Opinion | I support the IRS, and you should too.

Republicans want to defund the IRS. We need to defend the IRS.


Sophia Meador, Opinions Editor

Like them or not, we need the IRS.

Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives voted to slash funding to the IRS. While the bill does not have necessary support from the White House or Democrat-controlled Senate to be enacted into law, it demonstrates Republicans desire to work against equitable taxation.

No one likes paying taxes, but it is necessary to provide basic goods to Americans such as social security, national defense, and health care. We need the IRS, and Iowans should recognize this.

The newly elected Speaker of the House, Kevin McCarthy, R-California, pledged to appeal so-called “woke” liberal policies on immigration, education and the IRS. 

On Jan. 9, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 23, which is a bill that would rescind funding to the IRS. Each of Iowa’s four representatives voted for the bill.

Ironically, this call came just weeks after reports confirmed former President Donald Trump evaded paying millions in taxes through various loopholes.

The IRS is not perfect and has plenty of room for improvement. Despite this, we need institutions like the IRS to fund necessary programs and assistance across the country.

The IRS originated in 1913 as the Bureau of Internal Revenue. Under the 16th Amendment, Congress has the right to impose a federal income tax. The federal income tax is a tax on the annual earnings of individuals, entities, and other legal entities.

The IRS is responsible for providing tax assistance to Americans, investigating instances of fraudulent tax, and overseeing various benefit programs like Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, and other safety net programs.

According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, almost 700,000 Iowans were enrolled in Medicaid as of June 2020. In 2018, more than 620,000 Iowans were listed as Medicare beneficiaries. 

For wealthy people, defunding the IRS makes it easier to avoid paying large sums in taxes through loopholes and evasions. Without tax oversight, important programs like Medicaid and Medicare will go underfunded and lose its ability to serve the Americans in need of these programs.

Trust me, I get it; paying taxes sucks. As college students, we often find ourselves living off $5 and an old package of ramen noodles. Taxes come out of the hard-earned dollars we make at off-campus service jobs or low-paying university positions. 

But without federal and state tax systems in place, we wouldn’t have the University of Iowa, public schools, libraries, or even national security, for that matter. Taxes are an essential service we must pay so we can have basic programs, services, and infrastructures in place.

As Iowans, we know the value of hard work. The dollars we pay in taxes should be equitable when compared to wealthy individuals. No one should get a write-off because they have the means to cheat the system. 

Republicans want you to believe that paying taxes like the federal income tax is the reason for your struggles. They want you to believe that funding the IRS is a waste of resources. But this rhetoric is just a diversion from actual issues.

We need institutions like the IRS to ensure that every American is paying their fair share to make this country more equitable and prosperous.

The real issues stem from wealthy individuals like Trump who abuse systems to avoid paying their fair share.

Columns reflect the opinions of the authors and are not necessarily those of the Editorial Board, The Daily Iowan, or other organizations in which the author may be involved.