Rick Scott faces opposition for proposal seeking to slash IRS budget in half

Rick Scott faces opposition for proposal seeking to slash IRS budget in half
Rick Scott speaking at CPAC in Orlando, Florida in 2011, Gage Skidmore

Sen. Rick Scott's (R-Fla.) proposal to slash the U.S. Department of Internal Revenue Service's (IRS) budget in half has been met with opposition. During Thursday's hearing for the Ways & Means Committee, Scott shared details from his proposed "Rescue America" plan.

At the time, Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-Texas) asked IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig how the notable change could impact the federal agency.

"If the IRS budget was cut by 50%, you might be better off and save more money by just shutting it down completely," Rettig said. "We account for 96% of the gross revenue of the United States of America! How are you going to fund what we need to fund and what every American deserves?"

Doggett insisted that "perhaps shutting it down is exactly what those who'd make this outrageous proposal have in mind." However, Scott didn't see it that way and worked to defend his proposal. Speaking to Business Insider, the Florida Republican lawmaker explained why he believes his proposal would be a long-term benefit for the government agency.

"We got to make this system where we don't need a big IRS," the Florida Republican told Insider in a brief interview. "We got to make the system simple. I mean the IRS, it's so complex. If you can get lawyers and accountants you can figure out how to not pay taxes, it shouldn't be that way."

Despite Scott's arguments, Business Insider notes that the solution might be the "opposite" of what the lawmaker's plan. "But the answer to cutting down on that tax evasion might be the opposite of Scott's proposal. The Treasury has said that allocating $80 billion in funding to the IRS for enforcement — the amount President Joe Biden proposed in the currently defunct Build Back Better Act — could bring in $700 billion in tax revenue in the next ten years."

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