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OPINION

Dems’ 'Big Squeeze': IRS Audits Coming Your Way Soon

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.
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AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin

Senate Democrats rammed it through without a single GOP vote, and now it’s House Democrats’ turn. On Friday, the House will vote on the Biden-Schumer-Pelosi $740 billion tax-and-spend monstrosity – the one that will double the size of the IRS and introduce millions more Americans to the sentence, “I’m from the IRS, and I’m here to audit you.” 

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Given that the House is a majority-run institution, and Democrats control the majority, it’s very likely the bill will pass. And then Americans will rue the day – because this bill will go down in infamy, as a colossally disastrous law that will harm the United States on multiple fronts.

It’s a quadruple whammy – increased taxes, increased spending, increased inflation, and increased IRS invasion. Call it “The Big Squeeze.

The increased taxes are obvious. Americans for Tax Reform has a handy-dandy list of tax hikes in the bill: a $6.5 billion natural gas tax hike that will increase household energy bills; a $12 billion crude oil tax that will increase household costs; a $1.2 billion coal tax that will increase household energy bills; a $258 billion corporate income tax hike on American businesses that will be passed on to households; a $124 billion stock tax; a 95% federal excise tax on American pharmaceutical manufacturers; and a $52 billion income tax hike on mid-sized and family businesses.

The increased spending, too, is obvious. According to an analysis by the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, it includes $64 billion to extend for three more years ObamaCare subsidies that were set to expire this year; $34 billion in additional spending on Medicare; $161 billion on “clean electricity tax credits”; $40 billion on “air pollution, hazardous materials, transportation and infrastructure”; $37 billion on “clean manufacturing tax credits”; $36 billion on “clean fuel and vehicle tax credits”; $35 billion on “conservation, rural development, and forestry”; $27 billion on “building efficiency, electrification, transmission, industrial, and DOE grants and loans”; and $14 billion on “other energy and climate spending.”

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Despite its official name, it will not result in reduced inflation. In fact, the opposite is true according to the Penn Wharton Budget Model, the effect of the proposal on reducing inflation will be virtually indistinguishable from zero.

Even Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders gets the joke. On the Senate floor, he called it “the so-called ‘Inflation Reduction Act,’” and then explained, “and I say ‘so-called,’ by the way, because according to the CBO and other economic organizations who have studied this bill, it will, in fact, have a minimal impact on inflation.”

Hiking taxes and increasing spending are par for the course for Democrats. That’s what they do, so there’s no surprise there. Increasing inflation while saying you’re going to reduce it? That’s a different story. It’s been 40 years since we’ve suffered under the kind of inflation that’s hurting us now. When inflation continues to rage over the next two years, voters will see it with their own two eyes, and they’ll know whom to hold accountable.

But the worst part of this bill is the $80 billion the government will now spend to double the size of the IRS by adding 87,000 new agents. Think of them as the IRS’s new “audit army.”

And Senate Democrats, in particular, will have no excuse. They won’t be able to claim with a straight face that “It was part of a much larger package. I wouldn’t have written it that way myself, but that’s the way the bill was proposed, and I know you supported all the rest of it, so I had to swallow the small bad part along with the much larger good part.” Thanks to an amendment offered by Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz, Senate Democrats were given an opportunity to vote to surgically cut out the $80 billion in funding for the new IRS audit army – and every single one of them voted to keep that funding intact.

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Every. Single. One.

Taxpayers are smart enough to know what that new IRS audit army will mean for future “enforcement” efforts. They know that despite Joe Biden’s campaign promise not to raise taxes on anyone making less than $400,000 per year, this new audit army is coming directly for the middle class. Why? “Because,” as Willie Sutton said when asked why he robbed banks, “that’s where the money is.”

According to theIRS’s own figures, only 1.8 percent of taxpayers earn more than $400,000 per year, and they only earn 25 percent of the income earned in the United States. No one really believes the new IRS audit army is going to confine itself to concentrating on the top 1.8 percent of taxpayers and the 25 percent of income they represent, and leave the remaining 98.2 percent of taxpayers and 75 percent of income alone.

Kevin Brady, the ranking Republican member of the Ways and Means Committee, released an analysis over the weekend projecting that the new IRS audit army would result in an additional 1.2 million audits per year, with a majority of them falling on taxpayers making $75,000 per year or less.

When you get that knock on the door, you’ll know whom to thank.

Jenny Beth Martin is Honorary Chairman of Tea Party Patriots Action.

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