House Democrats are demanding increased IRS funding. In a letter to Congressional leadership, two dozen Democrats called for $12.1 billion in funding for the IRS including $5.2 billion for “enforcement activities.”
The Democrats argued that strong enforcement actions should be a “priority” for Congress, a goal shared by the incoming Biden administration.
According to Biden Council of Economic Advisers member Jared Bernstein, Biden will seek “significant increases in IRS enforcement and auditing.” This could lead to a return to the era of the Obama IRS which wrongly used its authority to target and harass taxpayers, especially conservative non-profits.
Most notably, the Obama IRS was caught unfairly denying conservative groups non-profit status ahead of the 2012 election.
According to a Senate Finance Committee report, the process set up by IRS employee Lois Lerner resulted in only one conservative group being granted non-profit status over a three year period.
This was no coincidence. As the report noted, this delay was a result of Lerner’s personal political views:
“…directly resulted in disparate treatment for applicants affiliated with Tea Party and other conservative causes… Lerner showed little concern for conservative applicants, even when members of Congress inquired on their behalf, allowing them to languish in the IRS bureaucracy for as long as two years with little or no action.”
Not only did the IRS allow this to occur but they also allowed evidence to be destroyed. According to documentation released by the House Oversight Committee, backup tapes containing as many as 24,000 Lois Lerner emails were destroyed by an IRS entity officially known as the “Media Management Midnight Unit” located in Martinsburg, West Virginia. These tapes were destroyed via powerful magnets a month after top IRS officials learned that there were gaps in the Lerner email production.
While this was one of the worst cases of misusing taxpayer dollars, the Obama IRS routinely misused federal funds and failed to do its job.
According to a Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) report, the IRS rehired more than 200 employees who were previously employed by the agency, but fired for previous conduct or performance issues between January 2015 and March 2016.
The agency routinely released this private information in FOIA requests where it should have been redacted, lost track of over 1,000 laptops containing sensitive taxpayer information, and destroyed laptops containing similar information.
Clearly, the agency displayed a clear record of politicization and incompetence.
Ultimately, the House Democrat request for increased IRS funding for “enforcement” is only the tip of the iceberg. Unfortunately for the American taxpayer, Biden is set to bring back all of the incompetence and corruption of the Obama IRS.