Joe Biden intends to use his Build Back Better plan to provide billions of dollars to the IRS for so-called enforcement of the tax code, but the simple truth of the matter is that he wants to add thousands of new tax cops to the Treasury Department in order to make it easier for the agency to spy on the finances of nearly every American.
And we’re not talking about chump change (via Reason.com):
As part of Biden’s “Build Back Better” plan, the IRS would get $80 billion in additional funding over the next 10 years. The bulk of those new funds, nearly $45 billion, would be directed toward enforcement actions with the goal of doubling the number of annual audits of small businesses. By comparison, the bill spends a relatively meager $1.93 billion on improving taxpayer services, including education and filing assistance.
In short, for every new dollar the IRS will spend helping Americans understand the endlessly complicated federal tax code, the agency will spend roughly $23 new dollars on enforcing those same rules. (emphasis mine)
Originally introduced back in May, Biden’ plan will turn the IRS into a sort of a financial Big Brother; capable of spying on nearly every financial transaction recorded in your bank account.
Specifically, Biden and his far-left brethren wanted the IRS to “monitor” the financial activity of account holders by having banks report transactions for accounts holding over $600. When asked at the time if the IRS monitoring provision would remain in the Build Back Better Plan, Nancy Pelosi emphatically said “yes.”
“Yes. There are concerns that some people have, but if people are breaking the law and not paying their taxes, one way to track them is through the banking measure. I think 600…that’s a negotiation that will go on as to what the amount is, but yes.” (emphasis mine)
Pelosi mentioned the word “negotiation” when discussing the $600 threshold because she and her far-left allies received blowback for including low-income people in their scheme to punish “the rich.” This led to a “negotiated” increase from $600 in combined annual transactions to $10,000 before the IRS could spy on your finances.
Of course, $10,000 in annual transactions still includes nearly every bank account — including the accounts of low- and middle-income wage earners — so the IRS can still spy on our finances under Biden’s Build Back Better plan, even with the higher threshold.
Biden and the Democrats say their plan will only target the “rich,” but the IRS will be spying on the bank accounts and other finances of nearly every law-abiding, tax-compliant American because every bank and financial institution will be required to comply with IRS demands for information.
As the details of Biden’s Build Back Better plan makes make clear, enhanced tax enforcement will mean scooping up additional data from crypto wallets, bank accounts, and third-party payment providers such as PayPal and Venmo. And that’s in addition to Biden’s earlier order for the IRS to give greater scrutiny to transactions in the so-called sharing (aka gig) economy.
Biden’s true motivation has nothing to do with forcing the rich to pay their fair share, and everything to do with controlling the financial lives of nearly every single American. The $80 billion and the 87,000+ tax cops provided by Build Back Better is estimated to result in 1.2 million additional audits each year. Of those audits, nearly half will impact families earning less than $75,000 a year, and one quarter will affect Americans earning as little as $25,000 per year.
In September, I wrote a piece describing how Biden’s IRS spying plan could be called a PATRIOT Act for the IRS based on the similarities found in his plan and the original post-9/11 PATRIOT Act that acquired banking information to fight terrorism.
A little-known provision in the PATRIOT Act changed the 1970 Bank Secrecy Act, a change that established new standards for banks to identify customers and maintain records, along with a requirement to report cash transactions over $10,000. Republicans and Democrats claim this prevented the funding of terrorist activities. The reality is that it made it easier for government to spy on our finances in violation of the Fourth Amendment’s protection against unreasonable search and seizure and the Fifth Amendment’s guarantee of due process.
Biden’s Build Back Better plan giving the IRS power to spy on our finances will do the same thing.
In addition to killing liberty, giving the IRS the power to spy on our finances creates a serious threat to our personal privacy. Compliance and hacking risks for institutions required to store this data will also increase, not to mention that the IRS’s track record of keeping our information safe and secure is terrible.
Our computers. Our cell phones. Our bank accounts. Nothing has been off limits when it comes to Washington’s unquenchable thirst for more power over our daily lives — a reality made even worse by COVID tyranny and the host of liberty-killing laws created post-9/11.
Joe Biden’s plan to give billions of dollars for the IRS to spy on our finances should serve as a reminder of the lengths politicians in both parties are willing to go to manipulate and pervert seemingly clear constitutional standards for the benefit of the state and its agenda . . . liberty be damned.
David Leach is the owner of the Strident Conservative. He holds people of every political stripe accountable for their failure to uphold conservative values, and he promotes those values instead of political parties.