The Inflation Reduction Act reversed more than a decade of disinvestment in the IRS by providing $80 billion to boost tax enforcement and modernize the agency over 10 years. Yet repeal of that funding has become a major priority for the new House Republican majority, and the agreement to avert default and raise the debt limit rescinded a portion of the new funds. Now, House Republican appropriators are pushing for deeper cuts as part of the fight over funding the federal government for the current fiscal year.
The ability of the IRS to collect the taxes that are legally owed has been severely diminished by past budget cuts. Absent aggressive action, the United States will lose about $7 trillion in revenue—largely from amounts owed by the wealthiest Americans—over the next 10 years. The IRS has the oldest computer systems in the federal government, hampering customer service and enforcement, and the agency lacks the experienced personnel needed to examine the complicated tax returns of the wealthy and large corporations.
Please join Patrick Gaspard, president and CEO of the Center for American Progress, in conversation with former U.S. Treasury Secretary Dr. Lawrence H. Summers on the importance of adequate funding for tax enforcement and administration to a healthy democracy. In addition to serving as Treasury secretary, Dr. Summers served as director of the White House National Economic Council during the Obama administration, as president of Harvard University, and as chief economist of the World Bank.