President Donald Trump’s Fiscal Year 2019 Budget reduces IRS funding by approximately $738 million, a 6.1% drop from the amount of funding the agency received in FY 2017.
President Trump’s budget proposes $11.1 billion for the IRS, with an additional $362 million proposed for upgrades in enforcement and cybersecurity. Last year, the agency received $12.2 billion in taxpayer dollars.
While IRS bureaucrats claim the agency is underfunded, the IRS has proven time and time again that it cannot properly use the resources it already gets. In recent years, the IRS has been plagued with numerous scandals that have severely damaged the agency’s credibility.
The most famous of these scandals was IRS employee Lois Lerner’s systemic targeting and harassment of conservative groups in order to sideline them from participating in the 2012 election. This rampant abuse of power should be proof enough that the agency has a history of bad judgment when it comes to spending taxpayer money.
The IRS has also made a number of lesser-known mistakes when allocating resources. According to a recent TIGTA report, the IRS rehired 200 employees that the agency had previously fired for misconduct. One rehired employee was previously fired for threatening a coworker, another several rehired employees were previously fired for mishandling taxpayer information and falsifying documents.
The IRS also has enough money to waste 500,000 hours a year on “union activities,” burning through a total of $23.5 million in taxpayer funds so that IRS union bosses can do union work on the clock. The IRS also gave 57 contracts valued at $18.8 million to 17 companies that owed back taxes or had a felony conviction. The IRS cannot convincingly plead poverty while wasting taxpayer resources on union bosses and tax cheats.
The IRS has clearly proven itself to be an irresponsible steward of taxpayer funds. President Trump’s budget wisely recognizes that the agency does not need additional funding.