Five days ago, this would have seemed like just another April Fools’ Day joke, but it is apparently quite real. Via the Washington Times, an excerpt:
There’s at least one government function some taxpayers might not miss in a government shutdown: IRS tax audits.
A senior administration official, briefing reporters on potential effects of a shutdown, said “the performance of tax audits will be shut down or suspended for this period.”
Overall, the official said he expects about 800,000 government employees to be furloughed if Congress and the president aren’t able to agree on spending cuts before midnight Friday, which is when current stopgap funding expires.
The irony here is quite thick: a shutdown driven by deficit concerns causing the suspension of federal tax audits, thereby hampering the government’s efforts to increase revenues.