As Government Shutdown Drags On, IRS Continues to Aid the Rich

As 800,000 federal workers remain furloughed or working without pay in the longest government shutdown in US history, we look at how the Trump administration has restarted a division of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to help corporate lenders. The Washington Post reports that an appeal from the mortgage industry has resulted in hundreds of IRS staffers returning to the agency to carry out income verifications for lenders. This process earns the $1.3 trillion mortgage banking industry millions of dollars in fees. We speak with Paul Kiel, a reporter for ProPublica and contributor to the series “Gutting the IRS.” His recent piece for the series is titled “Who’s More Likely to Be Audited: A Person Making $20,000 — or $400,000?”

This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

AMY GOODMAN: This is Democracy Now! I’m Amy Goodman. The partial government shutdown, now the longest in US history, has dragged into its 24th day, with still no apparent end in sight. As 800,000 federal workers remain furloughed or working without pay, with some unable to make rent or pay medical bills, we end today’s show looking at how the Trump administration has restarted a division of the Internal Revenue Service to help the corporate lenders, the mortgage industry.

The Washington Post reports an appeal from the mortgage industry has resulted in hundreds of paid IRS staffers returning to the agency to carry out income verifications for the mortgage industry. This process earns the $1.3 trillion mortgage banking industry millions of dollars in fees.

According to The Washington Post, the IRS workers were called back to work just one day after a trade association, representing credit reporting companies and high-level officials in the mortgage industry, lobbied top advisers to Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin. Robert Broeksmit, chief executive of the Mortgage…

Read more