Deputy Secretary of the Treasury Wally Adeyemo was out promoting the positives of the Inflation Reduction Act in an apparent effort to counteract the messaging from Republicans who are working to abolish the law as well as to replace the IRS with a national sales tax.
Speaking January 17, 2023, at a White House event, Deputy Secretary Adeyemo described the law as “the most significant piece of legislation in our country’s history when it comes to building a clean energy future,” and highlighted the law’s tax incentives aimed at getting more Americans to invest in clean energy.
For example, he noted the $1,200 available to people for making homes more energy efficient with new insulation, doors, windows, and other upgrades. He also highlighted the up to $2,000 available to upgrade existing furnaces and air conditioners with energy efficient heat pumps, as well as tax credits to help defray the cost of installing solar panels on their home rooftops.
Adeyemo also highlighted the tax incentives related to the purchase of clean vehicles, including up to a $7,500 tax credit for a new vehicle and up to $4,000 for a pre-owned vehicle.
“Treasury is working expeditiously to provide clarity and certainty to taxpayers, so the climate and economic benefits of this historic legislation can be felt as quickly as possible,” he said.
Adeyemo also referenced the additional funding the Internal Revenue Service is receiving due to the Inflation Reduction Act. He noted that a “well-resourced IRS … is essential for effective implementation of the IRA’s clean energy credits and other tax benefits, and for ensuring fairness of our tax system overall.”
Countering Republican Messaging
Adeyemo’s comments come as Republicans in their new majority in the House of Representatives begin to work on abolishing the IRA and dismantling the IRS.
Already passed in the GOP-led House is the Family and Small Business Taxpayer Protection Act (H.R. 23), which would eliminate the additional IRS funding in the IRA and in particular targets the 87,000 new hires by the agency. GOP messaging continues to misrepresent those new hires as all being IRS agents who will target low- and middle-income taxpayers with audits, despite the stated purposed of those new hires to be primarily for customer service, with the new agents that do get hired to be used to target the wealthiest taxpayers in an effort to ensure they are paying their fair share and to close the tax gap.
Indeed a one-sheet on the H.R. 23 posted to the House Ways and Means website highlights that the bill is targeting the 87,000 new hires which it claims will all be agents. The bill passed the House on January 9, 2023, by a 221-210 vote along party lines. The Senate is likely not going to take up the bill and President Biden already threatened a veto if the bill made it to his desk.
The Congressional Budget Office estimates that enacting this bill would actually reduce revenue by nearly $186 billion and increase the deficit by more than $114 billion.
House Republicans also introduce a bill (H.R. 25) that would abolish the IRS and replace its revenue generating taxation authority with a national sales tax of 23 percent, with a means-tested monthly sales tax rebate available to taxpayers who qualify. No further action on this bill has been taken.