One aspect of the Democrat’s $3.5 trillion “infrastructure” plan that’s not getting nearly as much attention as it should is the provision that would allow the IRS to snoop on just about anyone’s financial transactions.
The bill would force banks to report gross inflows and outflows to the IRS, including payments made to or from platforms such as PayPal, Venmo, and cryptocurrency exchanges. The idea is to prevent tax evasion by catching self-employed people, gig workers, and those who dare to sell one or more expensive items on Facebook or at a garage sale.
Not surprisingly, it’s only the “little people” who are going to be targeted. Members of Congress are exempt from the provision, and large corporations already have the lawyers and accountants they need to keep their tax bill low.
The move clearly goes against Joe Biden’s campaign promise that people who earn less than $400,000 a year would not see a tax increase. What’s worse, it represents a massive invasion of privacy that clearly runs contrary to the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution, which clearly bans unreasonable searches and seizures.
Thankfully, there are some lawmakers pushing back against the Democrat effort. A dozen Republican senators have signed onto legislation that would not only protect taxpayers from continual government surveillance, but also limit the IRS’ powers to protect individuals from being subjected to audits and other forms of harassment based on their religious and political beliefs. This part of the bill is particularly important because the IRS has a long history of ideological bias.
GOP senators are also calling for a closer look at the claims that there is a huge “tax gap” that could be closed if the government hires enough IRS snoops. The Treasury Department, run by Biden appointee Janet Yellen, is claiming that the tax gap was a whopping 600 billion in 2019 and could hit up to $700 trillion in the next decade. There is no independent estimate of this “gap,” but what can be for certain is that harassing someone for failing to pay taxes on a few thousand dollars earned on the side isn’t going to make up the difference.
On one hand, it’s reassuring to see that at least a few Democrats realize they can’t just print all the money they need to fund their bloated budget. On the other hand, giving the IRS this much power is beyond dangerous. Such a bill would not only hurt lower-income individuals, but also anyone who dares to use his or her money in ways that the government doesn’t approve of. In short, it’s yet another step down the road to tyranny, and it could very well become the law of the land if more people don’t stand up against it.