Opinion: Underfunding the IRS by Republicans a concern, says Potsdam man
To the Editor:
The first bill passed by the new Republican-led House of Representatives was performance disguised as law making.They voted to rescind funding for the IRS that would allow the agency to add staff and upgrade systems. This has been framed by Republican-leaning media as 87,000 agents coming to tax grandpa’s roadside vegetable stand. The Republican bill is performance because the Senate has no intention of rescinding this funding, and Biden would never sign such legislation.
The reality is that persistent underfunding of the IRS has left fewer and fewer workers to handle the massive responsibility of processing the tax returns of individuals and businesses, using computer equipment that is long overdue for replacement. No one likes paying taxes, but we all recognize that taxes are necessary to continue to fund our military, transportation systems, health programs and the very salaries of members of Congress and their staff.
The shortage of IRS personnel has real-world consequences that performative acts of legislation ignore. My sister has been attempting to work with the IRS to resolve an identity theft case where she had her 2019 refund stolen, and the COVID relief funds distributed in 2020 were also deposited to the account of the thief. It is now 2023. She has had multiple meetings with the IRS and has worked to involve her member of Congress on her behalf, but continues to face the frustration of not enough staff to handle cases such as hers.
Elise Stefanik celebrated the passage of this legislation. The Republican party claims to be the party of fiscal responsibility. Stefanik and her fellow Republicans ignored the Congressional Budget Office analysis that if their legislation were adopted, it would add over $100 billion to the deficit. Republicans in Congress continue to demonstrate that they only care about getting favorable coverage in certain media outlets, while acting in ways that will continue to cause actual harm to their constituents.