ICYMI: Washington Post: Opinion: IRS reform will generate a lot more revenue than the CBO thinks

18 Nov

**ICYMI**

Key Point: “The largest offset in the Build Back Better Act is not a tax increase. Instead, it is an $80 billion investment to restore a depleted IRS… I am confident that the proposed investments can generate much more revenue than the CBO assumes.

Washington Post: Opinion: IRS reform will generate a lot more revenue than the CBO thinks
By Lawrence H. Summers
November 17, 2021


The largest offset in the Build Back Better Act is not a tax increase. Instead, it is an $80 billion investment to restore a depleted IRS. The Treasury Department expects this transformative investment to generate $480 billion — $400 billion net — in additional tax collections over the course of the next decade.

That is a large sum. But it is important to put it into context given the scope of the tax evasion problem faced by the federal government. Over the next 10 years, the IRS is on track to collect $7 trillion less than is owed. This enormous tax gap is around 3 percent of gross domestic product on an annualized basis. President Biden’s proposal to revitalize the IRS is projected to net an amount that is merely 5.7 percent of that tax gap.

That modest gain is a more-than-reasonable expectation given the starting point. Today, the IRS has about the same number of auditors as it did during World War II, and the IRS can answer fewer than 30 percent of the phone calls it receives from taxpayers with questions. IRS technology is woefully outdated, and it fails to allow for even simple data analytics to identify evaders. Providing the IRS the resources it needs will go a long way towards shrinking the tax gap.

Yet the Congressional Budget Office is soon to release its estimate of these efforts, which it is likely to score at netting less than half the Treasury number — some experts expect the final CBO estimate to be around $150 billion.

In general, I believe policy should be set on the basis of official scorekeeping by nonpartisan scorekeepers. But, in this case, it would be irresponsible to not recognize that the CBO estimate for tax-compliance efforts is conservative to the point of implausibility. Assuming the administration is successfully able to develop and implement sound plans for the IRS — which will require substantial management and strategic planning to go with the new resources — I am confident that the proposed investments can generate much more revenue than the CBO assumes.

[…]

There is a reason that a bipartisan group of former Treasury secretaries and IRS commissioners (including the current commissioner, appointed by the prior administration) have coalesced around overhauling the IRS. Nothing is more important for tax reform efforts.

[MORE]
###

The post ICYMI: Washington Post: Opinion: IRS reform will generate a lot more revenue than the CBO thinks appeared first on Democrats.

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING: President Biden and Democratic Lawmakers Deliver for Tribal Communities

18 Nov
Thanks to President Biden and Democrats in Congress, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is set to make historic investments in Tribal communities that will help revitalize aging infrastructure, secure clean drinking water, create good-paying jobs, and tackle the climate crisis head on.

President Biden’s infrastructure plan will bring over $13 billion in direct investments to Tribes, from $3.5 billion for clean water projects to $2 billion for broadband investments, including the Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program. Here’s a look at how this once-in-a-generation investment in infrastructure benefits Indigenous communities across the country:

Associated Press: Tribes Welcome Infusion Of Money In Infrastructure Bill

Associated Press: Infrastructure Bill Includes Investment In Tribal Nations

Bloomberg: Infrastructure Deal to Help Tribes Displaced by Climate Change

Native News: $15 Billion for Tribes in Infrastructure Bill a Threshold Moment

Native News: Biden Fulfills Campaign Promises with Infrastructure Act

The New York Times: Infrastructure Bill Makes First Major U.S. Investment in Climate Resilience

And here’s what voters across the country are reading about how the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will deliver for Native communities from Navajo Nation to Quinault Nation:

In Arizona: Arizona Public Radio: Infrastructure Bill Contains Billions For Tribal Water, Roads And Broadband

In Montana: Great Falls Tribune: Here’s What The $1.2 Trillion Infrastructure Bill Means For Tribes In Montana

In New Mexico: Farmington Daily Times: ‘Monumental’: Navajo Nation Top Leaders Welcome Biden Infrastructure Bill Signing

In New Mexico: Source NM: Billions Coming To Help Tribes Access Clean Water

In Washington: The Seattle Times: Sec. Deb Haaland — Infrastructure Plan Makes Historic Investments In Tribal Coastal Resiliency
###

The post WHAT THEY’RE SAYING: President Biden and Democratic Lawmakers Deliver for Tribal Communities appeared first on Democrats.

