John Kartch

Pennsylvania Can't Afford Biden's Tax Increases

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Posted by John Kartch on Saturday, May 18th, 2019, 1:03 AM PERMALINK

 

Today at 1:00 p.m. Joe Biden will host a major rally in Philadelphia, where he will repeat his vow to repeal the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

“First thing I’d do is repeal those Trump tax cuts,” said Biden on May 4 in South Carolina.

"When I'm president, if God willing I am, we're going to reverse those Trump tax cuts," Biden said this week in New Hampshire.

Biden's promise to repeal the tax cuts is a threat to raise taxes. Repeal of the tax cuts would hit Pennsylvania hard:

  • Pennsylvania households would lose their tax cut -- a 24.5 percent tax cut on average, according to data reported by H&R Block.
     
  • Pennsylvania residents would again be forced to pay the highly regressive Obamacare individual mandate tax. 166,680 Pennsylvanians paid the tax totaling $108,842,000 according to the most recent IRS annual statistics ((2016). 81 percent of people hit with the tax made less than $50,000 a year, and 40 percent made less than $25,000 a year. This tax was one of the many violations by Biden of his pledge against any and all middle class taxes.
     
  • 840,000 Pennsylvania households who claim the Child Tax Credit would see the credit slashed in half from $2,000 to $1,000.
     
  • 4.4 million Pennsylvania households who claim the standard deduction would see it slashed in half. (TCJA nearly doubled the standard deduction from $6,300 to $12,200 for an individual and from $12,600 to $24,000 for a family.)
     

The tax cuts are helping a long list of Pennsylvania businesses give pay increases, benefit increases, and bonuses. For example:

  • Uncle Charley's Sausage (Vandergrift, PA) hired new employees, purchased new equipment including a new sausage stuffer, and added a new production line.
     
  • Hudson Facades (Linwood, PA) increased base pay and put $3,000 into every factor worker's 401(k) account.
     
  • Almo Corporation, the Philadelphia-based appliance distributor, is investing in a new distribution center and an ongoing headquarters renovation that can accommodate 65 additional employees.
     
  • Guy Chemical Company (Somerset, PA) increased wages, bonuses, and investment in new equipment including a new forklift, new laboratory furnishings, updated computer equipment, and a new software system.
     
  • Dollar Bank (Pittsburgh, PA) gave $2,000 permanent raises for employees making $60,000 or below.
     

If Biden repealed the tax cuts, Pennsylvanians would also be stuck paying higher utility bills because the corporate tax rate would revert back to 35 percent. Thanks to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the corporate rate was reduced to 21 percent, and as a direct result PA utility companies passed on these savings to customers in the form of lower electric, water, and gas bills.

Examples include Pike County Light & Power Company, PPL Electric Utilities Corporation, Wellsboro Electric Company, West Penn Power Company, PECO Energy Company, Peoples Gas Company, UGI Central Penn Gas Inc., Pennsylvania American Water Company, and Citizens Electric Company of Lewisburg.

From a nationwide perspective, if Biden repeals the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the following would happen:

  •  A family of four earning the median income of $73,000 would see a $2,000 tax increase.
     
  • A single parent (with one child) making $41,000 would see a $1,300 tax increase.
     
  • Millions of low and middle income households would be stuck paying the Obamacare individual mandate tax.
     
  • Utility bills would go up in all 50 states as a direct result of the corporate income tax increase.
     
  • Small employers will face a tax increase due to the repeal of the 20% deduction for small business income.
     
  • The USA would have the highest corporate income tax rate in the developed world.
     
  • Taxes would rise in every state and every congressional district.
     
  • The Death Tax would ensnare more families and businesses.
     
  • The AMT would snap back to hit millions of households.
     
  • Millions of households would see their child tax credit cut in half.
     
  • Millions of households would see their standard deduction cut in half, adding to their tax complexity as they are forced to itemize their deductions and deal with the shoebox full of receipts on top of the refrigerator.
     

As noted by the New York Times, thanks to the GOP tax cuts, “Most people got a tax cut.”

The NYT also stated: “To a large degree, the gap between perception and reality on the tax cuts appears to flow from a sustained — and misleading — effort by liberal opponents of the law to brand it as a broad middle-class tax increase.”

