Wednesday, December 7, 2016


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IRS Budget

According to Internal Revenue Service Commissioners John Koskinen, $10.9 billion is not enough to enforce the U.S. tax code adding that to cut costs, taxpayers can forget about calling the IRS for help filing their tax returns.

That’s because the IRS will be shutting down phone lines to free up IRS employees for tax processing and enforcement duties – especially when it comes to complying with the ObamaCare mandate.

Koskinen said a “cut” of $346 million in the IRS budget request for 2015 is to blame.

Hard hit by this news will be seniors and the handicapped who rely on IRS help lines to for the answers needed to complete their returns. The IRS says only half of the 100 million people expected to call this year will be able to reach a live person and, even then, call waits could exceed 30 minutes or more for even simple questions.

That’s not all.

The lack of funding might mean the IRS will delay income tax refunds for millions of Americans – many of whom will be looking for their refunds to pay family bills.

Many may recall Koskinen from his testimony about the IRS targeting of conservative groups seeking charitable determination letters before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee chaired by Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA).

Koskinen’s testimony over the retention of e-mail records between IRS officials – records that might have shed light on the targeting scandal – was unresponsive, combative and ultimately contradicted by attorneys for Lois Lerner, the former IRS official believed to be behind the targeting scandal.

“It couldn’t be worse timing,” Koskinen said of the budget cuts.

Writing for, John Hayward said the timing couldn’t be better when it comes to complying with the ObamaCare mandate.

Hayward writes:

“This is excellent timing to remind Americans of what a disaster Barack Obama dropped in their laps, how utterly callous and incompetent his administration has become, and what a sick tyrannical joke the American tax system has become.

It’s also a good idea to remind them (taxpayers) that for all the velvet-glove rhetoric surrounded by Obamacare, it’s more of a mailed fist – it’s about control and punishment, not improving the efficiency or fiscal situation of the healthcare system.”

Hayward added that if Koskinen is going to point to a modest budget cut to throw up his hands and say, “I give up! Taxpayers, you’re on your own,” he has already submitted his resignation.

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U.S. House Floor

A procedural vote governing the rules for debate on the $1.1 trillion spending bill negotiated between House Republican Leaders and Senate Democrats survived by a single vote of 214-212 Thursday morning – only after some arm-twisting among rank-and-file republicans.

The narrow victory calls into question House Speaker John Boehner’s ability to win final passage of the bill from votes within his own caucus before midnight tonight’s deadline to avoid a government shutdown.

The razor thin victory on the spending bill, negotiated in secret with Senate Democrats following Election Day, has already riled conservatives who wonder why Boehner is so determined to cut a deal now rather than wait until after the swearing in of the new Congress on January 2.

By then, republicans will pad their House majority by an additional 12 seats while taking over the Senate by 54-46 seats – more than enough votes to stop President Barack Obama’s “pen and phone” adventures in executive overreach on such issues as illegal immigrant amnesty, changes to the ObamaCare law and other partisan issues.

Some believe that is exactly what Boehner is trying to avoid.

If he can barely muster the one vote he needed to keep the $1.1 trillion spending bill alive in the current House, how difficult will it be in the new House when 12 additional republican members – conservatives carried to victory by Tea Party activists and independent voters – take the oath of office just weeks from today?

The challenge to passage doesn’t end there.

Besides recalcitrant republicans, congressional democrats have some headaches of their own – starting with pressure from the White House to back the bill. House minority leader Nancy Pelosi took to the House floor to attack those parts of the bill that would relax government regulations on business.

Calling the bill “a ransom” and “blackmail”, Pelosi was not content with the measures $1.1 trillion price tag that fully funds ObamaCare, executive amnesty and raising of the debt limit.

While saying she was resigned to “whatever members choose to do” on the bill, she urged her fellow Democrats to vote against the legislation because it would weaken rules on business that many say are driving up bottom line costs resulting in downward pressure on job growth.


Obama is a few weeks away from leaving office and Donald Trump is helping him leave on a high point. When Obama departs the White...