One of the lessons learned by the tyrants running our government since 9/11 is how easily they have been able to expand their power over our daily lives through the execution of a multitude of Orwellian programs designed to spy on us in the name of “safety and security.” So, it should come as no surprise to see our government decide to apply the lessons learned through their abuse of power to other areas of our lives, such as a new proposal being pushed by Joe Biden that will give the IRS the power to spy on your bank account.
Ironically, 9/11 laid the groundwork for Uncle Joe’s plan.
A little known and often overlooked provision in the PATRIOT Act was a change made to the 1970 Bank Secrecy Act. Under the change, new standards were established for banks to identify customers, maintain records, requiring them to report cash transactions over $10,000.
Allegedly, this change was intended to prevent the funding of terrorist activities. In reality, it has resulted in a violation of the Fourth Amendment’s protection against unreasonable search and seizure and the Fifth Amendment’s guarantee of due process.
In a November 2020 article, I covered a Federal Reserve and Treasury Department plan to expand government’s power to spy on the international financial transactions of everyday Americans by essentially “deputizing” banks to act on behalf of the government and gather private information on people without due process.
These surveilled people are suspected of no crime, nor are they given any opportunity to opt out of this data collection. Still, the government preemptively requires that their transactions be tagged and tracked as if they had done something wrong.
In addition to killing liberty, giving government additional power to spy on bank accounts creates a serious threat to our personal privacy. Compliance and hacking risks for institutions required to store this data increase. Criminals routinely get the finance information they need while people end up having trouble conducting transactions. Or worse, they get caught in the hassle of an overzealous government agent.
Government’s power to spy on a bank account has been “limited” under the PATRIOT Act, but Joe Biden wants to expand that power to include allowing the IRS to spy on your bank account to ensure you’re complying with tax laws — even if you have committed no crime (via Reason.com):
Biden’s tax plan would cull financial data on masses of law-abiding, tax-compliant Americans. In the name of catching tax dodgers, the Biden administration is seeking serious snooping rights to oversee all American bank accounts and payment apps. “Instead of promising a chicken in every pot, Biden’s plan promises an auditor at every kitchen table,” commented Sen. Chuck Grassley (R–Iowa).
Under President Joe Biden’s proposal, 87,000 new IRS employees would be hired and everyone could expect more scrutiny of the flow of money to and from their financial accounts.
Biden would [put] thousands of new IRS agents in charge of monitoring how much money goes into and out of individual bank accounts and payment service providers (like PayPal and Venmo) each year and investigating people whose cash flow doesn’t match what they report as income. (emphasis mine)
Biden claims his plan to give the IRS power to spy on bank accounts will only target the “rich,” but it will ultimately pull in data on most law-abiding, tax-compliant Americans because every bank and financial institution will be required to participate.
“Third party information reporting is already provided on…wage, pension, and unemployment income,” states the American Families Plan Tax Compliance Agenda. “The President’s proposal would help make tax administration more equitable by subjecting financial flows…to third-party reporting as well.”
“The President’s proposal leverages the information that financial institutions already know about the accounts that they house,” the report states. “Financial institutions would add information about total account outflows and inflows to existing reporting on bank accounts,” giving the IRS “an additional lens into previously unreported income streams.”
All banks, brokerages, and other financial institutions would be required to report “gross inflows and outflows on all business and personal accounts from financial institutions, including bank, loan, and investment accounts.” The regime “would also cover foreign financial institutions and crypto asset exchanges and custodians,” and “reports would also be required from payment services providers so that businesses cannot shift out of traditional financial institutions to other kinds of platforms and avoid making their income visible to the IRS,” it says. (emphasis mine)
From our computers and cell phones to 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 in the Age of Coronavirus. The liberty-killing laws and policies created post-9/11 have become the basis for creating new ways to expand government’s control over our lives and advance its tyrannical agenda.
The Joe Biden plan to give the IRS power to spy on your bank account should serve as a reminder of the lengths politicians in both parties will go to manipulate and pervert seemingly clear legal standards and rules for the benefit of the state and its agenda . . . liberty be damned.
For this reason, we need to fight and take back the liberty we’ve lost if we are to ever see America return to the principles of our founding: limited government, fiscal, social, and constitutional conservatism, family values, traditional marriage, and Judeo-Christian values.
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.