Democrats in Congress have proposed a new spending bill that would allocate $80 billion for the sole purpose of expanding the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), ostensibly to fight inflation by raising government revenues.
As reported by The Daily Caller, the bill is called the “Inflation Reduction Act of 2022.” The bill would see the size of the IRS increase as part of a broader effort to increase “taxpayer compliance.” Under the new bill, the IRS would spend an additional $80 billion over the course of the next 10 years, up significantly from its current budget of $13.7 billion, with a primary focus on hiring thousands of new agents, and expanding operations, facilities, and services.
The bill allocates $45 billion for the purpose of hiring even more lawyers and auditors for the collection of taxes and cracking down further on those who fail to pay, with another $25 billion dedicated to increasing operations expenses, such as transportation and office rent. The remainder of the funding will see $5 billion and $3 billion, respectively, dedicated to “Business Systems Modernization” and “Taxpayer Services.”
Proponents of the bill say that the increased spending for resources and hiring will ultimately generate as much as $124 billion in government revenue through improved “tax enforcement,” which, they claim, will subsequently fight inflation. The increase in government revenue will partially go towards funding a massive spending package that Democrats are proposing to combat the broader economic crisis, to the tune of $430 billion.
However, the additional spending on such resources as office space and transportation may prove redundant and a waste of taxpayers’ money. In April, IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig said during his testimony before the Senate Finance Committee that over half of the IRS’ employees are working full-time from home rather than in their offices. In addition, an inspector general report in 2021 found that the agency’s fleet of government-issued vehicles is already far larger than necessary, to the point that they were unable to determine whether or not the vehicles have been used for other purposes outside of official business.