By Susan Cornwell WASHINGTON (Reuters) - It's a U.S. taxpayer's dream: make the Internal Revenue Service go away, and the largest conservative group in Congress is endorsing just that. The Republican Study Committee, which counts over two-thirds of House of Representatives Republicans as its members, called recently for "the complete elimination of the IRS." The committee's support for this idea, once confined to the fringes of conservative ideology, suggests it is more widely accepted on Capitol Hill than ever. But many in Washington, including some Republicans, have trouble taking it seriously. Calls to abolish the IRS have not been well thought through, Republican Representative Charles Boustany said in an interview. “Before we start making blanket statements about abolishing the IRS, I think it’s important to focus on what the tax code for the 21st century should look like," said Boustany, who does not belong to the 172-member study committee. In an election year of dramatic rhetoric that is often short on details, the committee's proposal, released April 22 and echoing language from a March budget plan, is brief. As part of a wider appeal for federal tax reform, the committee says simply: "This proposal takes the bold step of calling for the complete elimination of the IRS. Tax collection and enforcement activities would be moved to a new, smaller and more accountable department at the Treasury." No further specifics were offered for how to replace an agency that is already part of the Treasury, collected $3.3 trillion in revenue in 2015 and processed 240 million tax returns. Texas Representative Bill Flores, chairman of the study committee, was not available for comment. His spokeswoman Caitlin Carroll said the IRS closure proposal should be seen as part of a larger push for comprehensive tax reform. Matthew Gardner, head of the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, a tax research group, said most tax reform plans would still need a tax collector with enforcement powers. "It's hard to imagine a situation in which we wouldn't need a sophisticated tax collection and enforcement capacity," he said. "We are in an election year, and bashing the IRS is particularly attractive in an election year," said Steven Rosenthal, senior fellow at the Tax Policy Center think-tank. From a global perspective, the IRS does a good job, he said, noting that U.S. income tax compliance is about 82 percent, one of the highest levels in the world. Still, in the United States, antipathy for the IRS is widespread and long-standing. One of Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz's biggest applause lines on the campaign trail is, "Imagine abolishing the IRS!" 'SOUNDS TRUMPISH' Asked recently about Cruz's line and calls to close the agency, IRS Commissioner John Koskinen said: "If you want to call it something other than the IRS and that makes you feel better, that's OK with me. But ultimately you got to have somebody somewhere who collects the information, audits it and makes sure it’s accurate and valid and collects the funding." Cruz's tax plan, unveiled in November, would create a flat 10 percent individual income tax and junk the present tax brackets. High-income households would benefit the most under his plan, according to the Tax Policy Center, a joint venture of the Urban Institute and the Brookings Institution. Some Democrats scoff at the IRS closure proposal. "If there are problems at the IRS ... we can straighten it out," said Democratic Representative Elijah Cummings. He added that Republicans should be wary of advocating an idea that "sounds Trumpish." Donald Trump, the anti-establishment front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination, has not called for abolition of the IRS. Congress has cut the IRS' budget 17 percent in real terms since 2010. In mid-April, the House approved several IRS-bashing bills, including one to prevent it from making new hires until the Treasury certifies no agency employees are seriously delinquent on taxes themselves. That bill and another one that would prevent the IRS from spending user fees it collects without congressional approval have been placed on the Senate calendar by Republican Leader Mitch McConnell. This means they can be brought up for debate and a vote, although no action has been set on either proposal. The IRS has long been a congressional punching bag. But Republicans have been hitting it harder since the IRS several years ago applied extra scrutiny to conservative groups' applications for tax-exempt status between 2010 and 2012. Republican Representative Rob Woodall of Georgia has introduced a bill every year since he entered Congress in 2011 to eliminate income taxes and abolish the IRS. Support for Woodall's bill has grown to 73 co-sponsors, including the heads of the House tax and budget committees, but it has never advanced. Nor has a similar bill in the Senate. It was unclear how House Speaker Paul Ryan would treat the study committee's proposal in drafting a party policy agenda ahead of the Republican convention in Cleveland in July. "The speaker welcomes input from the RSC and all members of our conference," said Ryan spokeswoman AshLee Strong. Ryan has sidestepped calls for abolishing the IRS in the past, while frequently criticizing the agency. (Editing by Kevin Drawbaugh, David Gregorio and Dan Grebler)
Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting
- The Daily Beast
Photo Illustration by The Daily BeastOXFORD, Michigan—Detailed descriptions of a wish to massacre classmates on his cellphone and in a journal. At least one social media post pointing to elation at access to a handgun bought by his dad. A mom who thanked Trump for “my right to bear arms.” And a meeting between his parents and school administrators about his conduct just hours before the attack.Authorities on Wednesday identified the teenage suspect in the mass shooting a day earlier at Michigan’
This Mom Who Has An OnlyFans Account Was Banned From Volunteering At Her Kids' School Because Of What She Does For A Living
"I love volunteering, so being told that I can no longer do that felt like one of the biggest joys in my life was just ripped away from me..."View Entire Post ›
"The server dropped the food off at the table and 20 minutes later, they had it sent back because it was cold."View Entire Post ›
- Business Insider
Kayleigh McEnany said she didn't lie in the White House briefing room because she went to Oxford, Harvard, and Georgetown and was a Christian
McEnany repeatedly lied about COVID-19, the 2020 election, and Trump's public support, despite pledging never to deceive the public.
