It would be nice if the administration just ignored all of these sideshows and cut straight to the heart of the matter:
They should just say that OK, we're not going to raise tax rates anymore. However, what we're going to do is make sure everyone is paying the tax they're supposed to be paying and not dodging it. Then they need to hammer that point over and over again.
The point really has to be driven home that for every dollar spent on the IRS gets returned many times over (obviously there's a limit but lets face it, they're nowhere near that point yet). Every time the Republicans try to stop them, just bluntly ask the rhetorical question as to why the Republicans object to people paying the tax they're already meant to be paying?*
(*Well, we all know why but for the sake of argument ...)
"The Internal Revenue Service can't keep up with surging tax cheating and isn't sufficiently collecting revenue or helping confused taxpayers because Congress isn't giving it enough money to do its job, a government watchdog said Wednesday...
Congress cut the IRS budget to $11.8 billion this year. That is $300 million less than last year and $1.5 billion below the request by President Barack Obama, who argued that boosting the agency's spending would fatten tax collections and provide better service to taxpayers."
"Converting dollar bills into $10 bills is an excellent way to pay off your credit card. Except, it seems, if you're a House Republican...
As the Associated Press reported, "every dollar the Internal Revenue Service spends for audits, liens and seizing property from tax cheats brings in more than $10, a rate of return so good the Obama administration wants to boost the agency's budget." It's an easy way to reduce the deficit: You don't have to cut heating oil for the poor or Pell grants for students. You just have to make people pay what they owe."
The report points out that the IRS functions as the "accounts receivable" department of the federal government, as it collects more than 90 percent of all federal revenue and therefore provides the funds that make almost all other federal spending possible. On a budget of $12.1 billion, the IRS collected $2.42 trillion in FY 2011. In other words, for every $1 that Congress appropriated for the IRS, the IRS collected about $200 in return. However, current federal budgeting rules do not take into account that a dollar appropriated for the IRS typically generates substantially more than a dollar in additional tax collections, leaving the agency substantially underfunded to do its job and limiting its ability to close the tax gap and thereby help reduce the federal budget deficit.
"The report points out that the size of the tax gap raises important equity concerns, because compliant taxpayers end up carrying a disproportionate share of the tax burden. For 2001, the most recent year for which a complete tax gap estimate existed when the report was written, the IRS estimated it was unable to collect $290 billion in taxes. Since there were then 108 million households in the United States, the average household paid a "noncompliance surtax" of almost $2,700 to enable the federal government to raise the same revenue it would have collected if all taxpayers had reported their income and paid their taxes in full. "That is not a burden we should expect our nation's taxpayers to bear lightly," the report says. [Last week, the IRS released updated tax gap estimates. For 2006, the IRS estimated it was unable to collect $385 billion in taxes when there were 114 million households, producing an updated "noncompliance surtax" of nearly $3,400 per household.]"
"Over the last five years, officials at both the I.R.S. and the Treasury have told Congress that cheating among the highest-income Americans is a major and growing problem."
Really, they need to push hard over increasing funding for the IRS while at the same time using the fact that if the Republicans keep trying to block funding increases to the IRS as a cudgel to beat them over the head with about how they want to help rich people evade taxes at the expense of the poor.