Any business owner knows that inventory reduction, advertising, and transportation expenses should be scaled back to avoid bankruptcy before eliminating debt collections and customer service. Republicans are fond of promoting government as a business, and in the last ten years have proven themselves to be horrible at rudimentary business acumen because they have deliberately reduced revenue while increasing spending on frivolous items such as entitlements for the oil industry, corporations, and the wealthy. It is no secret that Republicans opposes taxation and big government as a matter-of-course, and their tax-abhorrence has led to America’s economic stagnation and problems funding social programs that nearly all Americans depend on. Now, Republicans have continued their anti-tax campaign to include cutting the Internal Revenue Service’s budget for fiscal year 2012 and have left some Democrats with little choice but to go along with their ridiculous plans.
The Republican-controlled House voted earlier in the year to slash the IRS budget in what they claimed was a necessary move to save the government money. Last month, a Senate subcommittee voted to cut IRS funding for fiscal 2012 by $458.8 million; the House bill cut the IRS budget to a level that is $600 million below the fiscal 2011 level. President Obama’s deficit reduction plan called for increasing the IRS budget that would bring in an estimated $3.2 billion in additional tax revenues over 10 years. Apparently, Republicans think the country is awash in cash to be willing to let billions of dollars disappear so they could say they cut spending. Besides losing uncollected taxes, cutting the IRS budget will force the IRS to eliminate more than 4,200 full-time positions and reduce revenue collections by $4 billion annually.
On Monday, IRS commissioner Douglas Shulman sent a letter to congressional tax-writing committees that said IRS budget cuts would sap revenue collections and hamper the agency’s ability to pursue identity theft, offshore tax evasion, and other fraud. Shulman said that cutting the IRS budget “will result in a direct increase to the nation’s deficit,” and especially that cutting the enforcement budget would mean “that front-line IRS staffing levels must be substantially reduced, leading to a measurable decrease of approximately $4 billion in revenue annually, or seven times the reduction in IRS budget.” Republicans cannot claim they are doing anything positive to help reduce the nation’s debt if they are willing to lose $4 billion per year to cut $600 million from the budget. It is not like there are no other areas to cut to trim the nation’s debt.
If controlling spending and deficit reduction are so precious to Republicans, there are at least two areas that can be cut immediately to save $600 million. The first area to cut is the subsidies Republicans hand out to the oil industry for no other reason than to increase their profit margin. In May, Republicans defeated attempts to end the taxpayer largesse that cost $20 billion over ten years. Democrats argued that the $20 billion could be used to pay down the nation’s deficit, and if Republicans were as serious about cutting the deficit as they claim, they would have ended the unfair entitlement the oil companies certainly do not need.
The second area Republicans could cut if they were serious about cutting the deficit is the outrageous amount of taxpayer dollars going to Israel’s military. Recently, Israel voted to raise taxes on the wealthy in their country as a means of raising revenue to pay down their national debt. Republicans will not even consider raising the wealthy’s taxes to create jobs or pay down the debt but they will hand over $3 billion annually to fund Israel’s military when they claim the country is broke and cannot afford to fund the IRS to collect $4 billion annually. Remember, the House cut the IRS budget by $600 million and if they only slashed Israel’s welfare by that amount, America collects $4 billion and saves 4,200 full-time jobs in the process. To add insult to economic injury, Israel’s $3 billion welfare payment is deposited directly with the Federal Reserve where Israel collects interest they use to repay non-guaranteed loans from the United States. It is a win-win scenario for Israel, but Americans are suffering with crumbling infrastructure, high-unemployment, and a tax agency that cannot collect money to help pay down the deficit. All the while, Republicans claim the country is broke and cannot afford to feed children, the poor and elderly Americans who are barely subsisting on their meager retirement income.
For Republicans to deliberately sabotage the economy by letting $4 billion in uncollected taxes disappear is more than bad business; it is unethical. Americans are suffering from high unemployment and economic stagnation and Republicans are purposely keeping workers unemployed. They cannot even vote on the President’s jobs bill in the House because they claim the price is too high, but they can give Israel $3 billion annually and $20 billion to the oil industry over ten years for nothing whatsoever. One would think that if Republicans were serious about the deficit, they would go to any lengths to find sources of revenue, seriously cut spending on Israel’s military, and stop giving free money to the oil industry.
Americans should be outraged that there is money being squandered just so Republicans can accuse President Obama of mishandling the economy. The President recognizes that cutting the IRS budget is ridiculous because he asked for it to be raised to collect taxes to pay down the deficit. He did not ask for the budget to be increased to feed hungry Americans or fix roads and bridges that would create jobs, so Republicans should have embraced and increased the IRS budget if they were concerned about deficit reduction. The only thing Republicans are concerned with is handing out free money to the oil industry and Israel. If Americans knew what Republicans were doing with their tax dollars, they would be incensed, but the media will never expose Republicans for giving welfare to Israel or the oil industry. In fact, the media will never expose Republicans for any of their malfeasance and that is the problem.
Republicans are anti-taxes and now they have enabled tax cheats to avoid paying their fair share by cutting the IRS budget and adding 4,200 full-time IRS agents to the ranks of the unemployed. It is beginning to look as if there is nothing Republicans will do to help the economy, create jobs, or help reduce the deficit. Apparently, America is not broke, but by the time the GOP is finished the country will be bankrupt; but at least Israel and the oil industry will be solvent because America continues to hand them free money.