How the Mar-a-Lago Search Helped Fuel GOP Attacks on the IRS – The Washington Post | Vette Leader

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After the MP Tom Cole (R-Okla.) Had spent 15 minutes in a Monday telephoto town in which he carried out his latest work in the congress, he opened the call for questions.

First came James from Ada, Oklahoma, who wanted to know: What are you doing with the new brigade of armed official of the Internal Revenue Service?

The caller referred to recent laws that make the IRS available billions of dollars for the tax enforcement, some of which could be used to hire more agents and contribute to closing the “tax gap” of unpaid federal taxes.

But Cole didn’t miss a beat in his answer and repeated his House Republican colleagues By incorrectly claiming that the financing would double the size of the IRS, by hiring 87,000 agents that would work to check everyone, from small entrepreneurs to farmers who earn less than $ 75,000 a year. He ignored the question of the question that the agents were armed, but explained the financing of “an amazing expansion of the government” by a party that believes that the average American “does not pay enough tax”.

The Republicans have given no less than 12 different reasons to explain the FBI search of the residence of former President Donald Trump in Florida. (Video: JM Rieger/Washington Post)

“That was just one of the reasons I voted no to the bill,” said Cole. “Sorry we couldn’t defeat it.”

The legislation does not regulate the hiring of 87,000 armed agents. It provides the entire agency $ 80 billion to strengthen the services of taxpayers and the enforcement of the tax law.

But as Republicans work to locate their embassy in the days after the FBI searched their flag-bearer’s Florida residence, the verbal attacks on federal law enforcement have become entangled in another topic of conversation that connects to an entirely different topic is: the idea that Democrats are overtaxing a tax agency to oversee ordinary Americans.

Both topics came to a head last week when the Republicans of the House of Representatives returned to Washington days after Donald Trump’s search in Mar-A-Lago to vote against inflation reduction act, and the supporters annoyed by the two topics as examples of extreme exaggeration of the federal government implicated by Democrats.

A list of items seized in the FBI’s search of former President Donald Trump’s Mar-A-Lago home was unsealed Aug. 12. (Video: Blair Guild/The Washington Post)

“If the FBI can search the house of a former US president, imagine what 87,000 other IRS agents will do with you,” said Rep. Jim Banks (R-Ind.) tweeted Hours after searching in Mar-A-Lago.

Job advertisement On the IRS website it was pointed out weeks before the law came into force that applicants should be willing to “carry a firearm and to be ready to apply fatal violence”, which caused the Republicans to say that federal agents soon in the houses of the people would storm.

The job list has now been updated to remove this line, but it did not stop the Republicans from repeating them.

“Will they have a task force that comes in with AK-15s already loaded and ready to shoot a small business owner in Iowa?” Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa) asked Fox & Friends last week. .

While the Republican members have spread the truth about what the financing would cause, the topics of conversation will probably not disappear.

Hyperbolic GOP claims about IRS agents and audits

Several GOP strategists that concentrated on house races described the financing of the IRS as a gift for their candidates in order to draw contrasts to democratic opponents before the intermediate elections, in a topic that they say that the voters do not like .

“It is political suicide to increase people’s taxes and to double the size of the most unpopular bureaucratic authority, but the Democrats have decided to do so. Nobody likes paying taxes, nobody likes being harassed by the IRS and being squeezed for everything they have. So it’s an easy selling point for voters,” said one strategist, who, like others, spoke on condition of anonymity to conduct internal conversations about Republican campaign messaging.

It was apparent for the Republicans that the IRS could be made a wedge topic based on their own internal surveys, said Stratege. They have long believed that it was in their best interest to target the IRS because they say that voters are afraid of examining and increased enforcement.

While the Democrats’ sweeping “Build Back Better” legislation never became law following Sen. Joe Manchin III’s (DW.Va.) objection, Republicans were happy to see the IRS funding of it included in the much leaner deal Manchin with Senate Majority Leader, Charles E. Schumer (DN.Y.) survived earlier this summer.

The Inflation Mitigation Act gives the IRS more than $45 billion for tax enforcement, which could be used to hire more agents and help close the “tax gap” of unpaid federal taxes. It also provides $25 billion for logistical operations within the agency, about $5 billion for business modernization, and another $3.2 billion to strengthen taxpayer services.

Democrats have argued that the reductions of the Republicans at all levels of the federal government would have led to a massive deficit to unprocessed documents from taxpayers. An IRS report on the congress this year showed that pandemic contributed to a drastic increase in unobstructed tax returns, from 7.4 million at the end of the submission period in 2019 to 35.8 million at the same time in 2021.

“While the Democrats people and land are faced with politics and power, the Republicans deliberately lie to the voters to defend the wealthy tax fraudsters who support their campaigns,” said Tommy Garcia, a spokesman for the Democratic Congress campaign committee.

But the Republicans believe that it is a fair game to target the IRS, and strategists find that they still feel hurt after the authority has revealed that it has selected conservative groups during the Obama government, that apply for a tax exemption status for an additional examination before granting any privileges.

Strategists say that the adoption of the IRA coincides with the search of Mar-A-Lago by the FBI, only contributes to the anti-federal government mood among the voters.

“If Joe Biden is willing to use the federal government to go after the big guy,” another GOP strategist said, referring to Trump, “if they can do it to those in power, then without an army of lawyers what can they do to you do it and not a big voice? “

Strategists also said that it is a simple attack to tell the voters that the Democrats give priority to the police from the police or border security, which inflamed the GOP basis. In addition, the wording of legislation can indicate the wrong orientation of the priorities at a time when people already feel the economic clamp due to the high inflation.

But the rhetoric aimed at federal employees could come at a price for Republicans. Because of their conviction of the FBI and the Ministry of Justice, they have been under fire because of the search, in particular since the death of a shooter who was killed by the police after trying to penetrate the FBI in Cincinnati.

House GOP members dismissed all suggestions that their rhetoric motivated the attacker, with one strategist noting that verbal attacks against agencies are fair game as long as members continue to reject any violence.

“I would just say to everyone, please, no matter where they are in the matter, no matter how angry they are, please do not do anything undesirable,” Cole told the audience during his town hall on Monday. “It’s just not appropriate and dangerous for everyone involved.”

While the GOP messages have no critical context about what the financing is actually used for, they seem to be well received by the voters. While two focus groups were carried out by alternating voters who were carried out in the name of progressive organizations on Monday evening, both groups brought up that they had heard that IRS financing for the setting of more agents in the legislation of the Democrats was included.

“There are really great things there [in this bill], but at the same time stopping 87,000 IRS people, I don’t think it is the best distribution of costs, ”said a woman in a focus group. “This calculation is so profound, but unfortunately you have to read it to understand that this will influence us.”

Theoderich Meyer contributed to this report.

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