The Washington Post also stated: “Most Americans received a tax cut.”

More evidence of the benefits flowing from the tax cuts can be found in a recent H&R Block report, which stated, “overall tax liability is down 24.9 percent on average.”

In Biden's home state of Delaware, the report found that residents received a 24.6% reduction in their taxes, on average.

Biden and the rest of the 2020 Democrats have thoroughly convinced themselves the tax issue is dead, but Americans will have their own say at the ballot box.

"Joe Biden is not Methuselah. He is Walter Mondale part deux," said Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform. In 1984 Mondale famously promised to raise taxes if elected. He lost to Ronald Reagan in the electoral college 525-13, winning only his home state of Minnesota and the District of Columbia.

See also:

Biden: “First thing I’d do is repeal those Trump tax cuts.”

Joe Biden broke his middle class tax pledge

Kamala Harris Vows Repeal of Tax Cuts “on Day One”

“Mayor Pete” Calls for Steep Tax Hike on Homes and Businesses

Biden: “When I’m President, if God willing I am, we’re going to reverse those Trump tax cuts.”

 

 

Photo Credit: Marc Nozell/Flickr

More from Americans for Tax Reform


As Dems Try to Revive IRS Bank Account Snooping, Even Charlie Crist Says Don't Do It

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Posted by John Kartch on Monday, November 29th, 2021, 3:30 PM PERMALINK

"I ask that you avoid adding divisive IRS account reporting requirements to the package"

The Biden administration and Senate Democrats are trying to sneak the IRS bank account snooping provision back into the Democrats' enormous tax-and-spend bill.

But even congressman Charlie Crist (D-Fla.) is warning them to stop.

In a new letter to Senate Finance Committee chairman Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and ranking member Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Crist wrote:

The American public, tax policy experts, financial institutions, and state legislatures have lined up to oppose including this new policy in the House version of the bill. All share a concern that this policy is too broad and will likely disadvantage small businesses, community banks and working families – those most vulnerable as the economy strives to rebound from the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The American people have shown firm, principled opposition to the snooping provision, as seen in this video compilation of on-the-street interviews.

Democrats openly refer to the bank snooping plan as a "comprehensive financial account reporting regime." Media reports indicate the Biden Treasury Dept. was "perplexed" that this is not a popular idea.

The Biden administration proposed to give the IRS new power to automatically access and store bank account, Venmo, Paypal, and CashApp account inflows and outflows for all business and personal accounts.

Even the Tax Policy Center says the plan is "poorly conceived," and will "bury the agency in a sea of unproductive information" and "won't help" and "will fail."

On Oct. 19 Tax Policy Center senior fellow Steve Rosenthal wrote on Twitter

"Biden's Treasury doubles-down on a poorly-conceived reporting proposal, casting its net far too wide, which may catch small businesses, but not the big fish (who cheat by stretching the tax law, not by hiding their cash flow). I tried to help at the start, but I gave up."

On Oct. 20 Rosenthal wrote on Twitter

"If Congress wants to collect more money from the rich, it must pass better tax rules, which measure and time income accurately and do not create ambiguities that aggressive taxpayers and their highly-paid advisers can exploit. Bank reports on aggregate cash flows won't help."

On Oct. 16 Rosenthal was quoted in The Hill

Steve Rosenthal, a senior fellow at the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center, whose former director now works in the Biden administration, said the proposal is too expansive and thinks bank lobbyists “have touched a raw nerve” with their customers who are concerned about privacy.

“I think at the end of the day, this bank proposal will fail,” he said.

On May 3, Rosenthal wrote:

"In practice, the IRS’ task would be daunting and, in fact, bury the agency in a sea of unproductive information.

Biden’s plan is expansive: deposits and withdrawals must be reported for every account, individual or business, at every financial institution. Then, to construct taxpayer-specific information, the IRS must collate taxpayer-account information across many different financial institutions. That is because taxpayers often hold multiple accounts. Yet, whether collated or not, deposits and withdrawals are not income, unlike wages or interest. And deposits and withdrawals cannot be netted to calculate income, without substantial adjustments."

On Oct. 18 Rosenthal was quoted in The Washington Post:

"It’s still a deeply flawed proposal,” Rosenthal said. “Even at $10,000, the Biden bank proposal is still too sweeping, throws a net very wide, and it’s hard to see what fish they want to catch here.”

