“Cuts such as those in the House budget resolution would actually increase the deficit by decreasing revenue,” IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman said to the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government.
He said the House proposal would cut $2 billion from the agency’s budget next fiscal year. “Cuts of this magnitude would be substantial and affect all of IRS operations,” from answering taxpayers’ questions on the phone to being able to conduct audits, he said. Shulman said that for every dollar invested in the IRS, the agency collects roughly $200 in revenue. [Dow Jones]
[A McClatchy-Marist] poll reported that roughly two out of three registered voters — 64 percent — would be in favor of increasing taxes on annual income over $250,000. President Obama reiterated in his deficit-reduction speech last week that he favored allowing taxes to rise on families in that income level. Independents favored that plan of action at roughly the same percentage as the country at large, with more than eight in 10 Democrats also behind the idea. A majority of Republicans, 54 percent, opposed it. The poll was conducted both before and after Obama’s Wednesday speech, with support for higher taxes on wealthier Americans picking up afterward. Meanwhile, fully four in five registered voters oppose cutting Medicare and Medicaid. The House GOP’s fiscal 2012 budget, largely crafted by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), makes fundamental long-term changes to both health entitlement programs, converting Medicaid into a block grant and turning Medicare into a type of voucher system. [The Hill, Earlier]
The NPR funding debate is a litmus test of how serious Congress in general and Republicans in particular are about spending cuts. If Congress can’t even cut NPR it is a sign that deficits are here to stay and . . .dare I say it . . .tax hikes will be necessary. Or perhaps you don’t care that your children will be paying big chunks of their diminished incomes to the Chinese. [Martin Sullivan/Tax.com]