About $330 billion in federal taxes have never been paid as of the end of fiscal year 2010 — an amount, if collected, would equal nine times the $38 billion lawmakers bickered over in order to avoid a shutdown, according to the Government Accountability Office.
On top of that, the IRS doesn't have funding to hire more agents to beef up enforcement.
The lack of political will to go after unpaid taxes will hurt the government not only today but in the future as well, as every dollar spent on enforcing the tax code results in $10 in revenue, the Huffington Post reports.
|About $330 billion in federal taxes have never been paid.
A good chunk of the tax evaders are individuals with "substantial personal assets" including multi-million-dollar homes and luxury cars, the GAO reports.
"Cutting back on IRS enforcement could easily cost the treasury much more in revenue than it saves," says Chuck Marr, Director of Federal Tax Policy at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, according to the news website.
The battle in Congress to avoid a shutdown has taken its toll on President Barack Obama, according to a CNN poll.
"The president's overall approval rating is now 48 percent; in late March, that figure was 51 percent. This is the first time this year that a CNN poll has found his overall approval rating below 50 percent," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland.
"And although President Obama has a 10-point advantage over the GOP leaders on how their handling of the budget negotiations, that's nothing compared to the 30-point advantage President Bill Clinton had over House Speaker Newt Gingrich after the budget showdown in November 1995."
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