The big Democrat bill provides funding to deploy 87,000 new IRS auditors and agents. The IRS plans a 50% increase in small business audits.

In the bill, IRS "enforcement" funding is 23 times greater than the amount allocated to "taxpayer services."

The bill will impose 1.2 million additional annual IRS audits; about half will hit households making less than $75k.

 

 

Photo Credit: "Tax Notice" by Catawba County, North Carolina (Government)


VIDEO: Social Spending Bill is Not “Zero Dollars”

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Posted by John Kartch on Friday, November 19th, 2021, 4:22 PM PERMALINK


Toolkit: Here's What's in the Dems' Big Bill

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Posted by John Kartch on Friday, November 19th, 2021, 9:45 AM PERMALINK

House Democrats just passed the following:

Highest personal income tax rate in the developed world: 57.4%

Highest capital gains tax rate since the 1970s. "The average top marginal combined tax rate on capital gains would be nearly 37 percent."

Violates Biden's middle class tax pledge to oppose any and all tax hikes on Americans making less than $400k.

All 50 states will have a combined federal-state top marginal income tax rate above 50%. Eight states will pay a combined federal-state top marginal tax rate of over 60%.

87,000 new IRS auditors and agents.

50% increase in small business audits.

IRS "enforcement" funding 23 times greater than "taxpayer services."

1.2 million more annual IRS audits; about half will hit households making less than $75k.

$2.5 billion special tax handout for trial lawyers.

$8 billion home heating tax.

$13 billion crude oil tax

$1.6 billion special tax handout for media companies of any size. Each company--broadcast, print, digital--can claim the tax handout for up to 1,500 employees.

 

Photo Credit: "President Joe Biden Visit" by National Renewable Energy Lab is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.


Reconciliation Bill Gives Special Tax Handout to Big Media

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Posted by Michael Mirsky, John Kartch on Tuesday, November 16th, 2021, 4:10 PM PERMALINK

On page 1,957 of the reconciliation bill, Democrats have included a $1.67 billion special tax handout to media companies, under the guise of helping "local" journalists. In reality the provision is a product of the DC lobbying swamp and will benefit large media corporations.

Companies of any size are eligible for the tax credit. Broadcast, print, and digital companies all qualify. Each company is allowed to claim the tax credit for up to 1,500 of their employees. How many humble village newspapers do you know that employ 1,500 people?

The Associated Press recently reported that the Gannett corporation -- publisher of USA Today -- could get as much as $127.5 million:

Should the tax break become law, Gannett, one of the nation’s largest remaining newspaper chains, could gain as much as $127.5 million over five years.

Gannett has a market capitalization of $780 million. Its 2020 revenue was $3.4 billion. The company this year boasted of its "improved operating trends and financial position." It has significant overseas assets -- at least 120 media brands in the United Kingdom -- and its CEO is compensated handsomely. The company brags that it "runs the largest media-owned events business in the country."

When the AP asked Gannett for comment, a spokesperson said the tax handout would be a "good shot in the arm." No doubt.

Gannett flagship publication USA Today editorialized against the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, legislation that provided a median income family of four with a $2,000 annual tax cut. But the USA Today editorial board said TCJA was "grossly unfair" and criticized it as "a political document that rewards certain Republican constituencies." Oh.

Interestingly, when the AP reporters asked an AP spokesperson whether or not their own company would benefit, the AP declined to comment.

This provision would provide a refundable payroll tax credit equal to 50 percent of wages up to $12,500 per quarter per employee for the first four calendar quarters and a 30 percent credit for each calendar quarter thereafter.

Media organizations covering the reconciliation bill have an obligation to disclose whether or not they stand to benefit from the bill.

 

Photo Credit: Patrick Neil licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0


Dem Bill Gives Special Tax Handout to Media Companies with Up to 1,500 "Local Journalists"

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Posted by John Kartch, Michael Mirsky on Thursday, November 4th, 2021, 3:20 PM PERMALINK

TAKE ACTION: Reject Democrats Reckless Tax-and-Spend Bill 

The reconciliation bill working its way through the U.S. House calls on the American taxpayer to subsidize Democrats' media allies. The bill provides a special tax cut for the media under the guise of helping "local journalists" but eligible media companies will receive the funds for up to 1,500 reporters per company.

