Major Southern Newspaper Bashes Republicans Over Bill To ‘Protect Tax Cheats’

House Republicans aren’t making an impressive beginning given that the very first bill they passed would help shield “tax cheats,” complained an editorial in North Carolina’s Charlotte Observer.

Republicans — including all of North Carolina’s GOP representatives — voted Monday night to slash $71 billion of the $80 billion in additional funding that Congress provided for the Internal Revenue Service under the Inflation Reduction Act.

The extra money was intended to help ensure “businesses and wealthy individuals pay the taxes they owe,” the newspaper said in an editorial Wednesday. Republicans applauded one another after the bill was passed.

“The GOP regards paying taxes not as a way of supporting the nation, but as an obligation to be avoided,” the Observer added, “They’re not shy about it.” When Hillary Clinton said during a 2016 presidential debate that Donald Trump paid no taxes, he “leaned into the microphone and interjected, ‘That makes me smart.’”

The billionaire’s recently released tax returns from 2015 to 2020 reveal Trump paid $642,000 in federal income tax in 2015, just $750 in 2016 and in 2017, almost $1 million in 2018, $133,000 in 2019 and nothing in 2020 (and sought a $5.7 million refund).

Republicans claim they don’t want to hire thousands of new IRS agents, who they claim will “hound small businesses and probe conservative groups that have tax-exempt status,” the newspaper’s editorial said.

The GOP legislation is “symbolic” because the Democratic-controlled Senate won’t take it up. But the “vote is still depressingly significant,” the editorial said. “It’s a message that Republican House members … reject a fundamental obligation of good citizenship: Obey the law by paying your taxes.”

The Observer pointed to words carved on the IRS building in Washington, a quote from a ruling by Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes: “Taxes are what we pay for a civilized society.”

It “appears,” the newspaper stated, that Republican House members “think that a civilized society ― a just, equitable and compassionate society ― is not worth” the price.

Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) accused the Republicans — who complain about an unbalanced budget — of increasing the federal debt by not spending the money to go after well-heeled tax scofflaws.

The Congressional Budget Office said Monday that if the Republican bill became law, it would save $71 billion upfront — but would cause the government to miss out on $185 billion in uncollected tax revenue for a net loss of $114 billion over a decade.

IRS audits have declined since 2010, with the “sharpest drop” involving the highest earners, the Observer pointed out.