Editor’s note (Frances Langum): I can’t believe I’m agreeing with Joe Scarborough.
JOE SCARBOROUGH: I don’t understand that they are so stupid that they would actually, again, they would let the hostages just languish. They would let Joe Biden be the champion of Israel even more? Joe Biden wanting to get money to Israel and them blocking it? Basically, telling Israel and the Jews to go to hell unless they get — again, it’s mind-boggling. It’s mind-boggling. No, Joe Biden, we are not going to help you help Jews and help Israel unless you let billionaires cheat on their taxes, unless you gut the IRS so much that your billionaire friends like — that Republicans’ billionaire friends can cheat on their taxes. It’s such malpractice! They are basically saying to Joe Biden, “You side with Israel, we’ll side with tax cheats.” I’m sorry. I’m not good at this politics thing. But I don’t think that’s gonna poll well in Wisconsin.
House Republicans want to pay for emergency aid for Israel’s war by cutting IRS funds aimed at cracking down on rich tax cheats and improving taxpayer service. Isn’t that delightful? Via the Washington Post:
The legislation, released by the House Rules Committee, calls for approving roughly $14 billion primarily in military aid to Israel and cutting about the same amount from the IRS budget. President Biden has proposed giving Israel roughly the same amount in aid but did not call for offsetting cuts to other parts of the budget. The new House speaker, Rep. Mike Johnson (R-La.), has said the new expenditure must be covered by other spending reductions to avoid adding to the debt. Biden also called for the Israel aid to be packaged with roughly $60 billion for Ukraine, an approach the GOP bill rejected.
The legislation reflects the GOP’s ongoing determination to undo the IRS expansion that Biden secured in 2022 in the Inflation Reduction Act, which boosted the agency’s funding by $80 billion to improve taxpayer services and pay for more enforcement actions against wealthy tax cheats. Biden and House Republicans agreed to repeal roughly $20 billion of that $80 billion as part of a deal in May to suspend the U.S. debt ceiling. Now, Republicans are pushing for more reductions.
The GOP bill would pare back funds for most parts of the IRS expansion, including increased enforcement and a new online portal to allow taxpayers to file their taxes for free directly with the government. The legislation excludes cuts to improved taxpayer services that have helped the IRS reduce wait times for calls.
And here’s the really outrageous part — it won’t even save money. 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.
Fortunately, it’s just a political stunt for a bill that will never pass. I guess Mike Johnson figures with the End Times coming, he has plenty of time for public posturing.