Biden’s outsized IRS army will declare war on political enemies – New York Post | Vette Leader

The public should be shocked that Democrats have passed new legislation to arm the already abusive Internal Revenue Service.

For nearly a century, Presidents and members of Congress have used the IRS to harass and incriminate political enemies. The IRS not only collects revenue to fund the government, but is also a killer squad that destroys reputations and criminalizes dissenters.

A lot of pain can be inflicted under the guise of the tax “audit.” The law, which President Joe Biden signed into law on Tuesday, incorrectly dubbed the Anti-Inflation Act, will mean further scrutiny and investigation. The law roughly doubles the resources for the IRS’s Enforcement Division and adds up to 80,000 agents and auditors.

Biden, meanwhile, is starving the Department of Defense and demanding too few funds to even keep up with inflation, despite Russian and Chinese aggression. But his legislation will make the IRS three-fourths the size of the Marine Corps. Who is Biden at war with?

While the bill strengthens the power of the IRS, it does not provide for serious criminal penalties if the IRS discloses confidential taxpayer information or pursues political ends. The story shows the impending danger.

In the 1930s, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt used the IRS to harass newspaper publishers who opposed his New Deal and opponents such as Senator Huey Long and Father Coughlin.

In the 1950s and 1960s, the IRS gave FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover access to his files, allowing him to obtain tax information against the National Council of Churches, the NAACP, and Dr. To use Martin Luther King Jr. as a weapon.

Many people believe that Barack Obama’s IRS targeted opposing political parties.
AP/Susan Walsh

President John Kennedy established the Ideological Organizations Audit Project to crack down on right-wing groups, including the think tank American Enterprise Institute and the John Birch Society.

President Richard Nixon’s attorney, John Dean, admitted that the administration was “using the existing federal machinery to screw our political enemies.” The IRS was Nixon’s weapon of choice. The charges against Nixon included allegations that he ordered “income tax audits or other income tax investigations” in a “discriminatory manner.”

President Bill Clinton’s administration has indicted the IRS over accusers Gennifer Flowers and Paula Jones.

President Barack Obama’s IRS targeted tea party groups and other conservative nonprofits in the run-up to the 2012 presidential election, delaying their tax exemptions to prevent them from raising funds. This scandal blew up in 2013 when IRS officer Lois Lerner admitted the targeting. However, no charges were filed against Lerner or other IRS officials, and she retired with all benefits.

And the abuse continues. Biden’s IRS has leaked confidential tax material from Jeff Bezos, Warren Buffett and other billionaires to a leftist publication, ProPublica. Tax information should be treated confidentially. We Americans have no choice but to provide them. But the IRS toyed with left-wing media to help Democrats push through their false claim that tax crackdowns were needed.

Internal Revenue Service building
The IRS has often been used to harass and intimidate political opponents.
AP/Patrick Semansky

NPR hailed the bill Biden just signed into law to “go after rich tax evaders,” while Slate magazine hailed the “supercharged” IRS.

Don’t buy the rhetoric. Tax evasion is not a serious problem in America like it is in many other nations. Americans feel sorry for tax cheats, polls show. The United States has one of the highest voluntary tax compliance rates in the world, at about 88%, far higher than Western Europe.

It’s true that the IRS needs funding to improve services to taxpayers — including taking phone calls and processing tax returns — and to transition from outdated paper records to modern technology. But the new law dedicates a tiny amount to those priorities and puts the lion’s share, more than $45 billion, into “enforcement,” including hiring and arming agents.

According to the nonpartisan Joint Committee on Taxation, up to 90% of the money raised from enhanced audits will come from people earning less than $200,000 a year. Audits can result in a tsunami of demands for government documents and repeated visits from IRS agents for months or even years. Most people don’t have accountants and lawyers to protect them from the pain.

Worst of all, history shows that the agency’s increased clout is being used to muzzle and punish political critics. This is a heavy blow to our freedom.

Betsy McCaughey is a former Lieutenant Governor of New York.

Twitter: @Betsy_McCaughey

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