Fed agency famous for snooping powers demands even more

Fed agency famous for snooping powers demands even more

Fed agency famous for snooping powers demands even more

The public is learning about an Orwellian attempt by the Biden administration to review virtually every bank account of every American under the guise of looking for tax-cheating rich people.

"This is not something Americans will stand for," Lindsey Curnutte, of Heritage Action, says of the Democratic Party proposal buried in the already-controversial $3.5 trillion reconciliation bill that, for now, is at a stalemate in the U.S. Senate.

According to a USA Today story, which downplayed the IRS snooping in a Sept. 29 fact-check, giving the IRS mandatory access to millions of bank accounts is included in a list of “revenue proposals” from the U.S. Treasury Dept. that are intended to “improve tax compliance” by allowing the IRS to watch more closely for tax cheaters.

The public has been misinformed by social media posts about the scope of the IRS monitoring, the USA Today story insists, because the federal government would not monitor your individual transactions. Instead, the new law would require your bank to hand over an annual report to the IRS showing the balance flowing in and out of the account. In other words, the IRS would not review Americans' grocery lists, ammunition purchases, and church tithes, and only use the report to look for rich tax cheats --- with a threshold of $600.   

"It's just a few pieces of information about individual bank accounts,” Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen told a congressional committee this week, “nothing at the transaction level that would violate privacy.”

Yet the powerful IRS is infamous for going after political enemies, such as tea party groups that witnessed their non-profit applications get lost, delayed, and ignored during the Obama administration. The federal agency settled a lawsuit with the National Organization for Marriage in 2014 after the group’s donor list was sent by an IRS agent to the Human Rights Campaign, a homosexual lobbying group and a political enemy of the conservative group. From there the information went to the left-wing Huffington Post to attack a one-time donor to NOM named Mitt Romney.

A federal judge ruled the disclosure was a “single employee’s mistake.”

More recently, over the summer, Congress demanded the IRS explain how personal taxpayers' information ended up at ProPublica, an investigative news outlet. It used the information to publish the "tax secrets" of the wealthiest Americans and shame them for not paying their "fair share" of taxes, a claim that conveniently mirrors President Biden's claim and his plan to increase taxes on the wealthy. 

By the end of summer, Congress was still demanding answers and the IRS had not explained if the tax information was leaked or was stolen. 

No right to 'spy' on Americans

Nebraska's state treasurer, John Murante, has said his state government will not comply if the IRS is granted those new powers. 

"My message is really simple," he told Fox Business. "The people of Nebraska entrusted me to protect the privacy of these accounts and I am not going to comply with this."

“The IRS does not have the right,” Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) stated in a tweet, “to spy on Americans’ bank accounts.”

Curnutte, Lindsey (Heritage Action) Curnutte

“I can assure you that the American people don't think something like that is routine, and they won’t stand for that,” Curnutte tells American Family News. “If this is something that routinely goes on in the IRS already, then we have some bigger problems to worry about.”

Back in the USA Today fact-checking article, the news publication went to a far-left economic think tank where a spokesman insisted the proposal is about “equity” for poor Americans, who are audited by the IRS while the wealthy are not. That is partly because the federal agency has been “decimated” by a decade of budget cuts, Chuck Marr, a spokesman for the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, said. 

For fiscal year 2021, the IRS budget is $12 billion. The Biden administration is proposing to add $8 billion to that budget for 2022 as part of a 10-year plan to increase funding and grow the federal agency.