The Democrats and the Congressional Progressive Caucus that appears to be giving the Biden administration its marching orders have now made it clear that their massive “Build Back Better” plan and its $3.5 trillion spending bill go far beyond simply printing and spending money.
A crucial part of the Democratic plan is giving the IRS what amounts to a “permanent audit” power over virtually every working American’s finances. Further, this audit is not going to be for specific periods and for limited times. No, it will be ongoing and permanent.
The reconciliation bill includes provisions that will give the IRS authority to look at the activity of all bank accounts that have more than $600 on deposit. Many Americans will be caught up in this new regulatory scheme, including working people, retirees, and even most college students.
The selling points for this new snooping include, as always, the promises that the changes are only to make sure “the rich pay their fair share” and to catch tax cheats who harm us all. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has predictably spoken in support of the proposal, claiming that it will fill a “$7 trillion tax gap” by looking into information from places that are “opaque” and “hidden.”
Americans must view this latest overreach as what it truly is, a systematic way of building up a database of everyone’s financial data. Whether or not the government is already sweeping up this information, the proposed law will suddenly make collecting and using the information completely legal.
The new proposal will help the federal government squeeze even more money out of ordinary citizens, to be sure. But the danger runs much deeper than just that. The federal government will have a ready database to search to exert influence or make threats against anyone who runs afoul of permitted opinions or political activities. That should be enough to cause anyone to move against this latest move to make the IRS all-seeing.