Paul L. Caron

Thursday, September 9, 2021

WSJ: Biden’s Dream Of An IRS Strike Team

Wall Street Journal editorial, Biden’s Dream of an IRS Strike Team:

When President Biden talks of bulking up the Internal Revenue Service, he must be fantasizing about some kind of SEAL Team 6 for audits. His plan is to put another $80 billion into IRS tax enforcement over 10 years, which the White House claims will raise $700 billion of revenue that’s being left on the table.

Not even close, according to a Thursday report by the Congressional Budget Office. The extra IRS funds, the CBO says, would probably produce only $200 billion. Blame it on a classic economic culprit, diminishing returns. Last year the IRS spent $12.3 billion and employed 75,773 full-time equivalents. ...

For another view, the Penn Wharton Budget Model says the IRS plan could raise $480 billion, which is still far less than Mr. Biden claims. ...

People should pay what they owe. But when government unleashes a bureaucracy with revenue goals in mind, the result will as often as not be unfair.

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