Congressman Dusty Johnson has joined his new theocratic Speaker Mike Johnson in declaring that protecting the rich from paying taxes is a bigger priority than helping our allies fight terrorism and tyranny. Yesterday he voted for the standalone GOP House bill to fund $14.3 billion in aid to Israel but only on the condition that we gut funding for the Internal Revenue Service:
The 14-page bill, one of the first major tests for newly elected GOP Speaker Mike Johnson of Louisiana, doesn’t include additional funding for Ukraine, Taiwan or the U.S. Southern border — all of which the Biden administration requested last month.
…Rep. Dusty Johnson, R-South Dakota, voted in favor of the measure.
The House GOP proposed paying for the new spending for Israel by cutting an equal amount of funding for the Internal Revenue Service that Democrats included in their signature climate change and health care package in 2022 [Jennifer Shutt, “SD’s Johnson Votes Yes as House Pushes Through Israel-Only Aid Bill,” South Dakota Searchlight, 2023.11.02].
Sure, Dusty. Never mind that Ukraine is still fighting a Russia that would love to NATO give him a free hand to re-expand the Russian empire. Never mind that the President’s proposal to spend $105 billion to address clear and present threats to democracy and global stability would fulfill America’s role as the indispensable nation, avert more costly U.S. interventions in a grim future of a subjugated Ukraine and besieged Israel, and stimulate the U.S. economy. And never mind that pulling money from the IRS will actually cost us money:
We’d still spending the $14.3 billion in the bill Dusty voted for. But without that funding in its budget, the IRS will pull in $26.8 billion less in taxes.
Those figures indicate every dollar we spend on IRS enforcement returns $1.87 to the federal coffers. And as economic analyst Steven Rattner points out, every dollar spent to audit the richest Americans produces more than $3 to the public good.
But such are the priorities of Dusty Johnson and his Republican Party. Don’t lift a finger to fight Putin’s invading army, don’t fight radical Islamic terrorism without some unrelated domestic political grandstanding, and grandstand in ways that end up increasing the national debt.