
Consider, in 2021, the IRS had 8,321 skilled auditors. That’s 40 percent fewer than the agency had in 2010, the year before House Republicans were in the majority and began driving the last decade of steep IRS budget cuts.
Moreover, it’s 2,284 fewer revenue agents than the IRS had in 1954 — not a typo. The last time the IRS had fewer revenue agents than it has today was in 1953. Today’s economy is seven times larger than it was in 1953 and our population has more than doubled since then. Today’s tax returns of wealthy people and large multinationals are more complex and global, which take more time for auditors to review.
As a result of these budget cuts and fewer skilled auditors, audit rates have plummeted for wealthy individuals and large corporations.
For the largest corporations (those with more than $1 billion in assets), the audit rate fell by more than half between 2010 and 2017. For millionaires, the audit rate fell by roughly 77 percent over the same period. Preliminary audit data for 2018 and 2019 suggest that the audit rate may have declined over 90 percent between 2010 and 2019 (see chart).
House Republicans want to scare people with their false claims about how the IRS would use the new resources. But the reality is that, today, the IRS skilled audit staff is 2,284 smaller than in 1954, only a tiny fraction of millionaires is audited, and large multinationals can hire large squads of lawyers to easily overwhelm the resources of the IRS. One only needs to skim President Trump’s tax returns, the indictment of convicted tax cheat Paul Manafort, and a ProPublica investigation of how Facebook outgunned the IRS to grasp the resources necessary to be serious about enforcing our tax laws and how reckless it would be to keep the number of skilled auditors at 1950s levels, as the House Republicans would do.
Honest taxpayers and business owners deserve better. They deserve an IRS that processes their tax returns and tax refunds efficiently, answers the phone when they call with questions, and ensures that the wealthy and profitable corporations are paying the taxes they legally owe.
A key element of a healthy, functioning democracy is a transparent tax system that is fairly enforced so that people and corporations pay what they owe and the well-heeled and powerful cannot flout their responsibility to pay their taxes.
Efforts to protect wealthy tax cheats and purposely undermine the IRS’s ability to enforce tax laws are anti-democratic and should be resoundingly rejected.
(FOX) “A study of 2022 IRS tax audit data found that a taxpayer in the lowest income bracket is five times more likely to face an audit that would a member of the highest income bracket.
“The IRS correspondence audit process is structured to expend the least amount of resources to conduct the largest number of examinations – resulting in the lowest level of customer service to taxpayers having the greatest need for assistance,” National Taxpayer Advocate Erin M. Collins said of the report during an annual report to Congress….
…The rate of income tax audits for those in the lowest income bracket hit 12.7 per 1,000, compared to 2.3 per 1,000 among theose in the highest – a nearly five-fold increase. The odds of a millionaire facing an audit were around 1.1%.
The TRAC report claimed that the lack of attention toward millionaires resulted from “severe budget cutbacks over the years” that forced the IRS to shift its focus to “easy marks in an era when IRS increasingly relies upon correspondence audits yet doesn’t have the resources to assist taxpayers or answer their questions…
A White House spokesperson told Fox News Digital that “President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act, which is only beginning to build enforcement for wealthy Americans, will finally force wealthy tax cheats to pay their fair share while making it easier for working Americans to get their tax refunds.”
The spokesperson also blamed Republicans for attacking IRS funding “for years” and claimed that millionaire tax cheats account for $163 billion in tax evasion per year.
The Inflation Reduction Act provides the IRS with $80 billion in future funding to ramp up its audits and potentially target the wealthiest taxpayers.”
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