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Immaculate Conception at night by Vincent Embser

Letter to the Editor: Who Is Congressman Langworthy Really Looking Out For?

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In response to what I believe is the headline of your own making, “Langworthy and House Republicans Defund the IRS” and to the headline which was probably at the top of Congressman Langworthy’s press release, “Congressman Langworthy Prioritizes Protecting Taxpayers — Defunds 87,000 IRS Agents”, PLEASE clearly label items like this as a press release of the Congressman. You are certainly entitled to publish whatever you wish and whatever politicians want you to publish, but please help people better know when they are reading hyper partisan political rhetoric rather than that of a news reporter — rhetoric that resorts a great deal to the use of fear and smear, rhetoric that creates more heat than it does light. Why am I asking you to do this? I fear more and more that as a nation we are coming apart at the seams, that we are destined to be embroiled in another non-civil war.

The headlines used sound like the defunding of the IRS, thanks to the Congressman, is an accomplished fact. Is it? If the increase in IRS agents was already approved and signed by the President as a result of a bill passed in the prior Congress, won’t any defunding require a new bill that can pass the new Senate and later be signed by the President? What’s the likelihood of that happening any time very soon? When raising the debt limit comes up later this year, I’m sure the Republican controlled House of Representatives will try to force the defunding of a number of things. All I can say about raising the debt limit is that people need to understand that raising the limit is required to cover expenses that have ALREADY BEEN APPROVED and NOT to cover expenses under consideration in future budgets.

I have read more than one article in recent years stating that the number of IRS agents is presently down significantly from what it once was. It should be no surprise that there is no mention of this in the Congressman’s press release. Right or wrong, diminishing the IRS has been a successful goal of Republican controlled Congresses in the last couple of decades. I believe that the people most needing auditing are the wealthy — people and corporations who have the money to have lawyers and accountants on their payroll whose job it is to take advantage of a multitude of tax loopholes and to shelter income and profits in sophisticated ways most of us aren’t even aware of and will never be in a position to use. Maybe if there had been more IRS agents to audit tax returns in recent years, someone like Donald Trump and the organizations under his control wouldn’t have ended up paying peanuts in taxes. I question if the vast majority of taxpayers in Congressman Langworthy’s Congressional District have anything to fear from having the number or IRS agents beefed up. Thus who is the Congressman really trying to look out for?

James Pomeroy
Caneadea, NY

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