International news headlines | Budget Office: Biden's anti-inflation legislation will fail

The Inflation Reduction Act will be extremely expensive for middle-class taxpayers.



According to the Congressional Budget Office, the Inflation Reduction Act, which US President Joe Biden signed into law on Tuesday, will cost middle-class Americans an additional $20 billion in taxes over the next ten years.


According to the Congressional Joint Committee on Taxation, taxpayers making less than $200,000 would pay an additional $16.7 billion in taxes, while those making between $200,000 and $500,000 would be responsible for an additional $14.1 billion. Under the new law, wealthier taxpayers are anticipated to contribute $180 billion more.


Although Biden pledged not to raise taxes for the middle class during his election campaign, the Senate rejected an amendment to the plan that would have shielded people earning less than $400,000 from greater Internal Revenue Service inspection. The Inflation Reduction Act was approved by the House on Friday. With no Republican support, the bill was approved by both houses of Congress on a party-line vote.


Additionally, $80 billion is allocated in the law to hire 87,000 IRS officers to collect the new taxes. The Biden administration promoted the move as an effort to persuade wealthy Americans to pay their fair share, but the Joint Committee on Taxation and CBO evaluations indicate the new agents will mostly be entrusted with collecting money from middle-class and small-business owners.


It is program wrong to describe any of these tools as being about raising audit scrutiny of the middle class or small businesses, the Treasury Department said, telling Time Magazine. The IRS commissioner was given a directive by Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen last week to make sure that "any additional resources...shall not be used to increase the share of small businesses or households below the $400,000 threshold that are audited relative to historical levels," which means middle-class Americans will indeed face more audits - they'll just be proportional.


At over 78,000 employees today, the IRS could more than double in size as a result of the new recruitment. The Treasury Department disputes this allegation, arguing that the agency's ranks will only increase by 30,000 and that many of the new hires are meant to replace workers who are ready to retire.


Internet users were alarmed when an IRS job offering stated that applicants must "carry a firearm and be willing to employ deadly action if necessary." Even though the reference to "deadly force" was eventually removed from the listing, screenshots of the original are still accessible on social media.


Under the Biden administration, inflation hit 8.6% in May, a 40-year high. While the president has attributed the nation's financial difficulties to Russian President Vladimir Putin and the Covid-19 outbreak, his political rivals have referred to his "reckless" spending as the main cause of the economy's decline. Since assuming office, the president has approved several spending bills totaling trillions of dollars or more; but, his most ambitious project, the $3 trillion or more Build Back Better program characterized, failed due to a lack of support from his party. It was recycled in some form into the present bill.


Despite its name, many economic experts, including the CBO and the Penn Wharton Budget Model, believe that the Inflation Reduction Act won't genuinely reduce inflation. While the CBO characterized the legislation's impact as "negligible," Penn noted that it would have characterized "statistically indistinguishable from zero" impact on inflation while contending that it would result in "lower government debt, greater wages, higher total factor productivity, and higher GDP."


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