President Biden Expands Funding After Republicans Voted Against Funding For The Police

18 Nov
As President Biden signs three major pieces of legislation to support police and federal law enforcement today, we thought it might be a good time to remind folks how congressional Republicans have consistently undermined police funding, voted against funding their own local police departments, and repeatedly disrespected the Capitol Police who protect their lives.

President Biden is expanding funding to hire more police officers through a program Donald Trump tried to cut, and Democrats successfully fought to protect and expand.

Fox News: “President Biden is expected to sign three pieces of bipartisan legislation into law on Thursday in support of police officers, the law enforcement community, and federal officials, Fox News has learned.”

Wall Street Journal: “The [Trump] administration’s 2021 budget, like all its previous budgets, recommended eliminating the Community Relations Services and Community Oriented Policing Services and placing their functions under other parts of the department to ‘improve efficiency.’”

NBC News: “The White House touts the $350 billion in state and local funding under Biden’s Covid-19 aid law for helping keep police employed. His budget requests $651 million for the Community Oriented Policing Services program — or COPS — a major increase from last year.” 

The American Rescue Plan, which every single congressional Republican voted against, provided critical funding for state and local police departments across the country.

NBC News: “House Republicans who opposed Covid aid still see funds flow to local police departments”

Herald-Tribune: “Bonus payments of $1,000 will go to teachers, principals, first responders and correctional officers in Florida as part of a roughly $100 billion state budget finalized Tuesday and powered by $6.6 billion in federal COVID-19 recovery cash.”

Commercial Appeal: “New guidance from the White House means the city of Memphis may use a windfall of federal money for its ongoing fight against violent crime, including for purposes such as hiring new police officers, Mayor Jim Strickland announced Wednesday.” 

Indy Star: “Noblesville plans to give police officers and firefighters bonuses of $2,000 and other city employees $1,000 with its haul of federal coronavirus economic aid.”

NNY360: “Federal COVID-19 funding will pay to rehire Watertown police officers”

Let’s not forget how Republicans have disrespected and insulted the police officers who saved their lives on January 6 as the Capitol was under attack. 

Politico Playbook: “Their testimony alone is a public relations disaster for Republicans. The GOP likes to boast that they ‘back the blue’ and are the party of ‘law and order.’ But in snuffing out the possibility of a nonpartisan commission to probe the Jan. 6 attacks, McCarthy effectively brushed aside pleas from law enforcement to authorize the investigation. Now, after pulling out from the select committee, Republicans (save for Cheney and Kinzinger) will be absent as the officers speak.”

Politico: “In the aftermath of the deadly Jan. 6 Capitol attack, the GOP’s love for law enforcement — a longtime hallmark of the party — is being called into question as some members on the right continue to whitewash the insurrection and even foist blame on the police officers who protected lawmakers that day.”
###

The post President Biden Expands Funding After Republicans Voted Against Funding For The Police appeared first on Democrats.

DNC Statement on Kevin McCarthy Defending Paul Gosar

17 Nov
Today, the House voted to hold Congressman Paul Gosar accountable after he posted a disgusting video depicting him threatening the life of the current president and one of his colleagues. Unsurprisingly, GOP leadership rallied the overwhelming majority of their caucus to protect Gosar. DNC spokesperson Adonna Biel released the following statement:

“When it comes to the Republican Party’s values, Kevin McCarthy has set the bar on the floor. While calling out Donald Trump’s Big Lie and extremism gets you a ban from party leadership, threatening the life of the sitting president and his colleagues, and coddling white supremacists will earn you the support of the Republican House leader. No amount of half-baked excuses make up for the threat of violence and egregious judgment displayed by Paul Gosar. Today’s vote only further confirms the chokehold Donald Trump and his extremism have on today’s Republican Party, as Kevin McCarthy’s puppet strings keep getting shorter.”
###

The post DNC Statement on Kevin McCarthy Defending Paul Gosar appeared first on Democrats.

Local News Driven by Headlines on Infrastructure Investments Made Possible by President Biden and Democrats

17 Nov

As President Biden and his administration travel the country talking directly to Americans about how the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will improve their lives, local news outlets remain full of headlines about how the legislation will create good-paying jobs while modernizing our roads, bridges, public transit, and more. As President Biden said, “America is moving again, and your life is going to change for the better.” 

