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Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Md., denied on Sunday that the Democrats’ Inflation Reduction Act would increase taxes for Americans amid a period of high inflation possibly a recession.
“Fox News Sunday” host Mike Emanuel asked Cardin if he was concerned even after Sen. Joe Machin, D-W. Va., once said that a recession is the wrong time to raise taxes, noting how economists warned that more spending by the government could aggravate supply chain issues seen over the past year.
“We’re not raising taxes what we’re doing, in fact, we’re reducing the deficit,” Cardin said. “So, we’re actually taking money out of the economy. So that’s good news for the inflation, and we’re dealing with the cost centers that typical families are facing in health care and energy costs. So this should be helpful for American families, and it should be helpful for our economy, and it will help us with inflation.”
The bill includes $80 billion to ramp up enforcement at the Internal Revenue Service.
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“Senator, rich people have accountants and high-powered attorneys. Do you worry that ramped up enforcement will only end up hurting middle and working class Americans?” Emanuel asked.
“I have worked with Republicans and Democrats to try to modernize the IRS. Most Americans pay their taxes. Most Americans have their taxes taken out from their payroll. There’s never a question of whether they’re paying their fair share of taxes. But for those that have complicated incomes, for those that have high incomes, they’re the ones who are escaping,” Cardin said.
He said there’s an estimated $1 trillion leakage in tax collections every year.
“I think most Americans want a level playing field. They want to pay their taxes, but they want everyone else paying their taxes. So I think this is a fair situation. The IRS desperately needs help, and this bill gives them the help they need,” Cardin added.
“Can you understand how 87,000 new IRS agents would scare the heck out of millions of Americans?” Emanuel countered. To that, Cardin replied, “millions of Americans are not going to be impacted by that other than getting better service from the IRS, getting their telephone answered, getting answers to the questions they need in order to comply with our tax laws.”
“The auditing is going to be focused on those with high incomes, the large corporations, etc. So there’s no reason to be fearful. And if you paid your taxes, and you complied with our laws, you should want to make sure everyone else does that,” Cardin concluded.
The senator praised the compromises made in the bill, and specifically Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y. for getting 50 Democrats together to make the “largest investment ever” in climate and healthcare costs.Regarding reconciliation though, Cardin said it would be much better if every member was participating in the bi-partisan process.
“I’m very confident that I’ve seen discipline over these votes where the Democrats have stuck together. So, I’m optimistic we’ll have our 50 votes and with the Vice President 51 to pass it in the next few hours,” Cardin said Sunday. “So yes, there are things that I would like to have seen done that weren’t done, including the tax code, but this is a great bill for the progressives. It’s a great bill for America. It’s a great deal of a bill for American families.”