IRS data on internal migration showing how many people have moved to and from which states generally shows people leaving high-taxed states and states with high unemployment to states doing better in those categories. Now Obama’s IRS is seeking to delay release of these statistics for another 12 months.
For decades economists and lawmakers both have used this IRS data as a marker for which states are succeeding in America, but the Obama administration has show its disdain for this important metric.
Obama’s IRS had once announced that it was going to discontinue to collect and release this data but was shamed by Congress into continuing to gather the statistics. Now the administration is seeking to delay the release of this data to three years out, making some of the data too late to be of use.
After the IRS made its announcement, economic researcher and author Travis Brown said, “This is extremely important information. We are talking about trillions of dollars moving across the country. This information is available because of the urging of Congress. There is absolutely no good reason for why the IRS can’t provide this information.”
J. Scott Moody, the head of State Budget Solutions, an organization that advocates fiscal responsibility, agreed that there is no transparent reason why this data should be delayed.
For its part, the IRS claims that this data is being delayed a full year because of staff shortages – and even says the delay could be longer.
“Please note that this time frame is tentative. We are limited by current project workloads and staffing resources,” IRS Statistics of Income Division Ruth Schwartz said.
Delay of the release of this data can only serve to act as a shield for states such as Illinois that have high taxes, high unemployment, low job creation, and ultimately a high number of outgoing citizens.
The longer such data takes to be released, the longer bad policies can be promulgated without having a spotlight shined on them.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston or email the author at email@example.com.