House Republicans have passed their first messaging bill.
“The House voted 221-210 to claw back more than $70 billion — or nearly 90 percent — of new funding for the IRS, underscoring Republicans’ opposition to the agency expansion and a desire to keep tax enforcement issues in the public eye.
The legislation will certainly die in the Senate over staunch opposition from Democrats. But debate over the bill gives the GOP an opportunity to relitigate what the party views as one of the most unpopular provisions in Democrats’ Inflation Reduction Act, which provided $80 billion in new funding to the IRS over 10 years to bolster a wide range of agency functions, including customer service, taxpayer assistance and criminal investigations. …
“The last thing [Americans] need is more IRS agents knocking on doors to conduct audits, yet this IRS funding is part of the broad Biden administration strategy to tax, audit exponentially more Americans,” Smith said in his speech introducing the the bill. …”
This will go nowhere in the Senate, but it is better than what came out of the House over the past two years under Democrats: +$100 billion dollars for the war in Ukraine, comprehensive immigration reform, gun control, Juneteenth as a federal holiday, DC statehood, the Equality Act, codifying gay marriage and interracial marriage into federal law, the George Floyd Justice In Policing Act, the John Lewis Voting Rights Act, the “Inflation Reduction Act” aka the climate change act, the $1.7 trillion Porkulus, etc.
Zeeshan Aleem is back this morning to explain how hiring 87,000 new IRS agents is “real populism.”
The GOP’s first policy bill would defund President Joe Biden’s efforts to help the Internal Revenue Service crack down on tax cheats. It’s a bill that’s predicated on disinformation, whose only real constituency is wealthy people who don’t want to pay their fair share. And it underscores how the Republican Party’s so-called populism isn’t about empowering the working class — it’s about exploiting them.
After a historic struggle to become House Speaker, Kevin McCarthy immediately tried to rally the troops on Saturday by promising to “repeal funding for 87,000 new IRS agents, because the government should be here to help you, not go after you.” It was classic red meat for the base: For months, Republicans have messaged that the new agents would be recruited into a heavily armed “shadow army” designed to weaponize the IRS against the middle class. Conservative activists and media, which have frequently and wrongly accused the IRS of bias against the right, enthusiastically encouraged these claims. …”
Real populists would have sided with the British in the American Revolution and supported crushing the Whiskey Rebellion. Americans felt so strongly about the issue for a variety of reasons – the memory of how the Scots-Irish were driven out of Scotland and Ireland, the American Revolution which was about taxation and the English constitution – that there wasn’t an income tax until Lincoln experimented with it during the War Between the States. The Sixteenth Amendment had to be adopted in 1913 to establish the federal income tax. It was used to pay for American involvement in the First World War.