By Tommy Tidrow
November 8, 2015 (Washington D. C.) – New House Speaker Paul Ryan and his friends in Congress (most of whom have signed the Republican operative Grover Norquist’s “No New Taxes” pledge) have come up with a plan to fund a highway bill by privatizing the part of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) tasked with collecting back taxes from individuals who owe as little as $200 dollars in unpaid income tax.
The measure would have private collection agencies act on behalf of the government to collect delinquent taxes. These are the people who have been sued for predatory practices, harassment and misrepresentation for years.
These debt collectors will not be going after billionaires and corporations who put $150,000,000,000 Billion dollars in off-shore tax havens like the Cayman Islands. Nor will there be any reform to the tax code that allows giant corporations like General Electric to pay no taxes at all.
Wall Street is doing just fine. Corporate earnings are soaring. Essentially all wealth created in America today goes to the upper two percent.
Instead people with moderate incomes who are still suffering from the recession, steadily declining wages and the increased cost of nearly everything are called upon to carry the burden. People who want to pay their taxes but are struggling to make ends meet or even feed their families, these are the people Ryan wants to put the squeeze on.
Paul Ryan has been House Speaker for only a few days but the prospect of a less contentious U.S. House of Representatives was dashed as Speaker Ryan declared he would be “going on the offensive.”
At a news conference on Tuesday, rather than better cooperation and less obstruction, Ryan signaled majority Republican lawmakers to insert more measures like defunding Planned Parenthood in ‘must pass’ bills like the U.S. budget and the long term highway bill--then threaten to shut down the government in another game of brinksmanship to get their way.