"The Internal Revenue Service is planning to spend the first big chunk of its $80 billion expanded budget to hire people who will answer taxpayers’ telephone calls during the 2023 tax-filing season." https://t.co/MQr27IeHgp
— JM Rieger (@RiegerReport) August 25, 2022
— Dan Eggen (@DanEggenWPost) August 23, 2022
Backgrounder, from Dana Milbank at the Washington Post:
… Let’s consider the lie, endlessly repeated by Republicans and the Fox News-led echo chamber, that new legislation enacted by Democrats funds the hiring of “87,000 armed IRS agents.” Like the “death panel” fabrication during the Obamacare debate, this is a whole-cloth invention designed to stoke paranoia.
Sen. Rick Scott (Fla.), head of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, sent an open letter last week warning Americans not to work for the IRS. He falsely claimed that the Democrats’ climate, energy and tax bill would add “roughly 87,000 agents” at the IRS, creating “an IRS super-police force”:
“The IRS made it very clear that one of the ‘major duties’ of these new positions is to ‘be willing to use deadly force.’ … The IRS is making it very clear that you not only need to be ready to audit and investigate your fellow hardworking Americans, your neighbors and friends, you need to be ready and, to use the IRS’s words, willing, to kill them.”
The IRS certainly isn’t adding 87,000 armed agents. It isn’t even adding 87,000 agents. In fact, it’s not even adding 87,000 employees.
When you figure in attrition (current funding doesn’t let the IRS fill all vacancies), Treasury officials tell me, the expected increase in personnel would be more like 40,000, over the course of a decade — which would merely restore IRS staffing to around the 117,000 it had in 1990.
Only about 6,500 of the new hires would be “agents.” The rest would be customer-service representatives, data specialists and the like.
And fewer than 1 percent of the new hires would be armed. (The IRS job posting Scott cited, which predated the new law, was specifically for such law-enforcement personnel.) Such officers, who go after drug rings and Russian oligarchs, have been part of the IRS for more than a century.
As for the IRS coming after “hardworking Americans,” Treasury says the new law will result in a “lower likelihood of audit” for ordinary taxpayers, because technology upgrades will enable the IRS to target the actual tax cheats — the super-rich — for more audits. The wealthiest 1 percent defraud the government, and fellow taxpayers, of more than $160 billion a year.…
(But the ‘wealthiest 1 percent’ is Rick Scott’s demographic, so it’s predictable that he’s very upset about it… and of course, lying as fast as his forked tongue allows.)
It’s not just the presidential aspirants like Scott or DeSantis or Cruz. Grassley is the most senior GOP Senator. Here he is spreading the specter of armed IRS officials seeking to murder citizens. It’s grossly irresponsible. https://t.co/gMiKDrPGjN
— Don Moynihan (@donmoyn) August 20, 2022
These are US Senators. These statements are so fantastical that they obviously no longer care about fact checks. The goal is not to have a fact-based discussion but to get anti-government propaganda in the discourse. pic.twitter.com/kqAJHMT424
— Don Moynihan (@donmoyn) August 20, 2022
Special interest lobbyists pushed to defund the IRS so it would be easier for big corporations to evade taxes. Corporate cheating is so extreme that for every $1 we invest in enforcement, we get $5 back in taxes that are owed—but are not currently being paid—under the law. pic.twitter.com/xe0VFlOpxR
— Rep. Katie Porter (@RepKatiePorter) August 15, 2022
the republican party is made up of, and exists to support, the regional roofing supply son-of-founder that got a $587,000 PPP loan/grant, laid off half his employees, and then bought a new pontoon boat. those are the guys scared of audits and the ones people are mad about
— your himbo boyfriend (@swolecialism) August 26, 2022
"stop snitching" includes "stop reporting my father to the IRS for his perfectly legal financial arrangements that he uses to keep his HARD EARNED MONEY HE GOT FROM INVESTING FROM OUR NEOLIBERAL GOVERNMENT" ok???
— Promo Code: Rudy (@canderaid) August 20, 2022
"The average American loathes and fears the IRS" is Twitter is Not Real Life for conservatives with fancy college degrees pic.twitter.com/Fqn2maUQmu
— left-wick (@leftistlitwick) August 19, 2022
*Nervously tugs collar as I realize I can't explain how patreon earnings are capital gains" uh, the IRS started as slave patrols. https://t.co/1v74gRfUSk
— Le Brandón Sinistre (@agraybee) August 19, 2022
All three had their eyes widen when I stressed to them that what the IRS wants is your money and if they want your money they just send a letter to your bank and they take it
— Lord Businessman (@BusinessmanLego) August 20, 2022