Congress Uses the Surplus to Expand the IRS–What’s Up With That?

It wasn’t enough that the IRS has four times as many employees as the FBI and U.S. Marshals combined, Congress has now agreed to expand the size of the IRS by 9.36 percent over last year’s budget – that is $770 million more than the $8.22 billion budgeted in FY 2000.

Congress, in their second conference report, approved a budget of $8.99 billion for FY 2001. This comes on the heels of a statement by President Clinton that he would not approve the first conference report compromise budget of $8.64 billion because it was “deeply inadequate.”

Instead of returning some of our hard-earned money, Congress bowed to political pressure and spent some of the surplus on increased IRS funding for new computers and additional enforcement and customer service staff to appease the Clinton-Gore administration.

We need Congress to remain steadfast in support of tax reform.

This is the same stellar customer service operation that provided 8.5 million incorrect or incomplete answers to taxpayers in 1993 and only answered 73 percent of inquiries correctly in 1999. What about the other 27 percent? Who will assist those taxpayers when the IRS audits them because the information it provided was incorrect?

Instead of capitulating to an administration that vetoed incremental tax relief measures such as death tax and marriage penalty elimination, we need Congress to remain steadfast in support of tax reform. It wasn’t that long ago, April 13th to be exact, when Congress voted to ‘sunset the tax code’ in favor of a code that is simpler, lower, fairer, and more honest. By expanding the budget of the IRS and increasing their purview, Congress is sending a mixed message to the American taxpayers.

Let us send a message to Washington: We need a Congress and an administration that will be consistently on the side of taxpayers and in support of fundamental tax reform.

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