Senate Republicans have been raising holy hell over the idea that President Biden and Democrats want to make people pay their taxes. Never mind that making corporations and the wealthy pay their taxes just keeps getting more and more popular with all the people.
In fact, at least 80% of Americans said one of their biggest complaints about the federal tax system was the fact that some corporations and wealthy individuals don’t pay their fair share, Pew Research found a few months ago. A big majority—59%—are “bothered a lot” by the idea. So why would Republicans have such a problem with the IRS finally being funded adequately enough to be able to go after tax cheats? Of course, it’s because their funders hate the idea.
Look at the names of these groups who are coalescing to fight the idea of everyone paying the taxes they owe—not, mind you, even a tax increase, but being required to pay their current tax bills: Committee to Unleash Prosperity, FreedomWorks, the Conservative Action Project, and the Leadership Institute. They’ve written a letter to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and other key Republicans, which The Washington Post obtained, telling them to draw the line and stop negotiating with the White House and Democrats on infrastructure unless they agree to “no additional funding for the Internal Revenue Service.” The Post reports that the group “expected to gain support from at least a dozen other conservative groups this week.”
A Trump-affiliated group, the Coalition to Protect American Workers (if you can fucking believe that’s what they call themselves), is raising a gazillion dollars to mount a campaign to fight everybody having to pay the taxes they owe. Well, okay, they’re raising $25 million, but still.
They have already “purchased ‘multiple’ six-figure ad buys—including in Kansas, Pennsylvania, Georgia and Arizona.” Oh, hey, who’s in Arizona? That’s right, Democratis Sen. Kyrsten Sinema who has forced this whole rigamarole of “bipartisan negotiations” because she refuses to just support her president.
Additional funding for the IRS so that it can increase its enforcement abilities and collect an estimated $100 billion in taxes that tax cheats are cheating America out of right now is one of the agreed-upon funding measures in the bipartisan infrastructure framework, or BIF, as the White House is now so irritatingly calling it. Again, this is not new taxes. It. Is. Making. People. Pay. The. Taxes. They. Already. Owe.
But it’s also a handy excuse for one or more of the 10 Republicans who are supposedly negotiating this deal to throw up yet another roadblock and yet another excuse to delay getting it finalized and written as legislation. The cracking is already starting. “I am working with my colleagues in both parties to improve taxpayer services and the collection of taxes owed, while putting in place responsible reforms to prevent the IRS from overstepping its authority and protect taxpayer data,” said Republican Sen. Rob Portman
Because, remember, the whole point for Republicans is delay, delay, delay and stop anything good from happening. Rep. Chip Roy from Texas was the latest to blurt out the GOP’s strategy: “do everything we can to slow all of that down to get to December of 2022.” Just to make sure he was absolutely clear on that, he added “I actually say ‘Thank the Lord—18 more months of chaos and the inability to get stuff done.’ That’s what we want.”
All part of the goal of regaining a Republican majority in the House and/or Senate and thereby denying President Biden, well, anything. Or as GOP leadership team member Sen. John Barrasso of Wyoming says, “I want to make Joe Biden a one-half-term president.”
If McConnell wasn’t able to scuttle this deal on his own, he’s now got some heavyweight conservative groups helping him out. The odds of the bipartisan bill passing are getting even slimmer, which means Democrats have every reason to go very big in their part of this whole legislative quagmire: the reconciliation bill.
That should mean fully funding the IRS and raising corporate taxes.