Wednesday, January 11, 2023

The Little Things

Many things drove me mad during the Obama era, but one was why they seemed so uninterested in using their uncontroversial executive power, or even slipping little things into budget bills, to do fairly uncontroversial - or at least small enough to fly under the radar - things.
I think I had a list at some point though I can't find it at the moment. Maybe it was a dumb list! But "stop auditing poor people" would've been a pretty good entry!
To be clear, the IRS does deserve the distrust of low-income taxpayers. Historically, its grossly inadequate funding has led the agency to target the poor—specifically earned income tax credit recipients—because they’re among the easiest people to audit. Recently released data for 2022 shows this trend continuing, with the lowest wage-earners in the country audited at five and half times the rate of everyone else. During FY 2022, the odds of a millionaire being audited was just 1.1 percent.

So the reinvigorated IRS has a lot to prove. Treasury Secretary Yellen has directed the IRS to “focus on high-end noncompliance,” and indicated that the IRS’s additional resources “shall not be used to increase the share of small business or households below the $400,000 threshold that are audited relative to historical levels.” Both Biden and Yellen should help the IRS communicate instances of overdue enforcement of the law against rich tax evaders to the public, combating GOP misinformation through good storytelling about persuasive data.