This provision would provide a refundable payroll tax credit equal to 50 percent of wages up to $12,500 per quarter per employee for the first four calendar quarters and a 30 percent credit for each calendar quarter thereafter.

On page 1,957 of the 2000+page bill, section 138516 would create a tax credit for news organizations, including newspapers and broadcasters such as radio and television:

“The number of local news journalists which may be taken into account under subsection (a) with respect to any eligible local news journalist employer for any calendar quarter shall not exceed 1,500.”

The Poynter Institute today bragged that the tax handout would benefit "broadcasters, public and commercial" in addition to newspapers.

It appears that both NPR and PBS will be eligible to receive this special tax handout. The bill specifically mentions that the credit is not to be applied to “the Government of the United States, the government of any State or political subdivision thereof, or any agency or instrumentality of any of the foregoing”; however there is an exception for public broadcasting entities as defined in the Communication Act of 1934. These public broadcasting entities are defined as:

“the Corporation, any licensee or permittee of a public broadcast station, or any nonprofit institution engaged primarily in the production, acquisition, distribution, or dissemination of educational and cultural television or radio programs.”

The progressive group ProPublica, which is trafficking in the stolen personal IRS files of thousands of Americans seems to be eligible as well. The bill disqualifies 501(c) (4) groups but allows 501(c)(3) groups such as ProPublica -- to be eligible.

Perhaps not coincidentally, while congressional Democrats push for tax increases, ProPublica publishes stolen private tax information and laments the "lavish lifestyles" of disfavored, "rich" Americans.

The bill also appears to be a big-media power play against small, one-person local outfits.  The bill specifically excludes journalists who do not have "media liability insurance." This could be a cost barrier for many individuals seeking to truly cover local events in their community.

Several large, legacy daily newspapers, tv and radio broadcasting companies also appear eligible for the tax handout. Any newspaper eligible to receive these funds now needs to disclose this fact while editorializing in favor the Democrats' reconciliation bill.

Photo Credit: "Journalist with pipe" by C.A.D.Schjelderup licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0


Manchin on Dem Bill: "What I See Are Shell Games, Budget Gimmicks"

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Posted by John Kartch on Monday, November 1st, 2021, 3:09 PM PERMALINK

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) today called out his Democrat colleagues for playing "shell games" and employing "budget gimmicks" and noted their reconciliation bill is a "recipe for economic crisis."

Excerpts from this press conference are below:

“I’ve heard a lot of the mischaracterizations of my position since the President met with the House Democrats last Thursday and I would like to make an attempt to clear up any confusion about where I stand on the legislation that’s working its way through Congress.

In all of my years of public service, I’ve been around for a long time, I’ve never seen anything like this. The President of the United States has addressed the House Democratic caucus, twice recently, to urge action on the bipartisan infrastructure bill, which will sometimes be referred to as the BIF bill. Last week the speaker urged, speaker Pelosi urged the importance of voting and passing the BIF bill before the President took the world stage overseas, and still no action.

In my view this is not how the United States Congress should operate, or in my view has operated in the past. The political games have to stop. Twice now the House has balked at the opportunity to send the BIF legislation to the President. As you’ve heard, there are some House Democrats who say they can’t support this infrastructure package until they get my commitment on the reconciliation legislation.

It is time to vote for the BIF bill, up or down, and then go home and explain to your constituents the decision you made. I have always said if I can’t go home and explain it I can’t vote for it and if I can I will.

I have worked in good faith for three months, for the past three months with President Biden, leader Schumer, Speaker Pelosi, and my colleagues on the reconciliation bill, and I will continue to do so. For the sake of the country, I urge the House to vote and pass the bipartisan infrastructure bill. Holding this bill hostage is not going to work in getting my support for the reconciliation bill.

Throughout the last three months I have been straightforward about my concerns that I will not support a reconciliation package that expands social programs and irresponsibly adds to our $29 trillion in national debt that no one seems to really care about or even talk about. Nor will I support a package that risks hurting American families suffering from historic inflation. Simply put, I will not support a bill that is this consequential without thoroughly understanding the impact that it will have on our national debt, our economy and most importantly all of our American people.