Here’s the latest on what voters in states across the country are reading — and seeing — about the Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal:

In New Hampshire: 

Concord Monitor:

NBC Boston: President Biden Visits NH to Tout Infrastructure Bill at Bridge That Needs Repairs
The Conway Daily Sun: Biden touts infrastructure plan on red-listed bridge in Woodstock

In Wisconsin: UpNorth News: Wisconsin Has 176,000 Lead Pipes. The Infrastructure Bill Will Help Take Them Out.
WSAW: Ben Wikler Hosts Small Business Roundtable Touting Infrastructure Deal

In Nevada: Las Vegas Sun: Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act is a huge win for Nevada

In Iowa: KCAU: Infrastructure bill to bolster Siouxland roads and bridges

In Ohio: WCPO: Infrastructure bill signed into law brings billions to Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana

In Arizona: KGUN: How Tucson and Arizona benefit from Biden’s infrastructure bill

In California: The Sacramento Bee: Looking for work? What Biden’s infrastructure bill could mean for California job seekers

In Texas: Axios Dallas: Infrastructure bill to bring $35 billion to Texas

In Ohio: Axios Columbus: What the infrastructure bill means for Ohio

In Florida: WTSP: Florida getting $13 billion from $1 trillion infrastructure bill: Here’s how it breaks down

In Georgia: WGXA: Rep. Bishop: Infrastructure bill is ‘win-win’ for Georgians

In Wyoming: The Sheridan Press: How Congress’ massive infrastructure bill will impact Wyoming and its residents
###

The post Local News Driven by Headlines on Infrastructure Investments Made Possible by President Biden and Democrats appeared first on Democrats.

REALITY CHECK: This Christmas, Shelves Are Stocked And Our Economy Is Getting Back On Track

17 Nov
Despite the breathless talking points from Republicans, all signs point to Americans being able to celebrate a much better Christmas this year compared to last year. Thanks to the leadership of President Biden and Democrats, our economy is getting back on track as supply chain bottlenecks ease, consumers are spending in record amounts, and companies are confident their shelves will be stocked.

Retail sales are soaring past expectations, and major retailers are confident their shelves will be fully stocked this holiday season.
Reuters: “U.S. retail sales surge as holiday shopping starts, brightening economic outlook”

Wall Street Journal: “Walmart Raises Forecast and Says Shelves Are Stocked for Holiday Shoppers”

Markets Insider: “Amazon, Bath & Body Works and other retail stocks are set for big gains as shoppers get ready for holiday buying spree, says Bank of America”

MarketWatch: “Target blows past quarterly earnings expectations and says shelves are full for holiday season”

MarketWatch: “T.J. Maxx parent beats earnings expectations, says holiday inventory is up versus pre-COVID”

Thanks to President Biden’s leadership, ports are reporting decreased congestion as supply chain bottlenecks improve. 

Forbes: “Logjam At Port Of Los Angeles Beginning To Ease”

Bloomberg: “The number of containers sitting on docks at the port of Los Angeles has declined 29%, CEO Gene Seroka says.”

New reports continue to demonstrate that President Biden is leading our nation through a historic economic recovery and addressing the issues most important to American families. 

CNN: “Biden asks FTC to ‘immediately’ look into whether illegal conduct is pushing up gas prices”

MarketWatch: “Confidence among U.S. homebuilders rose in November for the third consecutive month as strong housing demand offset persisting supply-chain challenges, according to a measure released Tuesday by the National Association of Home Builders.”

Reuters: “U.S. manufacturing output races to 2-1/2-year high”

CNN: “The unemployment rate will match 50-year low by end of 2022, Goldman Sachs says”
###

The post REALITY CHECK: This Christmas, Shelves Are Stocked And Our Economy Is Getting Back On Track appeared first on Democrats.

ICYMI: Reuters: EXCLUSIVE Rating agencies say Biden’s spending plans will not add to inflationary pressure

17 Nov
**ICYMI**
Reuters: EXCLUSIVE Rating agencies say Biden’s spending plans will not add to inflationary pressure
By Kanishka Singh
November 17, 2021


U.S. President Joe Biden’s infrastructure and social spending legislation will not add to inflationary pressures in the U.S. economy, economists and analysts in leading rating agencies told Reuters on Tuesday.

