North Carolina newspaper slams House GOP for voting to help 'wealthy individuals' avoid paying 'the taxes they owe'

North Carolina newspaper slams House GOP for voting to help 'wealthy individuals' avoid paying 'the taxes they owe'
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Economy

After Rep. Kevin McCarthy finally prevailed in his uphill battle to become House speaker, the new Republican majority in the U.S. House of Representatives was officially seated. House Republicans, on Monday, January 9, voted in favor of cutting Internal Revenue Service (IRS) funding — a vote that the Charlotte Observer’s editorial board lambasts in an editorial published the following day. All U.S. House Republicans serving via districts in North Carolina, the board notes, voted in favor of cutting the funding.

“Carved in stone above the main entrance to the Internal Revenue Service Building in Washington, D.C., is this quote from a Supreme Court opinion written by Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.: ‘Taxes are what we pay for a civilized society,’” the Observer’s editorial board writes. “Now, it appears Republican U.S. House members think that a civilized society — a just, equitable and compassionate society — is not worth that price. That’s the only way to read their vote on Monday to rescind nearly $71 billion of the $80 billion in additional funding that Congress provided the Internal Revenue service (IRS) under the Inflation Reduction Act. The investment will help ensure that businesses and wealthy individuals pay the taxes they owe.”

The Observer’s editorial board notes, however, that the GOP-sponsored bill is doomed in the U.S. Senate, where Democrats still have a majority.

READ MORE:How Republicans are aiming to 'protect tax cheaters' with new bill: report

“The legislation is strictly symbolic,” the board explains. “The Democratic-controlled Senate won’t take it up. But the vote is still depressingly significant. It’s a message that Republican House members — many of whom were willing to reject the results of a fair and free 2020 presidential election — now also reject a fundamental obligation of good citizenship: obey the law by paying your taxes. The GOP regards paying taxes not as a way of supporting the nation, but as an obligation to be avoided. They’re not shy about it. When Hillary Clinton said during a 2016 presidential debate that Donald Trump, an alleged billionaire, paid no taxes, Trump leaned into the microphone and interjected, ‘That makes me smart.’”

The Observer’s editorial board stresses that the funding for the IRS that President Joe Biden signed into law as part of the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 is aimed at higher wage earners.

“As for the possibility of hounding small businesses and ordinary taxpayers, the Biden Administration has pledged that the changes at the IRS won’t increase audits for small businesses or households earning less than $400,000,” the board writes. “The IRS is understaffed, underfunded and running on outdated technology. Paper returns pile up, refunds are delayed, ordinary taxpayers can’t get through for help and tax cheats slip past unchecked. The agency needs a strong funding boost not only to be more fair and efficient, but to ensure that the government collects all the revenue that it should under the law.”

READ MORE: Kevin McCarthy promises to repeal IRS funding meant to catch rich tax cheats

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