Did Carol Shea Porter Actually Go There?

Once in a while you read a statement from a politician that makes you just shake your head and think they didn't just say that did they?  Carol Shea Porter's recent statement did just that.

In her recently released statement Carol stated:

"Congressman Frank Guinta should stop voting to repeal the Affordable Care Act until he reads it. He misled Boston radio listeners when he wrongly claimed that Congress is not required to be in the new Health Care Exchanges and, as Factcheck.org refutes, that there will be 16,000 IRS agents. People deserve facts, not false talking points.”

Seriously, did she just go there?  Democrats were the same group who told us the bill had to be passed in order to see what's in it, so do they seriously want to discuss reading anything before voting on it?


Does Carol really want to remind voters of that one?

But I digress, she then claims that FactCheck.org refutes Frank Guinta's claims that "there will be 16,000 IRS agents" and "that Congress is not required to be in the new Health Care Exchanges".

Fair enough, when in doubt I actually go to the site and read for myself.

Let's start with the claim that congress would be exempt.  I could not find any FactCheck article debating that dated after the bill was finally amended and passed, only one from while it was still open for discussions which has the following update:

Update, April 19: After health care overhaul legislation was signed into law, the "exempt" claim morphed into one saying that some congressional staffers would be "exempt" from the amendment requiring them to get insurance through the exchanges. In the final legislation, the amendment included was written by Sen. Tom Coburn, and it says that congressional "staff" are considered to be "full-time and part-time employees employed by the official office of a Member of Congress, whether in Washington, DC or outside of Washington, DC."

Hmmm, that sure sounds like it is saying the same thing Frank Guinta stated.

And as for the claim of the 16,000 IRS agents?  Well again if you actually take the time to read what FactCheck.org says they state the reason they claim it is false is because:

there’s a huge difference between an IRS revenue agent — who calls on taxpayers and conducts face-to-face audits — and the workers who make up the bulk of IRS employees. Those who work at the IRS include clerks, accountants, computer programmers, telephone help line workers and other support staff. In fact, IRS revenue agents make up only 15 percent of the IRS workforce, according to the official IRS personnel summary

Ah so he's wrong based on a technicality that not everyone working for the IRS is an "Agent".

The other point FactCheck makes to claim this "false" is the 16,000 "agents" is based on the following quote:

CBO Director Elmendorf, March 11: CBO has not completed an estimate of all of the discretionary costs that would be associated with H.R. 3590. … [S]uch costs would probably include an estimated $5 billion to $10 billion over 10 years for administrative costs of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

To which FactCheck claims:

Note the words "probably" and "could." And the figure — based on preliminary analysis — could as easily be $5 billion as the $10 billion number the GOP analysts used.

Now here's the interesting part to this claim, the "Update" to the article points out:

Update, Feb. 22: The Treasury Department on Feb. 14 released the IRS budget request for fiscal year 2012 that shows the agency is seeking 1,269 full-time equivalent employees (FTEs) at a cost of $473 million to help implement the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. That includes 291 IRS agents, most of them (193) to "ensure accurate delivery of tax credits." For more information, read our Ask FactCheck, "IRS and the Health Care Law, Part II."

So in it's first year before most of the legislation of the law has taken effect they've already attempted to add $473 million and 1,269 employees (291 of which were agents).  The $473 million over 10 years comes to roughly $5 Billion when you round it off and as I said that's before most of the bill has even taken effect.

All that aside, I don't really see a difference if we had to add 16,000 "agents" or just the 291 actual agents currently being requested, the fact is agents and hundreds of additional employees are going to be hired as a result of this bill and the cost to the tax payers is going to be into the Billions.  There's no defending that.  Carol and company can nit pick all they want but it does not change anything.  I'll give her half credit here agreeing that it is wrong to say 16,000 "agents" would be added but it doesn't mean ObamaCare is a good bill nor one that should stay on the books.