Democrats supporting the hiring of 87,000 new IRS workers insist that people who do nothing wrong shouldn’t be concerned.
But that certainly was not the case when the IRS under Barack Obama targeted conservative groups that opposed the then-president’s reelection.
The IRS eventually was forced to acknowledge that it gave extra scrutiny to conservative, tea party and Christians groups applying for tax-exempt status based on their names or political themes.
In 2016, FBI documents obtained by Judicial Watch revealed Lois Lerner, the head of the tax-exempt unit, and other senior officials were aware of the targeting of conservative groups nearly two years before they told Congress.
The new hiring is a provision in the so-called Inflation Reduction Act, the $430 billion climate, health care and tax overhaul passed on a 51-50 party-line vote by the Senate on Sunday.
Democratic Sen. Ben Cardin of Maryland was asked Sunday in an interview if he could understand “how 87,000 new IRS agents would scare the heck out of millions of Americans.”
“Well, millions of Americans aren’t going to be impacted by that other than getting better service from the IRS, having their telephone answered, getting the questions they need in order to comply with our tax laws,” he told “Fox News Sunday. “The auditing is going to be focused on those with high income, the large corporations, etc. So, there’s no reason to be fearful. And if you paid your taxes and if you comply with our laws, you should want to make sure everyone else does that.”
Over the weekend, Senate Democrats blocked an amendment by Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, to strike the $80 billion fund to hire the new agents.
“They’re being created to audit you,” he said.
The minority Republicans on the House Ways and Means Committee estimate there will be 1.2 million new audits per year, with more than 700,000 targeting taxpayers making $75,000 or less.
“I believe personally we should abolish the IRS. But at a minimum, we shouldn’t make the IRS larger than the Pentagon, the State Department, the FBI and the Border Patrol all combined,” he said. “That’s what the Democrats are proposing here. It is a terrible idea. If you don’t want 87,000 new IRS agents, vote yes.”