The Patriot Post® · GOP vs. IRS

By Lewis Morris ·

Now that the dust has settled in the House from the GOP’s contentious speakership vote, the Republican majority is getting down to the business of governing.

On Monday, the House passed by a vote of 221-210 the Family and Small Business Taxpayer Protection Act. Sponsored by GOP Representatives Adrian Smith of Nebraska and Michelle Steel of California, this bill would repeal more than $70 billion in Internal Revenue Service funding that was awarded to the agency last year.

“The IRS does not need a raise,” said Congressman Jason Smith, “it needs a reckoning.” Obviously that won’t happen with a Democrat Senate and Joe Biden in the White House, but Smith is right and Republicans should pledge to come back to it in 2025.

The Democrats’ monumentally flawed and cynically named Inflation Reduction Act passed last summer by party-line vote. The purpose of the bill, according to Dems and their media mouthpieces, was to attack inflation, reduce the debt, and invest in clean energy. It’s a failure on every level, engaging in the very type of wasteful government spending that raises both inflation and the debt. And the plan to invest in clean energy is simply the same crony capitalism that Democrats have practiced for years, investing taxpayer money into unproven technologies being produced by questionable companies whose main qualification for funding is that they are Democrat megadonors.

Then again, those bugs are features for Democrats.

Supporters of the Inflation Reduction Act want us to believe that the bill partially funds itself by giving the IRS $80 billion to hire 87,000 new employees to chase down those nefarious tax cheats who are bilking the country for billions of dollars. That assumes that the IRS doesn’t already have enough agents to track down real tax fraud. This huge influx in personnel would do nothing more than allow the IRS to lower the bar for audits and give agents a mandate to pursue families making less than $400,000 a year, the typical audit threshold.

The IRS and Democrats claim that no such thing is taking place. The agency, they insist, is not hiring 87,000 new agents. That number of new agents is much lower, and the rest of the new hires are personnel unrelated to audits. But as we pointed out a few months back, everyone hired by the IRS is there to help the agency execute its mandate — namely, to collect taxes. More personnel who are available to perform other tasks means more agents to focus on what they do best: crawling into your private finances with a magnifying glass.

Again, the bill passed this week by the GOP-controlled House has virtually no chance of getting through the upper chamber. But it does put Republicans on record with voters as the party trying to protect people from the government. The Democrat-controlled Senate may not even let it see the light of day, rightly fearing that it would put the Dems on notice once again as the party seeking to finance its endless spending spree on the backs of overburdened middle-class taxpayers.

Another thing that rankles Democrats and their media lackeys is that the GOP has so quickly rebounded from the speakership squabble. While McCarthy’s rise to speaker of the House was far from the unblemished assumption of power that autocratic Democrats are used to, it demonstrated that Republicans respect the opinions of both their members and their constituencies. The GOP recognizes that governing in our Republic can be messy, but meaningful things can still be accomplished.

The first thing for Republicans to accomplish was putting Democrats on notice that their days of easily fleecing the American taxpayer are over. At least in theory.

Next up: A bill to abolish the IRS entirely and implement the Fair Tax