The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Emily McCloskey

Patriotic Millionaires Slam Biden, GOP on Rollback of IRS Funding in Pending Debt Limit Deal

"This deal proves that the one thing the modern GOP cares about more than anything else is making sure rich people don’t have to pay taxes."

Yesterday, reports emerged that President Biden may agree to roll back $10 billion in IRS funding as part of a deal with Republicans to raise the debt limit.

In response, Morris Pearl, the Chair of the Patriotic Millionaires and a former managing director at BlackRock, Inc., released the following statement:

"A debt ceiling agreement that cuts IRS funding would be an embarrassing disgrace for both the GOP and President Biden.

House Republicans have been holding the global economy hostage because they claim that the federal debt is too big. But at the first opportunity, they are happy to scrap most of their cuts to limit the ability of the IRS to go after wealthy tax cheats, a move that would actually increase the debt by $120 billion.

The mask is off. This deal proves that the one thing the modern GOP cares about more than anything else is making sure rich people don’t have to pay taxes.

But we can’t blame the GOP for the fact that President Biden put this on the table in the first place. As Biden himself said many times, the agency desperately needs these funds to crack down on wealthy tax cheats and ensure that rich people start paying what we rightfully owe the country in taxes.

Biden shouldn’t be negotiating with McCarthy and his cronies in the first place over paying for things that we’ve already bought in the budget that was approved last year – you cannot negotiate with economic terrorists. To give into their demands over IRS funding at the eleventh hour is simply beyond the pale.

There is still time, albeit not much, for Biden to come to his senses and back out of this disgraceful IRS rollback. Agreeing to IRS funding cuts as a bargaining chip in debt ceiling negotiations would be an enormous stain on Biden’s legacy. If he wants to protect his reputation and our country, he should refuse to budge an inch on the debt ceiling and use his constitutional authority under the 14th Amendment to bypass this entire manufactured crisis."

The Patriotic Millionaires is a group of high-net worth Americans who share a profound concern about the destabilizing level of inequality in America. Our work centers on the two things that matter most in a capitalist democracy: power and money. Our goal is to ensure that the country's political economy is structured to meet the needs of regular Americans, rather than just millionaires. We focus on three "first" principles: a highly progressive tax system, a livable minimum wage, and equal political representation for all citizens.

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