CBO Casts Doubt on IRS Enforcement to Fund Multi-Trillion Build Back Better Act

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The Congressional Budget Office’s (CBO) analysis of increased IRS funding could put a higher price tag on the multi-trillion Build Back Better Act.

The White House questioned on Tuesday the accuracy of the CBO as the non-partisan organization will soon release its score of the multi-trillion Build Back Better Act.

White House deputy press secretary Andrew Bates said the “CBO doesn’t have experience analyzing revenue amounts gained from cracking down on wealthy tax cheats who are taking advantage of every honest taxpayer.”

Bates contended that with an extra $80 billion in funding, the IRS could raise as much as $400 billion in extra tax revenue.

However, CBO Director Phillip Swagel said during an event at the Bipartisan Policy Center Monday that the agency does have the experience to score how increased IRS funding could impact tax revenue.

He emphasized that many CBO officials have also worked at the Treasury.

“It’s not that you put more money into the service and you actually lose money,” Swagel said. “It’s not that at all. But it does affect the behavior of people on the other end of the IRS.”

Swagel also argued that having more IRS audits would lead many companies and high-income earners to get more aggressive when faced with potentially higher taxes.

The CBO found in contrast to the White House that increased IRS funding would only produce $120 billion in net revenue.

Other fiscal organizations found similar results.

The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget found that this provision would generate $125 billion in net revenue.

Swagel said there is little evidence to suggest that increased enforcement would lead to more government revenue.

“The research literature on deterrence is very mixed,” Swagel said.

The Biden White House has relied on the IRS auditing provision to offset the cost of the mammoth legislation. If it were to lead to a larger deficit, it could make moderate Democrats such as Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) uneasy.

The Committee suggested that the legislation could cost as much as $4.91 trillion if many of its programs were made permanent.

Republicans have charged that the increased IRS funding could harm American businesses.

“The I.R.S. will double in size. It will be more involved in the day-to-day lives of every American. And the result will be an invasion of privacy and the heavy hand of the government squeezing out smaller, more local businesses,” Rep. Mike Kelly (R-PA) said in October.

Sean Moran is a congressional reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter @SeanMoran3.

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