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Tags: ammo | gaetz | ira | reduction

Radical Expansion of the IRS Will Fail

irs logo on a cell phone
(Dreamstime)

Paul du Quenoy By Friday, 26 August 2022 01:07 PM EDT Current | Bio | Archive

As President Biden’s latest spending spree wound its way to congressional approval, the most controversial provision of the recently signed Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) emerged in an $80 billion boost to the budget of the Internal Revenue Service.

Most of the funds are earmarked toward hiring 87,000 new IRS agents.

Alarm bells went off, particularly after the good people at Open The Books, a government spending watchdog, uncovered that the IRS has already spent more than $20 million to acquire high-grade firearms and 4.5 million rounds of ammunition, ostensibly for use in tax collection operations that used to involve nebbishy accountants drearily sifting through piles of yellowed receipts.

An agency employment advertisement that was posted on the internet (and quickly removed) listed the ability to bear firearms and use deadly force as job requirements.

Alas, this is not your grandfather’s IRS.

Of no insignficant note, Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., has formally introduced legislation, the "Disarm the IRS Act" to prevent the IRS from buying ammo.

Biden awkwardly highlighted the worrisome armaments statistic by signing the bill just three days after armed FBI agents raided former President and likely 2024 Republican nominee Donald J. Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence in Palm Beach, Florida.

The supposed grounds justifying the raid originated in a document dispute with the National Archives.

The raid’s ferocity, its possibly unconstitutional basis, and its disproportionality compared to document disputes involving Democrats, caused critics across the political spectrum to denounce it as the act of a banana republic, a dangerous politicization of federal law enforcement against Biden’s likeliest opponent in the next election.

As the raid’s legal ramifications work their way through the courts, however, Republicans have torn into the already extremely unpopular IRS, warning that its vast expansion will militarize operations likely to be targeted at already fraught small businesses and Americans earning less than $200,000 a year.

The administration went on the defensive, claiming with little credibility that only mean rich people and evil corporations will suffer audits and collection actions, while also arguing that the expansion will net $120 billion in badly needed revenue.

Republicans, citing numerous independent financial assessments, dispute both claims and have doubled down on their opposition to taxmen wielding AR-15s while the administration seeks to ban their ownership by private citizens.

Some have pledged to defund the expanded agency and curtail its armaments.

Threats of violence against the IRS have become so numerous that the agency is conducting a comprehensive security review for its personnel and facilities.

Even if the $80 billion reaches the IRS, however, our federal government’s own contemptible inefficiency is likely to stymie the illiberal left’s hopes and dreams.

To begin with, hiring 87,000 new federal employees to do just about anything is a daunting task, especially in a time of functional full employment (3.7%) accompanied by a pandemic-influenced work culture shift away from professional employment generally and soul-crushing office jobs in particular.

The IRS is at a major disadvantage here. Its average salary of $75,000 — subject to puny annual increases and already diminished by inflation — is miserly by urban professional standards across industries.

It is risibly uncompetitive for people with the requisite training in accounting, finance, law, and other in-demand fields, who can command much higher salaries in the private sector without the stigma (or, it would seem, physical danger) of being a tax collector for the widely hated federal government.

Even in times more favorable to government recruitment, moreover, the hiring process is so bureaucratic and slow as to be almost absurd.

Normally handled by the General Services Administration (GSA), most federal jobs take six to nine months to fill. For sensitive positions involving access to confidential data (like tax returns) or law enforcement capabilities (like firearms training), it can take an even longer time, in some cases well over a year.

Applicants even to less sensitive federal positions often have to find temporary jobs to make ends meet while their government applications are vetted.

The Biden administration has given the IRS exceptional permission to expedite its hiring process, but even if that works, hiring 87,000 people is going to take an awfully long time for an agency that can only answer 10% of taxpayer phone calls and is still sitting on 9.7 million unprocessed tax returns left over from 2021.

The natural result now, especially given the larger economic picture, is that would-be IRS agents may simply disappear to pursue more promising opportunities rather than wait around for their low-paying government jobs to come through.

For those unambitious or unaccomplished enough to stay the course, the bloated and inefficient hiring process costs the government about 75% of a new employee’s salary for each new position filled.

The bill just to hire 87,000 IRS agents at the agency’s current average salary of $75,000, therefore, will come to nearly $5 billion, lavished on current IRS human resources inanities before the new hires open even one audit.

Regime supporters have implicitly acknowledged these deficiencies in their latest attempts to defend the IRS expansion.

The vast new hiring, they now argue, can only unfold over a period of 10 years, due to the dubious practicalities of the Swamp.

During that time, a large percentage of the IRS’s current staff is expected to retire or quit, meaning that the net increase in agents by 2032 may only be in the range of 20,000-30,000, leaving their total number about what it was in 2010.

And even that assumes no new near-future Congress or administration will vote to cut the agency's budget again, which Republicans are already lining up to do.

Given the immiseration of much of our society, there is simply no excuse for any expansion of the IRS at the expense of already drained and exhausted taxpayers who face rapidly rising costs in just about every area of life and diminished opportunities to get ahead.

But we can at least have the satisfaction of watching our flailing and unpopular federal government fail in its ambition to lord it over us more than it already does.

Paul du Quenoy is president of the Palm Beach Freedom Institute. He holds a Ph.D. in history from Georgetown University. Read more — Here.

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PaulduQuenoy
There is simply no excuse for any expansion of the IRS at the expense of already drained and exhausted taxpayers who face rapidly rising costs in just about every area of life and diminished opportunities to get ahead.
ammo, gaetz, ira, reduction
1029
2022-07-26
Friday, 26 August 2022 01:07 PM
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