Is West Virginia’s Democrat Senator, Joe Manchin, attempting to backtrack a bit on the “Inflation Reduction Act” that he was instrumental in getting passed now that Americans are understandably worried and furious about what those more than 80,000 new IRS employees who will be hired are planning on doing?
Such is what it seems, with Manchin recently pledging that the new agents hired by the bill won’t be used by the IRS to harass Americans.
Speaking on that, Senator Manchin insisted that there is much that is good with the bill and that he and others will work to ensure that the IRS and EPA won’t use their increased funding to start harassing Americans, as the IRS scandalously did to Tea Party groups under the Obama Administration.
Making that pledge and encouraging other politicians to help him keep the IRS and EPA in check, Senator Manchin said:
“Well, I like to think they’re totally dead wrong because I think there’s so much good in it if we just put our mind to it and make it happen.
“We’re going to follow all the way through, I’m going to follow to make sure the IRS doesn’t harass anybody, and I would encourage all of my political friends to make sure their staffs are in contact with the IRS, I will make sure the EPA doesn’t overreach and it’s balanced of how they do it.”
"*" indicates required fields
Ignored is that such oversight wouldn’t be necessary if he had just refused to sign the bill, something that would have saved everyone from a good bit of fear and hassle, particularly if his oversight pledges amount to nothing more than words.
In any case, Manchin then transitioned from that pledge to encouraging Americans to “work together,” saying that bill is neither a green bill nor a blue bill but rather something that will help all Americans. In his words:
“You know, there’s always a way to go out. Rather than going out with a cease and desist order, go out with an idea of how you make it better, work together, things of that sort. We’ve got to do things together. America’s gotta come together.
“But, you know, this is not — they said a green bill. I said it’s not a green bill, it’s not a blue bill, it’s a red white and blue bill, it really is. And that’s why I’m so encouraged by it. I have a lot of my co-operators thinking it’s not going to be helpful. It’s going to give them consistency. They can have a market if they do it and do it a clean and right way and protect their miners.”
That sounds nice, but it seems unlikely that things will work out as Manchin predicts and rather that the IRS agents will harass Americans and start auditing far more people, particularly given that the CBO estimated that, given what’s in the bill, $20 billion of new audits could come from those earning less than $400,000 per year.
Grover Norquist of Americans for Tax Reform pushed back on the claim that those making less than $400,000 won’t be targeted, saying, for example, that:
“Well, the — yeah, the IRS has long said that they expected that small businesses and independent contractors were their target. They want 1.2 million more audits done here. Well, there are only 700 billionaires and 500 members of the Fortune 500 large companies. That leaves an awful lot of space for 1.2 million audits.
“There aren’t that many rich people, there aren’t that many big corporations in America. They are targeting people that they keep telling us they think are with restaurants and barber shops and so on. That’s their target.
“And we know this because every single Democrat in the Senate voted against and to defeat a amendment, which said this law will not allow any increase in audits on people making less than $400,000 a year, Biden’s promise, every single Democrat voted no. So we know exactly what they think this will do and who they’re going after. They voted that way, every single Democrat Senator.”
We’ll see where this goes, but it sure looks like, whatever Manchin pledges, the IRS is about to focus the eye of Sauron directly on the American middle class.