Republican Study Committee: Abolish IRS

In an unsurprising move, the Republican Study Committee (RSC) has proposed the elimination of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) as one component of a new plan for a complete overhaul of the federal tax code.

Established in 1973, the RSC has long advocated free trade policies, a vigorous defense of the Second Amendment, a commitment to conservatism in social issues and cutting social programs.

Suggesting the elimination of the IRS would place tax collecting responsibilities to a “new, smaller and more accountable division” within the Treasury Department, the bill simply stated:  “This proposal takes the bold step of calling for the complete elimination of the IRS.”

Although long a popular notion among conservatives, the plan was greeted with skepticism by some GOP representatives and tax groups.

“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,” stated Louisiana Republican, Charles Boustany. 

“It’s hard to imagine a situation in which we wouldn’t need a sophisticated tax collection and enforcement capacity,” said Matthew Gardner, head of the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy.

In light of the recent IRS scandal, one in which conservative groups were targeted for denial of tax-exempt status, calls for serious reform of the Treasury branch have increased; however, alternatives rivaling the RSC’s proposal have recently unfolded.

In April, two bills aimed at curbing the IRS were introduced in the House.  One would prohibit the agency from hiring additional employees until the Treasury Department demonstrates its employees are not tax offenders; the second would prohibit the IRS from spending user fees without congressional approval.

Although often greeted with disbelief in the past, the movement to eliminate income taxes and abolish the IRS has moved from grass roots to mainstream political thought:  Since entering the House, Georgia Republican Rob Woodall has sponsored measures every year calling for an elimination of the IRS.

Since Woodall’s arrival, 73 members of the GOP delegation in the House have joined his annual call to advance his proposal.

Former Republican presidential candidate and Texas Senator Ted Cruz also made the abolition of the tax enforcement agency a cornerstone of his “Simple Flat Tax Plan”, which would have also lowered all income tax rates to 10 percent.


[Reuters] [Photo courtesy]