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After months of negotiation, Chuck Schumer finally shook hands with Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema to pass the Inflation Reduction Act through the Senate. With all Republicans against and all Democrats in favor, it was Vice President Kamala Harris who cast her tie-breaking vote. In addition to raising taxes and bureaucratizing energy production, the bill will inject a cadre of public employees into the IRS.
The agency is responsible for enforcing and interpreting federal tax laws. It currently has an estimated 78,661 full-time employees, but the legislation will provide it with an $80 billion fund to hire an additional 87,000 employees over the next ten years.
Such an army of people would make the IRS one of the largest government agencies. It could have more employees than the Pentagon, the State Department, the FBI, and Customs and Border Protection combined.
The money allocated for employee hiring will mean a 600% increase in the agency’s budget compared to 2021. An analysis by the Congressional Budget Office found that the new hires would generate more than $200 billion in additional revenue for the state over the next decade.
According to the Democrat narrative, this volume of new employees will be necessary to combat millionaires who hide income. However, a nonpartisan Joint Committee on Taxation study found that only 4-9% of the money raised will come from those earning more than $500,000 a year.
One amendment away, Ted Cruz’s attempt to eliminate new funding for the IRS
Senator Ted Cruz was one of the legislators who raised his hand, opposed the increase in public employees, and even proposed an amendment to prevent it. However, his Democrat colleagues blocked his amendment that would have eliminated new hires’ funding.
“There are a lot of bad things in this bill. But few are worse than the proposal by Democrats in this bill to double the size of the IRS and create 87,000 new IRS agents. And they’re not being created to audit billionaires or giant corporations. They’re being created to audit you”, the Texan wrote in a statement.
Democrats are making the IRS bigger than the Pentagon, the Department of State, the FBI, and the Border Patrol COMBINED!
Those IRS agents will come after you, not billionaires and big corporations! pic.twitter.com/HYq5cIjXay
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) August 7, 2022
“I believe personally we should abolish the IRS. But at a minimum, we shouldn’t make the IRS larger than the Pentagon, the State Department, the FBI, and the Border Patrol all combined. That’s what the Democrats are proposing here. It is a terrible idea”, he added.
Inflation Reduction Act does not live up to its name
Republicans fiercely pointed out the Orwellian nature of the bill’s name, arguing that it would lead to even more inflation.
In this regard, the Tax Foundation analyzed the legislation and concluded, “By reducing long-run economic growth, the bill worsens inflation by constraining the productive capacity of the economy.”
“To the extent the revenue raisers are seen as long-lasting sources of revenue, the bill reduces inflation, but projected revenues are not certain and may be less than we are forecasting. By increasing spending, the bill worsens inflation, especially in the first four years, as revenue raisers take time to ramp up and the deficit increases. We find that budget deficits would increase from 2023 to 2026, potentially worsening inflation”, they added.
However, there seems to be light at the end of the road. “To the extent, the durability of the bill’s provisions are in doubt—that is, due to the lack of bipartisan support—it may have little impact on expectations about the fiscal outlook and therefore inflation,” they concluded.
Joaquín Núñez es hincha de Racing Club de Avellaneda y licenciado en comunicación periodística por la Universidad Católica Argentina. Se especializa en el escenario internacional y en la política norteamericana // Joaquín Núñez is a fan of Avellaneda's Racing Club and has a degree in journalistic communication from the Universidad Católica Argentina. He specializes in the international scene and American politics.