Income Tax Refunds Held Hostage – The New Debt Ceiling Debate is Here

Posted on 5 February, 2014 by Rick Wells


Democrats may have learned nothing from the shutdown showdown of last October or perhaps they learned quite a lot. Whichever is the case, we are heading down that same road once again.
The House Democrat membership of the Ways and Means Committee, which is the source of tax laws, has written a letter to Speaker of the House Boehner urging him to raise the debt ceiling. They want it to be raised with no pre-conditions and it needs to be done right away.
The emergency this time around is not a government shutdown; it’s a supposed pending inability to send out income tax refund checks.
The Democrat pitch alleges that the two-week government shutdown of last year had delayed the start of tax season until last Friday. The Democrats estimated, based upon last year’s statistics, that 55 million taxpayers receive their refund checks by March first in a normal year.
It would seem that the delay they are bemoaning would have bought extra time for the government, and a January of revenue is still in the treasury. At worst it should have a neutral impact.
In typical fashion, the Democrats are once again holding Americans hostage to their political maneuvering and attempts to vilify their opponents.
The letter, signed by all 16 Democrats on the Ways and Means Committee, said, “Failure to act quickly will endanger our economic recovery and send a signal to American taxpayers that their refunds may be in jeopardy, potentially raising unnecessary panic among families awaiting their tax refunds.”
The written finger pointing continued, “President Obama and Congressional Democrats have been clear: we will not negotiate over the full faith and credit of the United States. Past Republican default threats rattled our economy and cost Americans hundreds of billions of dollars in lost retirement savings, increased the cost of owning a home, and cost us hundreds of thousands of desperately needed jobs. Let’s not add delaying tax refunds to the list. We look forward to working with you to protect American taxpayers.”
Thinly veiled threats seem so inappropriate for the Democrats when bare naked political extortion works so well. The part about an economic recovery is particularly humorous, coming from economic obstructionists. Blaming all of their political difficulties on a two week battle over whether or not to increase the debt limit is effective, but dishonest.
The Democrat frenzy wasn’t restricted to the House. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew also got in on the festivities, sending a letter to Boehner last month requesting a debt limit increase and setting a timetable of February 7th, no later than the end of the month, “to ensure orderly financing of the government.”
Lew told the Bipartisan Policy Center during a speech Monday in Washington that the Treasury would be able to use accounting maneuvers for a few weeks after February 7th to keep the government running, but that it would burn through its money more quickly than at other times of the year because it would also be issuing more tax refund checks. He indicated the government would run out of room to maneuver by the end of the month.
Democrats are demanding a “clean” debt limit bill be passed without concessions or conditions.
The Hill reports that Republicans would like to secure concessions in exchange for a debt limit bill such as a repeal of the medical device tax, the elimination of obamacare “risk corridors” or approval of the Keystone XL oil pipeline from Canada.
Wouldn’t it be nice if we didn’t have a national debt? Maybe we should eliminate the Federal Reserve and do away with all of this nonsense before it completely destroys us.

Rick Wells is a conservative Constitutionalist author who contributes to conservative media outlets. “Like” him on Facebook and “Follow” him on Twitter.