The IRS and the deficit

This is part of the Republican math:

The House late Monday night adopted proposals by voice vote to cut funding for the Internal Revenue Service.

Rep. Paul Gosar’s (R-Ariz.) amendment to the fiscal 2015 Financial Services appropriations bill would cut funding for the IRS by $353 million. Specifically, Gosar’s amendment would cut that funding from the IRS enforcement account and use it toward deficit reduction.

Gosar argued that funding for the IRS would be better used toward reducing the deficit than toward the agency caught in GOP crosshairs.

That wasn’t enough for Republicans:

“The use of a government agency to harass, target, intimidate and threaten lawful, honest citizens was the worst form of authoritarianism,” said Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Ariz., author of an amendment to cut the IRS tax enforcement budget by $353 million. Rep. Bill Huizenga, R-Mich., followed up with an amendment to cut $788 million more. The underlying bill already contained a $72 million cut from last year’s $5 billion enforcement budget, bringing the total cut to $1.2 billion.

The problem for Gosar’s argument is that reducing the IRS budget will increase the deficit.

Kevin Drum notes this is a replay of the IRS scandal in the 1990s and really Republicans just want to cut the enforcement budget so the rich will get audited less.

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