Every elected representative needs to know what they are voting for and the impact it has, not only on their constituents, but the entire country. That is why we must allow time for complete transparency and analysis of the impact of changes to our tax code, in energy, in climate policies to ensure that our country is well positioned to remain the superpower of the world, while we inspire the rest of the world toward a cleaner environment. This all can be done.

I for one won’t support a multi-trillion-dollar bill without greater clarity on why Congress chooses to ignore the serious effects of inflation and debt that have on our economy and existing government programs. For example, how can I in good conscience vote for a bill that proposes massive expansion to government programs when essential programs like social security and Medicare face insolvency and benefits could start being reduced as soon as 2026 in Medicare and 2033 in Social Security. How does that make sense? I don’t think it does.

Meanwhile, elected leaders continue to ignore exploding inflation that our national debt continues to grow and interest payments on the debt will start to rapidly increase when the Fed has to start raising interest rates to try to slow down this runaway inflation."

"However, as more of the real details outlined in the basic framework are released, what I see are shell games, budget gimmicks that make the real cost of the $1.75 trillion bill estimated to be almost twice that amount, if the full time is run out, if you extended it permanently, and that we haven’t even spoken about. This is a recipe for economic crisis.

None of us should ever misrepresent to the American people what the real cost of legislation is. I’ve worked hard to find a path to compromise that’s obvious, compromise is not good enough for a lot of my colleagues in Congress. It’s all or nothing, and their position doesn’t seem to change unless we agree to everything.

Enough is enough. It’s time our elected leaders in Washington, all of us, stop playing games with the needs of the American people in holding a critical infrastructure bill hostage while there is opportunity in the reconciliation bill that we can all agree on. We’ve been talking about this for months.

Again, to be clear, I will not support the reconciliation legislation without knowing how the bill would impact our debt, our economy, and our country and we won’t know that until we work through the text.

For the sake of our country, and again I am urging all of my colleagues in the House to vote and pass the bipartisan infrastructure bill, it’s bipartisan, 69 votes, we worked on that for many, many months. As I have said before, holding that bill hostage is not going to work to get my support of what you want, it’s what we should all agree on and work through the process.

I’m open to supporting a final bill that helps move our country forward, but I am equally open to voting against a bill that hurts our country, I’ve been very clear about that also, and most importantly hurts every American."

 

Photo Credit: "Senator Joe Manchin (WV)" by Third Way Think Tank licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0


Tennessee Companies Will Face Higher Taxes Than China and Europe if Dem Bill Passes

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Posted by John Kartch on Monday, October 25th, 2021, 11:25 AM PERMALINK

Tennessee companies will get stuck with higher taxes than communist China if the Democrats' reconciliation bill is enacted.

The Democrats' reconciliation bill will saddle Tennessee with a combined federal-state corporate tax rate of 31.3% vs. communist China's 25%.

The bill will also put Tennessee companies at a competitive disadvantage vs. Europe: The European average corporate tax rate is 19%.

Tennessee is home to 10 Fortune 500 companies. 

"As the country tries to recover from a once-in-a-century pandemic, Tennessee's congressional Democrats must explain why they want to stick residents with higher taxes than China and Europe," said Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform.

The Democrats' $3.5 trillion bill will impose the largest tax increase since 1968.  It will raise individual income taxes, small business taxes, corporate taxes, and capital gains taxes. If passed, the U.S. capital gains tax rate would be 31.8% vs. China's 20%.

The burden of the corporate tax rate hike will be borne by workers in the form of lower wages, and by households in the form of higher prices. Higher corporate tax rates will also raise utility bills.

The non-partisan Joint Committee on Taxation recently affirmed in congressional testimony that the corporate tax rate hike will fall on "labor, laborers."

Testifying before the House Ways & Means Committee, JCT Chief of Staff Thomas A. Barthold said:

"Literature suggests that 25% of the burden of the corporate tax may be borne by labor in terms of diminished wage growth."

WATCH:

Economists across the political spectrum agree that workers bear the brunt of corporate tax increases. And 25% is on the very low end.

