Eliminate some tax laws, not IRS funding, to avoid government shutdowns
Republicans lean on government shutdowns as a strategic tool.
This month, the federal government was once again threatened with another shutdown. From November 1995 until today, there have been five shutdowns, with Republicans controlling the House and the Senate for four. This time is no different; the Republicans control the House, and we face another shutdown.
While two of the past shutdowns were explicitly focused on either dismantling Obama Care or halting the construction of a massive wall on the Mexican border, the underlying discussion concerned how we can best spend public funds to avoid a deeper debt burden.
Although the Republican Party mantra is to shrink government spending, NewsMax columnist Paul deLespinasse wrote, “Republican enthusiasm for reducing the deficit disappears when Republicans occupy the White House. They happily voted to increase the debt limit three times during the Trump administration while increasing the national debt by enacting large tax cuts.”
Trump’s administration increased the national debt by almost $7.8 trillion. According to Eugene Steuerle, co-founder of the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center, Trump set a new record. He managed to have his annual deficit become the third-biggest increase of any U.S. presidential administration relative to the size of the economy.
Cutting IRS funding increases government debt.
That Republican approach continued in the first week of November when House Speaker Johnson and the House GOP cut $14.3 billion from IRS funding to pay for an aid package to Israel. It passed the House with all but two Republicans supporting it. Five years ago, Republicans demanded $5.7 billion for Trump’s wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. With Trump’s approval, the government shutdown in 2018 for 34 days — the nation’s most extended shutdown — to get those funds. In the end, Trump got about a third of that amount.
House Democrat Brendan Boyle (Penn.) argued that Speaker Johnson prioritized “deficit-busting tax giveaways for the wealth over helping Israel.” Boyle then claimed that the Congressional Budget Office’s analysis, which reports to Congress, not the President, found that the IRS cut would…