A bill introduced by House Republicans on Monday would provide $14 billion in funding for Israel, but do it in a way that helps the rich avoid taxes. As a result, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office now predicts the proposal would add nearly $27 billion to the national debt.
As my colleague Julianne McShane wrote, House Republicans are proposing to pay for the Israel aid by clawing back the same amount from the IRS. Last year’s Inflation Reduction Act had provided the tax agency with $80 billion over 10 years—money intended to restore its ability to audit wealthy individuals and corporate partnerships, and to pursue wealthy deadbeats. (Even some Republican lawmakers are critical of tying foreign aid to IRS funding.)
The thought of—as my colleague David Corn put it in Mother Jones‘ internal Slack channel—”letting billionaires cheat to pay for bombs to drop on civilians” is jarring, particularly given the more than 3,500 children that Gaza health authorities say have been killed by the Israeli airstrikes; heartbreaking photos and videos have shown kids covered in blood and dust and collapsing while coping with living through the trauma of war and losing loved ones.
The CBO specifically calculated that the Israel proposal will result in a ten-year, $26.8 billion revenue decline, of which nearly half comes come from the GOP’s hit on the taxman’s collection capabilities. Read the full report here.