It doesn’t look like IRS will need 16,500 agents to enforce ObamaCare (HR 4872)
During Saturday’s debate in Grand Junction, a couple of Republican candidates charged that the IRS will need 16,500 new agents to enforce ObamaCare (HR 4872). While the Internal Revenue Code is mentioned 24 times in the bill, according to my search of the bill, the estimate by U.S. House Republicans looks way over blown. Ezra Klein, a pro-ObamaCare blogger’s impact graphs:
On March 18, the Republicans on the House Ways and Means Committee put out a news release saying the “IRS may need to hire as many as 16,500 additional auditors, agents and other employees.” As you might expect, “may” does some heavy lifting here. First, Republicans are using $10 billion, not $5 billion, as the number beneath their estimate. Second, as FactCheck.org says, the GOP “simply divided the spending (which they figured could be $1.5 billion per year once the law is fully effective) by the current average payroll cost for the entire IRS workforce.”
In other words: No money for desks, office equipment, rent or anything else. Every possible dollar is hiring “IRS agents.” And it doesn’t account for annual raises. Oh, and before I forget, “agents” is also there to mislead. As FactCheck.org notes, “there’s a huge difference between an IRS revenue agent — who calls on taxpayers and conducts face-to-face audits — and the workers who make up the bulk of IRS employees. Those who work at the IRS include clerks, accountants, computer programmers, telephone help line workers and other support staff. In fact, IRS revenue agents make up only 15 percent of the IRS workforce.”
When Republicans lie with statistics, they look like Democrats. Had me fooled. What’s interesting is that the Obama administration still hasn’t estimated what it will cost the IRS or how many IRS agents and employes will be needed to enforce ObamaCare. They don’t want to talk about it. What is dismaying is that all of the articles that use the 16,500 IRS agents number are by bloggers and conservatives. Liberal and the mainstream media aren’t paying attention to the issue. They’re helping Obama cover up the cost of enforcing ObamaCare’s heavy regulatory provisions.
LINKS: Will the IRS need 16,000 new agents to enforce health-care reform? By Ezra Klein.