What organization do you think of when you hear the words “honest,” “trustworthy,” “fair,” and “transparent.” I guarantee nobody would ever say, “the IRS.”
The IRS is a picture of government corruption and incompetence. In the past few years alone, the IRS has targeted groups based on their political beliefs, was rebuked by a U.S. Court of Appeals for political targeting, selectively enforced the law, sent out $46 million in potentially fraudulent tax refunds, and answered only 15.6 percent of the calls made to them during the height of tax filing season this year. And on top of all of that, thousands of IRS employees are delinquent on their own taxes.
What happened as a result of all of this? The IRS gave out $6 million in bonuses to employees. Essentially, the IRS can’t answer phone calls from taxpayers, but they can take bonuses from taxpayers. IRS employees won’t pay their own taxes but they’re trusted with collecting others’ taxes.
The absurdity of this is obvious. So this week, the House is doing something about it:
- Legislation from Kristi Noem (SD-AL) prohibits IRS employees who were fired for misconduct from being rehired by the IRS.
- A bill by Patrick Meehan (PA-07) ends bonuses to IRS employees until the agency starts to fix its terrible customer service record.
- Another bill by Jason Smith (MO-08) would get rid of the unaccountable IRS slush fund and reassert Congressional Article I powers over the fees the IRS collects.
- Finally, David Rouzer’s (NC-07) legislation would stop the IRS from hiring any new employees until it can certify that no employees are delinquent on their own taxes.
This isn’t a debate about right or left. This is about having good government or bad government. Astoundingly, the President has chosen bad government, defending the inept and dishonest IRS over the American taxpayers. Yesterday, the Administration announced it opposes all four of these bills, and threatened explicitly to veto one of them.
The IRS has a terrible track record. The President should think about that before opposing these no-brainer bills to bring much needed accountability to an agency that has completely lost the trust of the American people.