Republicans in Congress are comparing the “surge in IRS hiring” to a military buildup. The Inflation Reduction Act, which allows for an 87,000 increase in IRS agents over a ten-year period, found that 710,000 additional audits will be required for taxpayers earning $75,000 or less.
It might be appropriate to refer to the “New IRS” in military terms.
Kevin McCarthy, House Minority Leader, says Biden’s “army” will outnumber the president’s hometown.
Democrats in Washington plan to hire an army of 87,000 IRS agents so they can audit more Americans like you.
That’s more than the entire population of Joe Biden’s hometown of Scranton, PA.
— Kevin McCarthy (@GOPLeader) August 11, 2022
Ted Cruz, a Texas senator, believes we must “Stop Biden’s Shadow Army!”
The Manchin-Schumer bill will create 87,000 new IRS agents to target regular, everyday Americans.
STOP BIDEN’S SHADOW ARMY! pic.twitter.com/DgJQ1K1KBJ
— Senator Ted Cruz (@SenTedCruz) August 5, 2022
On Fox News, Senator John Kennedy of Louisiana stated that Biden’s new IRS would have “more agents or soldiers than the entire Israeli army.”
.@SenJohnKennedy: “The IRS will have more agents or soldiers than the entire Israeli army…” pic.twitter.com/UtlJdeLBmN
— Jackson Richman (@jacksonrichman) August 11, 2022
It’s a beautiful metaphor, but it’s false. According to the Jerusalem Post, there is approximately 169.500 active personnel in the IDF, according to an assessment done by the International Institute for Strategic Studies in 2021.
John, sorry, it was a good laugh.
The 87,000 new IRS agents have many other tasks. Elizabeth Warren would like to borrow some of them to help prepare tax returns for citizens.
A small portion of the funding is allocated to $15 million to finance a task force that will study the feasibility and cost of creating an e-file program for free. This has been controversial.
Warren didn’t plan to wait for the task force study. He already filed a bill in support of free online tax preparation and filing system that allows taxpayers to file and prepare their taxes directly with federal officials, rather than through private tax preparers.
Warren’s proposal would allow filers in simple tax situations to select a “return-free” option that allows them to pick a tax return already prepared with an income tax liability and refund amount already calculated. It would also reduce tax fraud by obtaining third-party income information earlier in tax season, according to proponents.
Grover Norquist is the president of conservative Americans for Tax Reform. He points out the obvious. Under this system, the IRS acts as both the prosecutor and the judge. “All the incentives are wrong,” Norquist stated to FOX Business.
The IRS is not only viewed as a tax preparer but also a tax collector. According to a Progressive Policy Institute report, “The IRS doesn’t have the information necessary to accurately determine the eligibility of a low-income taxpayer for EITC [Earned income tax credit] and/or calculate the amount due to the taxpayer. This is far from the truth.” Although the EITC is fraught with abuse, the report points out that there are too many opportunities for poor taxpayers not to be caught.
All of us can agree that the IRS must be reformed. The Biden administration is doing it wrong.
Biden’s administration views things differently. The Biden administration does not plan to reform the IRS, but it proposes to make the agency a job program. This is likely to make matters worse than they are better. Rewarding corrupt and inefficient agencies by increasing their payroll sends the wrong message.
It isn’t clear, however, that the agency requires more employees. My rough estimation is that the United States has twice as many federal tax officials per capita as Switzerland, which is thrifty and well-governed. The IRS will have five times the number of employees per capita if the Biden expansion is approved. It would also be more efficient than its Swiss counterpart. This is partly due to a strategy we know something about in the United States, federalism.
“Federalism,” a hate word for the left, is often accompanied by the scary quote “states rights.” But the IRS needs a new approach to its job. There are not a lot of new people, but new ideas that simplify the tax system and make it less tedious to pay taxes.
However, once Biden’s IRS Army begins the Long March there will be no stopping them.