- The Daily Beast
Courtesy Mykayla BolieuThe family of Sativa Transue, a 26-year-old American woman from Spokane, Washington who was found dead in her Cancun hotel room while on vacation with her boyfriend, said she looked like she had been “beaten to a bloody pulp” when Mexican authorities discovered her body on Saturday.“I received a call from the Mexican consulate letting me know my daughter has passed away and that she’s been found dead,” Jayme Bolieu, Sativa’s mother, told The Daily Beast in an interview. “H
- Saints Wire
NFL Twitter in uproar over bogus, drive-killing blindside block penalty on Saints
- Miami Herald
Ghislaine Maxwell was a boss who made almost impossible demands.
- Business Insider
Body language can say a lot. Here's what one expert told us after studying Kamala Harris's and Pete Buttigieg's interactions on their joint trip to Charlotte.
A body language expert studied Harris's and Buttigieg's relationship as the duo embarked on a joint appearance to Charlotte, North Carolina.
- Yahoo Life
Paulina Porizkova stuns in black lacy lingerie: 'I celebrate me, my body and the things it can do and feel'
The supermodel is no longer dressing "for HIM."
- Fort Worth Star-Telegram
In watching the Cowboys-Saints game it’s evident that there are two players who are heading in the wrong direction, albeit for different reasons. | Opinion
France's Catholic Church said on Thursday the pope had accepted the resignation of Paris archbishop Michel Aupetit who asked for forgiveness after reports over a relationship with a woman. The 70-year-old cleric, who is bound by the church's celibacy rule, has denied any intimate relationship with the unnamed woman in comments to Le Point magazine, though he acknowledged his behaviour may have been ambiguous. "I ask forgiveness from those I might have hurt."
- E! News
New year, new you! Billie Eilish showed off her freshly dyed hair after going platinum blonde earlier this year.
- NBC Sports Boston
Why did the Red Sox give up Hunter Renfroe to reunite with light-hitting outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr.? John Tomase breaks down Wednesday night's surprise trade.
Welcome to the home stretch of 2021, kicked off by a very exciting total solar eclipse and new moon on Dec. 4.
‘The Daily Show’s’ Trevor Noah Switches Lanes On Vaccinations And Ignites A Firestorm Of Online Criticism
The Daily Show host Trevor Noah has touched a nerve among a certain segment of his fans, expressing skepticism in an online post of the motives of Moderna’s CEO in pushing for new vaccinations. On Twitter earlier today, Noah raised an eyebrow and seemed to claim Moderna CEO Stephane Bancel is pushing for new COVID-19 […]
According to a royal insider, the Cambridge family has one habit in particular that the Queen "can't stand." But, you'll never guess what it is.
Accuser who testified Ghislaine Maxwell and Jeffrey Epstein sexually abused her for years says she was on a flight with Prince Andrew and met Trump
Jane (not her real name) testified at Ghislaine Maxwell's trial that Jeffrey Epstein introduced her to Trump at Mar-a-Lago when she was 14 years old.
- Austin American-Statesman
Vaccinated people in England are not dying at a faster rate than unvaccinated people.
- College Football News
2021 College Football News bowl projections, predictions and possible matchups for the College Football Playoff with a new bowl added late.
- Fox News
Jeffrey Epstein's former pilot took the stand at Ghislaine Maxwell's trial and alleged Kevin Spacey and Chris Tucker were guests on Epstein's plane.