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House GOP Might Fund Israel Aid, But Only By Cutting IRS So US Can't Pay For Israel Aid
That's just logical, because taxes are just like Hamas or something.
House Republicans have responded to President Biden’s call for emergency military aid to Israel and Ukraine with a proposal to give Israel $14 billion and Ukraine nothing, and to cut $14 billion from the Internal Revenue Service, because why should America be able to collect taxes owed by cheating billionaires? Then, after smearing the proposal with their own poo and grinning at what clever children they were, Republicans members of the House Rules Committee probably high-fived each other without washing their hands.
New House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-Louisiana) said any aid package must be paid for by cutting existing funding, so we suspect he’ll next agree to fund aid to Ukraine by eliminating the CDC or something.
As you may recall, the Inflation Reduction Act included $80 billion in new IRS funding to hire a severely depleted workforce so the agency could improve customer service, go after high-income and corporate tax cheats, and to upgrade IRS computer systems that have up until now been operated by woolly mammoths who punch computer code into stone tablets, then say wearily to the camera, “it’s a living.”
Republicans hated the idea that rich people might be audited, so they scared Fox News viewers by insisting an “army of IRS agents” would be coming for Gramma Millie, and they’ve been lying about it ever since. In May’s budget deal to prevent default on the federal debt, the administration agreed to roll back $20 billion of the new IRS funding, although Republicans more recently ignored the rest of that budget framework anyway.
As the Washington Post points out (gift link), chopping away at IRS funding doesn’t save money anyway, because what does the IRS do? It collects the taxes that go to paying for the government, including payments on the debt, and you can’t make the debt go down by simply having less money. (This simple principle is well known to anyone who’s ever been in collections.)
The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office had estimated in 2022 that the $80 billion IRS expansion would cut the deficit by more than $100 billion by improving collections and enforcement.
“This is the reverse of the right way to think about this,” said Mark Mazur, the Biden administration’s former assistant treasury secretary for tax policy. “This is like if you take a dollar from the IRS and throw a $5 bill out the window.”
House Republicans no doubt looked at each other in surprise and exclaimed “Oh yeah, we could do that too!” as they were temporarily blinded by all the lightbulbs turning on over their heads.
Evil goon Grover Norquist of “Americans for Tax Reform” said that Biden’s willingness to compromise in May to prevent a worldwide economic meltdown means Republicans can keep going back to the IRS funding for more and more cuts. “It becomes the piggy bank the Democrats have accepted already,” he said, over the dying gurgles and frantic splashing of the IRS drowning in a bathtub.
MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough summed up the brilliance of the plan pretty succinctly this morning, noting that Republicans never insisted that any of Donald Trump’s budget-busting pipe dreams be offset by spending cuts, but now, oh dear, we mustn’t make the rich pay taxes they already owe (video via Lis Power)
"I've never, truly, heard of a dumber plan to start a speakership than to put Jews' lives in danger so you could protect billionaire tax cheats."
The one bright spot in all this is that there’s no chance the Democratic-controlled Senate will allow it to pass, although resident Senate Asshat Joe Manchin (“D”- West Virginia) said he thought it might be OK if the IRS had enough money to upgrade computer tech but lacked the capacity to increase audits of rich assholes. (For instance, guys like him?)
Not coincidentally, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and Secretary of State Antony Blinken are testifying before the Senate right now about why aid to Israel and Ukraine are vital, not a luxury we should cut other funding to pay for.
In a statement, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said the House Republicans could kindly GTFO:
Politicizing our national security interests is a nonstarter. Demanding offsets for meeting core national security needs of the United States—like supporting Israel and defending Ukraine from atrocities and Russian imperialism—would be a break with the normal, bipartisan process and could have devastating implications for our safety and alliances in the years ahead.
Jean-Pierre also noted that not only was the House GOP proposal unacceptable because it lacked Ukraine aid, but also didn’t include other priorities Biden called for like humanitarian assistance for civilians in Gaza and funding for border security, which had been a Republican demand but they forgot.
Threatening to undermine American national security unless House Republicans can help the wealthy and big corporations cheat on their taxes—which would increase the deficit—is the definition of backwards.
And Mike Johnson and other House Republicans can move forward with their real priority, going on Fox News to complain that Joe Biden wants to fund IRS terrorists coming to shoot Gramma Millie and seize her cow instead of helping Israel, the end.
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