[…]

The two pieces of legislation “should not have any real material impact on inflation”, William Foster, vice president and senior credit officer (Sovereign Risk) at Moody’s Investors Service, told Reuters.

[…] 

“The bills do not add to inflation pressures, as the policies help to lift long-term economic growth via stronger productivity and labor force growth, and thus take the edge off of inflation,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics, which operates independently from the parent company’s ratings business.

Zandi said the costs of both the infrastructure and social spending legislation were sustainable.

“The bills are largely paid for through higher taxes on multinational corporations and well-to-do households, and more than paid for if the benefit of the added growth and the resulting impact on the government’s fiscal situation are considered”, he said in an interview.

[MORE]
###

The post ICYMI: Reuters: EXCLUSIVE Rating agencies say Biden’s spending plans will not add to inflationary pressure appeared first on Democrats.

SPLIT SCREEN: While President Biden and Democrats Deliver, Republicans Root Against Our Economic Recovery

16 Nov
This week, President Biden and Democrats proved yet again that they’re laser focused on delivering results for the American people, and the contrast with Republicans couldn’t be more clear. While President Biden is getting our economy back on track and taking action to reduce inflation, Republicans are busy rooting against our economic recovery to score political points. 

President Biden is overseeing a historic economic recovery, as retail sales remain strong heading into the holiday season and unemployment trends toward a 50-year low. 

The Hill: “Retail sales up 1.7 percent in October, beating expectations”

Reuters: “U.S. manufacturing output races to 2-1/2-year high”

Pantheon Macroeconomics: “We expect a blockbuster holiday season as people make up for lost time and begin to run down some of the $2.5T in accumulated excess savings since the pandemic began.”

CNN: “The unemployment rate will match 50-year low by end of 2022, Goldman Sachs says”

Walmart Chief Financial Officer Brett Biggs: “Overall, the consumer appears to us to be in really good shape…. Wages are up. Jobs are available and spending appears to be strong.”

President Biden and Democrats delivered on the Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal and are working to pass the rest of President Biden’s economic agenda, which economists agree will combat inflation. 

Letter from 17 Nobel laureates: “Because this agenda invests in long-term economic capacity and will enhance the ability of more Americans to participate productively in the economy, it will ease longer-term inflationary pressures,” they said, addressing the inflationary concerns often cited by Republicans who oppose Biden’s agenda.” 

CNBC: “Treasury Secretary Yellen says spending bills will be anti-inflationary, lowering important costs”

Meanwhile, Republicans are once again putting party over country, as they mislead Americans and root against our economic recovery to score political points. 

Business Insider: “Republicans are ecstatic that Biden is struggling with inflation: ‘This is a gold mine for us’”

Sen. Rick Scott: “You can see what’s going to happen next. We’re going to continue to have inflation, and then interest rates will go up… This is a gold mine for us.”

CNN: “Republicans have turned that jump in inflation into a political talking point, trying to place the blame on President Joe Biden and Democrats, and at times misrepresenting the current economic landscape in the process.”
###

The post SPLIT SCREEN: While President Biden and Democrats Deliver, Republicans Root Against Our Economic Recovery appeared first on Democrats.

What They’re Reading: Front Pages Nationwide Highlight President Biden Signing Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal Into Law

16 Nov
From Pittsburgh to Billings, Americans are picking up their newspapers and reading about how President Biden and Democrats have delivered a once-in-a-generation investment that will create good-paying jobs and lower costs by rebuilding America’s roads, bridges and rails, expand access to clean drinking water, ensure every American has access to high-speed internet, and more After less than a year in office, President Biden and Vice President Harris have achieved what Donald Trump never could: delivered on their campaign promise to work across the aisle to make progress for working families. 

Here’s a look at what voters in states across the country are reading — and seeing — about the Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal:
In Pennsylvania:

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:



Reading Eagle: Infrastructure bill could give a big boost to Berks

In Michigan:

The Detroit News:



CBS Detroit: What Does The $1 Trillion Infrastructure Law Mean For Michigan

In Wisconsin:

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: 


WIZM: Kind, Baldwin praise Biden’s signing of physical infrastructure deal

In Arizona:

Arizona Daily Star:


Arizona Family: Mesa mayor says bipartisan infrastructure deal will impact all Arizonans 
Cronkite News: Arizonans on hand as Biden signs bill worth billions in state projects

In Nevada:

Las Vegas Review-Journal: 



8 News Now: Southern Nevada congressional delegation praises $1 trillion infrastructure deal

In Ohio:

Dayton Daily News:



Spectrum News 1: Infrastructure bill could lead to Brent Spence companion bridge

In New Jersey:

The Record:



News12: New Jersey will get $12.3 billion to jumpstart long-delayed infrastructure projects

In Florida: 

Miami Herald:



NBC6: Biden Signs Infrastructure Bill, So What’s in It for South Florida?

