The U.S. government borrows about $4 billion a day, so it would seem tax collection would be a very high priority.
Yet, in Congress — the House controlled by Republicans, the Senate controlled by Democrats — the need for political revenge trumps reason. (Perhaps that helps explain why the nation borrows $4 billion a day.)
The House approved $20 billion of cuts aimed at a variety of programs pushed by President Obama, including his pet the Affordable Care Act and the healthy food initiative (championed by First Lady Michelle Obama).
And, in move aimed to get the GOP double satisfaction, the Internal Revenue Service would be blocked from enforcing the ACA mandate to levy a tax penalty for not buying health insurance. The IRS has been targeted by Republicans after it was learned the agency had been targeting conservative groups for some extra tax scrutiny.
So, in addition to the ACA move, the House is aiming to slash $1 billion — 20 percent — from the IRS $5 billion annual enforcement budget.
The House passed the punishment on a party-line vote, 228-195.
But it’s likely — if not certain — the vote in the Senate will follow the same lines and these cuts will not occur. And even if they did gain approval, Obama has promised a veto.
Why is the House wasting time, energy and tax dollars on games? Cause it can. (Now, to be fair, Democrats are playing similar games using their majority power in the Senate.)
Voters have become so numb to the constant political fighting, using legislation as a weapon, they don’t notice. It’s white noise.
But when essential services such as collecting taxes are threatened with a 20 percent cut, it should not be ignored. It is simply ridiculous to even discuss the matter.
U.S. Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew said last year every dollar spent enforcing U.S. tax laws yields $6. So, are the House Republicans saying they believe it’s wise to slash $1 billion in spending but lose $6 billion in revenue?
If the members of Congress insist on continuing on playing political-revenge games, could they at least stop undercutting efforts to bring in revenue.