According to the Stephen Entin of the Tax Foundation, labor (or workers) bear an estimated 70 percent of the corporate income tax. He wrote in 2017:

"Over the last few decades, economists have used empirical studies to estimate the degree to which the corporate tax falls on labor and capital, in part by noting an inverse correlation between corporate taxes and wages and employment. These studies appear to show that labor bears between 50 percent and 100 percent of the burden of the corporate income tax, with 70 percent or higher the most likely outcome."

A 2012 paper at the University of Warwick and University of Oxford found that a $1 increase in the corporate tax reduces wages by 92 cents in the long term. This study was conducted by Wiji Arulampalam, Michael P. Devereux, and Giorgia Maffini and studied over 55,000 businesses located in nine European countries over the period 1996-2003:

"We identify this direct shifting through cross-company variation in tax liabilities, conditional on value added per employee. Our central estimate is that $1 of additional tax reduces wages by 92 cents in the long run. The incidence of a $1 fall in value added is smaller, consistent with our wage bargaining model."

A 2015 study by Kevin Hassett and Aparna Mathur found that a 1 percent increase in corporate tax rates leads to a 0.5 percent decrease in wage rates. The study analyses 66 countries over 25 years and concludes that workers could see a greater reduction in wages than the federal government raises in new revenue from a corporate income tax increase:

"We find, controlling for other macroeconomic variables, that wages are significantly responsive to corporate taxation. Higher corporate tax rates depress wages. Using spatial modelling techniques, we also find that tax characteristics of neighbouring countries, whether geographic or economic, have a significant effect on domestic wages."

A 2006 study by William Randolph of the Congressional Budget Office found that 74% of the corporate tax is borne by domestic labor:

"Burdens are measured in a numerical example by substituting factor shares and output shares that are reasonable for the U.S. economy. Given those values, domestic labor bears slightly more than 70 percent of the burden of the corporate income tax."

A 2007 study by Alison Felix estimated that a 1 percentage point increase in the marginal corporate tax rate decreases annual wages by 0.7 percent. She concluded that the wage reductions are over four times the amount of collected corporate tax revenue:

"The empirical results presented here suggest that the incidence of corporate taxation is more than fully borne by labor. I estimate that a one percentage point increase in the marginal corporate tax rate decreases annual wages by 0.7 percent. The magnitude of the results predicts that the decrease in wages is more than four times the amount of the corporate tax revenue collected."

A 2012 Harvard Business Review piece by Mihir A. Desai notes that raising the corporate tax lands “straight on the back” of the American worker and will see a decline in real wages:

"Because capital is mobile, high tax rates divert investment away from the U.S. corporate sector and toward housing, noncorporate business sectors, and foreign countries. American workers need that capital to become more productive. When it’s invested elsewhere, real wages decline, and if product prices are set globally, there is no place for the corporate tax to land but straight on the back of the least-mobile factor in this setting: the American worker."

Even the left-of-center Tax Policy Center estimates that 20 percent of the burden of the corporate income tax is borne by labor:

"In calculating distributional effects, the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center (TPC) assumes investment returns (dividends, interest, capital gains, etc.) bear 80 percent of the burden, with wages and other labor income carrying the remaining 20 percent."

"Democrats would be wise to oppose any tax increase," said Norquist.


Tax Policy Center: Biden's IRS Bank Account Snooping Plan "Will Fail"

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Posted by John Kartch on Thursday, October 21st, 2021, 12:48 PM PERMALINK

America's top progressive tax group says Dem plan will "bury the agency in a sea of unproductive information" and "won't help" and "will fail"

Not only are Americans creeped out by President Biden's plan to have the IRS snoop on their bank accounts, the nation's most prominent progressive tax policy group says the plan won't even work.

The Tax Policy Center says the plan is "poorly conceived," and will "bury the agency in a sea of unproductive information" and "won't help" and "will fail."

On Oct. 19 Tax Policy Center senior fellow Steve Rosenthal wrote on Twitter

"Biden's Treasury doubles-down on a poorly-conceived reporting proposal, casting its net far too wide, which may catch small businesses, but not the big fish (who cheat by stretching the tax law, not by hiding their cash flow). I tried to help at the start, but I gave up."

