Americans for Tax Reform President Grover Norquist appeared yesterday on “America Reports” with Sandra Smith on Fox News to discuss how low- and middle-income Americans would be harmed by Democrats’ plan to supersize the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and give the agency new powers to snoop on Americans’ bank account transactions.
President Biden’s budget proposed tracking any bank account, credit union account, or third party payment accounts (Venmo, PayPal) exceeding gross inflows and outflows of $600. More recently, Senate Democrats have suggested a threshold of $10,000. A $10,000 threshold is little more than $200 in total inflows or outflows per week or $800 per month, amounts that many Americans could easily hit.
Norquist explained that this policy is a blatant violation of privacy Americans are entitled to:
What Biden wants is to be able to look at your bank account and then hold that data forever. They’re not peeking because they’ve got a warrant, they’re just looking at anything they want. He said it was just for rich people. Well, the Joint Committee on Taxation looked at it and said that about 87 million middle-class people… making less than $400,000… 87 million will lose their privacy permanently. That’s your Venmo account, that’s your PayPal account.
Sandra Smith then asked Norquist if a policy like this could be a slippery slope, leaving taxpayers open to abuses of this new data collection power. Norquist explained that the IRS already weaponizes the data it collects:
“Well, we can look back and see what the IRS has already done. It was exactly 6 months ago that we learned that the IRS had given, or leaked, the data on tens of thousands of Americans – their audits and everything about them – to a left-wing group, ProPublica. They then targeted and went after people… Since then, nothing, crickets, no arrests.”
Finally, Norquist warns that, while this policy wasn’t in the House version of the “Build Back Better” bill, it can always be added back in:
The longer we have a chance to look at it, the more likely it is we take it out. But remember, all of those things that have been taken out of this legislation, and this is one of them, it’s just set to the side. It could come back tomorrow morning, it could come back at 3 in the morning when they pass one of these bills. Just because it’s taken out today doesn’t mean it’s gone away. Biden wants access all the time to your bank accounts, so does Pelosi, so does Schumer.