The ranking member of the House Budget Committee said Tuesday he has confirmed with a nonpartisan panel that a provision in President Biden’s multitrillion-dollar “Build Back Better” legislation adding muscle to the Internal Revenue Service will result in more audits for tens of millions of earnings who make less than $400,000.
“The nonpartisan Joint Committee on Taxation has confirmed to my office that an average 87 million Americans earning less than $400,000 would have their account information reported under President Biden’s proposed IRS spying scheme,” Rep. Jason Smith (R-Mo.) noted on Twitter in a post containing a highlighted screengrab of a letter his office received from the panel.
Smith added: “Washington Democrats have insisted their radical policy is about going after the wealthy. But the truth is that it sets up millions of middle class Americans for potential audits and legal battles against the IRS – an agency with a troubling history of abusing its own powers.”
Washington Democrats have insisted their radical policy is about going after the wealthy. But the truth is that it sets up millions of middle class Americans for potential audits and legal battles against the IRS – an agency with a troubling history of abusing its own powers.
— Rep. Jason Smith (@RepJasonSmith) December 7, 2021
Despite what the White House, the president, and Democrats have said, GOP lawmakers and analysts have been warning that ordinary earners are not only going to see their taxes increase under the Build Back Better bill, which contains a tidal wave of new social and climate spending, but they will also fall under increased scrutiny from a newly empowered IRS that will be tasked with finding every last dollar possible to pay for it.
Last month, Rep. Nancy Mace (R-N.C.), ripped the $80 billion in new funding for the IRS that the measure contains, and said that the agency would be tasked with “spying” on Americans’ bank accounts.
“It’s wrong. Eighty billion for 89,000 more agents to spy on our bank accounts. This isn’t America,” she told Fox News.
“This kind of thing has been tried in socialist countries elsewhere. It does not work,” she said. “And the fact that we’re going to continue to do this rather than reform our tax policy to make it more friendly and easier to use – either a flat tax or a consumption tax – we’re going to hire all these agents to spy on our bank accounts. It’s un-American.
“Republicans have a lot to run on next year, but the problem is going to be, ‘How do we reverse this bad policy if it goes through and gets passed?’” she added.
The additional agents will result in around 1.2 million more audits per year, according to one estimate, Fox News added.
Plus, Republicans and Democrats are also leery of the amount the bill costs.
“The spending is unsustainable. As Margaret Thatcher said, at some point, you run out of other people’s money,” Rep. Nicole Malliotakis (R-N.Y.) said last month.
She called the measure the “Build Back Broke bill,” and described it as a “Democratic socialist spending spree” before predicting that the “short-term impacts will be inflation and a higher cost of living — and the longer-term impact will be tax increases on the middle class.”
Sen. Joe Manchin, a moderate West Virginia Democrat who has already expressed his opposition to several provisions in the bill, is concerned that the allegedly temporary spending provisions will become permanent.
“As more of the real details outlined in the basic framework are released, what I see are shell games and budget gimmicks that make the real cost of this so-called $1.75 trillion dollar bill estimated to be twice as high if the programs are extended or made permanent,” he said.
“Politically, no one believes that will be allowed to expire after one year,” Peter Warren, director of research at the conservative Empire Center for Tax Policy in Albany, told the New York Post.
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