In scandal aftermath, IRS wants more agents
Nearly two months after the startling revelations that the IRS had exclusively targeted Tea Party and conservative groups for inappropriate scrutiny, the agency is asking Congress for a 9% increase in its budget so that they can hire additional agents to enforce ObamaCare’s mandates:
Still mired in scandal for its mishandling of nonprofit political groups, the Internal Revenue Service is prepping for a new role: chief enforcement arm of the Affordable Care Act.
That task will require new agents — 6,700, the IRS figures — and more money — about $1 billion more than the current budget.
Confronted with the tax agency’s 9-percent increase in its 2014 budget, House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wisc., blasted Deputy IRS Commissioner Daniel Werfel at a meeting of the House Committee on Ways and Means Thursday morning.
After reading off a long list of instances of waste, fraud, excess and abuse at the agency over the past several years, Ryan demanded to know how the IRS felt it had the “moral authority” to ask for more money. He actually sounded almost hurt by the request.
Werfel meekly responded that the additional funding was essential to the agency’s expanded enforcement mandate.
The agency’s latest funding boost follows an increase of nearly $1.5 billion and 1,200 agents already dedicated to the implementation of ACA.
Treasury Secretary Jack Lew has admitted that there is a “deficit of confidence” in the IRS due to its targeting of Tea Party and conservative groups. He’s right. But giving the agency more power and authority, thanks to ObamaCare, doesn’t exactly solve the problem. What it does is give way for more abuse. And remember, the targeting of conservative groups isn’t the only scandal in which the IRS finds itself.
Though the Obama Administration decided to delay the employer mandate by a year, until 2015, the IRS had already come under fire for its plan to ignore the intent of the law and the last year’s Supreme Court decision by enforcing the employer mandate in the states that have rejected the exchanges. The IRS’s illegal move could cost employers in those states as much at $1.3 billion.
If House Republicans want to make a stand on something, make it on this. Don’t give the IRS the funding increase its requesting. The IRS is an unsympathetic agency and ObamaCare is unpopular and the administration is practically admitting that the law isn’t going to work as planned. Deny the funding request and make it impossible for them to enforce the mandates