Representative Kevin McCarthy, Republican of California and the minority leader, mounted his case against President Biden’s social spending bill in a record-breaking speech that stretched for more than eight hours from Thursday to Friday.
Here’s a fact check of some of his remarks.
What Mr. McCarthy Said
“Just a few weeks ago, Congresswoman Abigail Spanberger said nobody elected Joe Biden to be F.D.R. This even spends more than F.D.R. while he was fighting a world war.”
That is indeed a larger dollar amount than the New Deal programs passed under President Franklin D. Roosevelt, which cost about $800 billion after adjusting for inflation, according to a report from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. But World War II itself cost about $5 trillion.
Moreover, comparing New Deal programs with the social spending bill should account for the changes in the United States’ economy and population size. The report from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis also noted that the cost of the New Deal amounted to 40 percent of annual gross domestic product.
In comparison, the $1.9 trillion stimulus package that Mr. Biden signed into law in March and his initial proposal for a $4 trillion economic plan — which became the whittled-down infrastructure measure and the social spending bill — together would amount to 28 percent of G.D.P.
What Mr. McCarthy Said
“You’re hiring 87,000 I.R.S. agents to come after them, 1.2 million more audits, and half of all those 1.2 are going after Americans who make $75,000 or less.”
This is misleading. The bill provides the I.R.S. with $80 billion in additional funding, including nearly $45 billion for enforcement. The Congressional Budget Office noted in September that the proposal would result in increased audit rates for everyone, with high-income earners facing the largest increase.
The bill does not contain any specifics directing how audits would be spread among taxpayers of different incomes, and the Biden administration and Republicans disagree on how it would play out.
The Treasury Department said in a May report about the proposal that tax audit rates would not rise for those earning less than $400,000 since the “compliance proposals are designed to ameliorate existing inequities by focusing on high-end evasion.”
In the past decade, tax audit rates have fallen for higher-income earners and have stayed relatively stable for lower-income earners, which the Treasury Department attributed to the I.R.S.’s diminished resources and inability to retain specialized auditors needed to examine the filings of the wealthy.
The I.R.S. examined 1.4 million individual income tax returns in 2010, about 1 percent of the total number filed. In 2018, the latest year with available data, audits decreased to 370,000, or about 0.2 percent.
The Congressional Budget Office estimated that the bill would return…
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