On Oct. 20 Rosenthal wrote on Twitter

"If Congress wants to collect more money from the rich, it must pass better tax rules, which measure and time income accurately and do not create ambiguities that aggressive taxpayers and their highly-paid advisers can exploit. Bank reports on aggregate cash flows won't help."

On Oct. 16 Rosenthal was quoted in The Hill

Steve Rosenthal, a senior fellow at the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center, whose former director now works in the Biden administration, said the proposal is too expansive and thinks bank lobbyists “have touched a raw nerve” with their customers who are concerned about privacy.

“I think at the end of the day, this bank proposal will fail,” he said.

On May 3, Rosenthal wrote:

"In practice, the IRS’ task would be daunting and, in fact, bury the agency in a sea of unproductive information.

Biden’s plan is expansive: deposits and withdrawals must be reported for every account, individual or business, at every financial institution. Then, to construct taxpayer-specific information, the IRS must collate taxpayer-account information across many different financial institutions. That is because taxpayers often hold multiple accounts. Yet, whether collated or not, deposits and withdrawals are not income, unlike wages or interest. And deposits and withdrawals cannot be netted to calculate income, without substantial adjustments."

On Oct. 18 Rosenthal was quoted in The Washington Post:

"It’s still a deeply flawed proposal,” Rosenthal said. “Even at $10,000, the Biden bank proposal is still too sweeping, throws a net very wide, and it’s hard to see what fish they want to catch here.”

Biden wants to increase IRS funding by $80 billion to double the size of the IRS and hire 87,000 new auditors and agents. This quantity of agents is so large that it could fill every seat in Washington DC's Nationals Park, twice. It could fill the ancient Colosseum 1.74 times. 87,000 new IRS agents is more than the entire personnel on all 11 U.S. aircraft carriers.

Even Obama-era IRS chief John Koskinen – a longtime advocate of increasing the IRS budget – thinks Biden’s proposal is too much.

As reported by the New York Times:  

“I’m not sure you’d be able to efficiently use that much money,” Mr. Koskinen said in an interview. “That’s a lot of money.”  

Rather than fix the agency's longstanding mismanagement, ineptitude and abuse problems, Biden's approach will make the problem worse.

Americans have a firm, categorical objection to the IRS snooping in their bank accounts.

Here are some quotations from a local news compilation released by Americans for Tax Reform this week:

“I don’t see what business it is of anyone’s what I spend out of my bank account."

“No, it’s not their business. I already tell them enough.” 

 “I don’t feel that’s appropriate, that the IRS should be looking into people’s bank accounts.”

“They’re trying to get in to see every little thing you’re doing.”

“It could be a little invasive.” 

“It’s kind of over the top and I just think that it’s an invasion of privacy.”

“Our bank accounts, you’d think would be somewhat private if you’re just a regular Joe Schmo making money week-to-week.”

“I do not think the government should be intervening in individual bank accounts.”

“It is personal information, that’s why we file taxes, too. You know, they should not have access to all that stuff.”

“I don’t think it’s right, it’s not their business what’s in my bank account.” 

Click here or below to view:

Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0


VIDEO: Americans Oppose IRS Snooping on Their Bank Account

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Posted by John Kartch on Wednesday, October 20th, 2021, 9:05 AM PERMALINK

Today Americans for Tax Reform released a video compilation of on-the-street interviews from local news reports showing firm, categorical opposition to the concept of IRS snooping on their bank accounts. The Democrats' new $10,000 threshold changes nothing.

Excerpts from the video:

“I don’t see what business it is of anyone’s what I spend out of my bank account."

“No, it’s not their business. I already tell them enough.” 

 “I don’t feel that’s appropriate, that the IRS should be looking into people’s bank accounts.”

“They’re trying to get in to see every little thing you’re doing.”

“It could be a little invasive.” 

“It’s kind of over the top and I just think that it’s an invasion of privacy.”

“Our bank accounts, you’d think would be somewhat private if you’re just a regular Joe Schmo making money week-to-week.”

“I do not think the government should be intervening in individual bank accounts.”

“It is personal information, that’s why we file taxes, too. You know, they should not have access to all that stuff.”

“I don’t think it’s right, it’s not their business what’s in my bank account.” 

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Photo Credit: Cliff from Arlington, Virginia, USA, CC BY 2.0


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