In Montana: 

Independent Record:


Billings Gazette: Infrastructure bill includes billions of dollars for Montana

In Illinois: 

Fox 32 Chicago: Biden signs infrastructure bill, sending billions of dollars to Illinois for projects

In Iowa: 

Iowa Starting Line: A Lot Of Good-Paying Jobs Are Coming To Iowa, Labor Leaders Say Of Infrastructure Bill’s Signing

In New Mexico: 

NM Political Report: ‘A blue-collar blueprint to rebuild’: Biden signs infrastructure package

In Georgia: 

11Alive: 7 ways Georgia will benefit from the $1 trillion infrastructure bill
###

The post What They’re Reading: Front Pages Nationwide Highlight President Biden Signing Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal Into Law appeared first on Democrats.

Republicans (Still) in Disarray: A Story Voters Know All Too Well

16 Nov
This week, President Biden made history by signing the Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal into law. Republicans are keeping busy by… well, we’re not exactly sure. 

“Republicans are refusing to condemn death threats on their own members who voted to pass a historic infrastructure bill. That tells you everything you need to know about GOP dysfunction in 2021,” said DNC spokesperson Adonna Biel. “While Democrats are focused on delivering for hardworking Americans, the Republican Party is working overtime to cement themselves as the party of chaos, void of any clear values or governing principles. We’re not quite sure what the Republican message is and it’s becoming increasingly clear they don’t know either.”

Instead of focusing on delivering for working families, Republicans are in disarray after President Biden delivered on the Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal: 

NBC News: As criticism of GOP backers of infrastructure bill grows louder, McCarthy stays quiet
“House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy has watched in silence as Republican Rep. Paul Gosar tweeted a fantasy anime video depicting him killing a Democratic colleague and brandishing swords at President Joe Biden.”

Washington Post: The weird, tardy and failed GOP pushback on Biden’s infrastructure bill
“Ever since 13 House Republicans delivered the decisive votes for President Biden’s infrastructure bill nine days ago, the right wing of the GOP has sought to make an example of them. Former president Donald Trump and his allies have likened them to traitors who enabled Biden’s supposed socialist agenda. Trump recently called for all of them who are seeking reelection in 2022 to face primary opponents. Others want them kicked off their House committees.”

Republicans across the country are engaging in Civil War and targeting each other in primary fights and even trying to kick members out of the party:

Associated Press: Trump backs challenger over GOP Rep. Meijer in Michigan 
“Former President Donald Trump on Monday endorsed a primary challenger over first-term U.S. Rep. Peter Meijer of Michigan, who was among 10 Republicans who voted to impeach him for the deadly mob siege of the Capitol.”

Associated Press: Wyoming GOP votes to stop recognizing Cheney as a Republican
“The Wyoming Republican Party will no longer recognize Liz Cheney as a member of the GOP in its second formal rebuke for her criticism of former President Donald Trump.”

Charlotte Observer: Try not to laugh at what Madison Cawthorn just did to NC Republicans
“Turns out that unconditional loyalty isn’t as politically productive as Republicans thought it would be. Apparently, they’ve yet to learn what others have long known: people like Cawthorn aren’t loyal to anyone but themselves.”

Republicans have sold their party out and given up on any coherent philosophy to appease Donald Trump who lost them the House, Senate, and White House:

Washington Post: Opinion: The Grand Old Party of disarray
“Today’s Republicans agree wholeheartedly on one thing: ambition for power. That’s because, at least in Washington, they have so little of it: Under President Donald Trump, the GOP lost the White House and control of both the House and Senate, a rare trifecta not achieved since Herbert Hoover.“Thanks to Trump, the party also lost anything resembling a coherent philosophy.”
###

The post Republicans (Still) in Disarray: A Story Voters Know All Too Well appeared first on Democrats.