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The IRS Lied 

New audits overwhelmingly target the middle class. 

Your government lied to you; who has seen this movie before? Despite assurances to the contrary to justify their $80 Billion influx in cash in order to hire some 87,000 new agents, the Internal Revenue Service has been caught red handed using the vast majority of the funds to target Americans earning under $200,000 per year.

In August 2022, IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig told senators who were skeptical of the new spending “These resources are absolutely not about increasing audit scrutiny on small businesses or middle-income Americans. As we’ve been planning, our investment of these enforcement resources is designed around the Department of the Treasury’s directive that audit rates will not rise relative to recent years for households making under $400,000.” Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen also vehemently denied the intentions of the IRS in no uncertain terms: “Contrary to the misinformation from opponents of this legislation, small business or households earning $400,000 per year or less will not see an increase in the chances that they are audited.”

Despite these promises by those tasked with managing the American economy, and breathless propagandizing on behalf of the state by corporate media outlets, the Wall Street Journal is reporting that, once again, we have been sold a bill of goods. “President Biden’s plan to hire a new army of tax collectors is falling flat, and the agents already at work are targeting the middle class. As of last summer, 63% of new audits targeted taxpayers with income of less than $200,000,” says the Journal. “Only a small overall share reached the very highest earners, while 80% of audits covered filers earning less than $1 million.”

It turns out the IRS has been unable to hire many new agents. Despite the goal of immediately hiring 3,700 new employees, the agency had only hired 34 in a year. According to a watchdog report, the IRS has lost 8% of its workforce between 2019-2023. Instead, the agency has decided to justify its bloated budget by preying upon working class Americans; a tale as old as time.

The claim by supporters of increased IRS funding that only the extraordinary wealthy would be targeted for audit may have resonated with some naïve voters, but it was always absurd on its face. Tesla/SpaceX founder, and X (formerly Twitter) owner Elon Musk, an opponent of increased IRS funding, said at the time that his taxes are audited every year “by default,” a sentiment echoed by many of the nation’s most successful entrepreneurs.  Syracuse University reports that in 2022, Americans in the lowest income bracket were audited at a clip of 12.7 per 1,000, as opposed to a rate of just 2.3 per 1,000 for all other filers. Millionaires, albeit a far smaller sample size, were the only demographic audited at a higher rate than America’s poor, a whopping 23.8 per 1,000.

Janet Yellen, Charles Rettig, and the Biden administration’s lies about IRS funding have predictably gone the way of the Bush 43 administration’s infamous “Saddam Hussein has weapons of mass destruction” and the Obama administration’s “if you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor.” We were told that The Patriot Act would never be used to spy on American citizens, until, of course, it was. American voters would be wise to learn that if a potential government program or spending increase sounds predatory, and looks predatory, it is probably predatory despite claims to the contrary by government officials and their enablers in the media. British theorist Stafford Beer coined the term “the purpose of a system is what it does” (POSIWID.) If the state consistently fails to deliver on its promises, consider the possibility that it is rarely honest about its intentions.

Brady Leonard is a musician, political strategist, and podcaster based in Toledo, Ohio. The No Gimmicks Podcast airs Mondays and Wednesdays at 1pm EST, wherever podcasts are found.
Catalyst articles by Brady Leonard