The National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU), which represents workers for the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), organized nationwide protests Tuesday arguing that the sequestration would eliminate approximately $600 million from the IRS budget this year. Due to the reduction in the rate of spending increases, 100,000 employees will be furloughed starting May 24.
According to protest organizers, the IRS garners 93 percent of the revenue used to fund the federal government. Demonstrators said each $1 invested in the tax collection agency brings in a $7 return, which they say will mean diminished revenues and a heightened deficit because operations will not reach maximum capacity for five days between May 24 and Aug. 30 – an additional two days are being discussed for sometime in August or September.
One of the protests took place in downtown Manhattan, where IRS workers yelled out chants and held neon-colored placards. Some of the talking points included taxpayers experiencing the impacts due to longer wait times for assistance and fewer audits. Workers say they will also take a financial hit because they will miss a week’s worth of pay.