Ernst: Democrats’ priorities misplaced
Says additional IRS agents will create problems for the rest of America
In almost every single county I visit on my 99 County Tour, I see help-wanted signs. From public schools to the National Guard, Iowa is facing a shortage of nearly every essential worker our economy depends on.
Sadly, Democrats’ response to the nationwide need for essential workers is to bloat our bureaucracy even more, to the tune of 87,000 IRS agents. And, no matter what the liberal talking heads say, these agents are not going to stick to auditing billionaires and the top tier of the tax code. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) says that, thanks to the supersized staff, the IRS audit rate would rise for all taxpayers, regardless of income. The CBO also warns that this could result in the incorrect audit of Americans who do not owe the IRS a cent.
Ironically, while the IRS is gearing up to come after innocent Americans, employees inside the agency itself may have willfully failed to pay their own tax bills, including a tax collector and even a criminal investigator.
In total, 1,250 IRS employees were flagged for not paying their tax bills in full or on time. And get this — one of their excuses for the offense was that they were unable to use TurboTax. Folks, we have a real problem if the IRS staff who enforce the tax law are not paying their own taxes and cannot even understand how to properly fill out their own tax forms. America does not need more IRS agents — we need to simplify the tax code.
I’ve heard enough of the excuses and these Washington double standards. In August, I asked the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration to audit the IRS to look into this issue and ensure no more employees on their payroll were avoiding paying the taxes they owe. Today, on behalf of taxpayers in Iowa, and the rest of the country, I am happy to report that the Inspector General has agreed to audit the IRS!
If the threat of being audited was not bad enough, Iowans’ taxes and cost of living continues to rise. We saw inflation rise to 8.5 percent just last month, with the cost of food and groceries continuing to skyrocket. Meanwhile, there’s a wide-open Southern border that’s pouring record amounts of illegal immigrants and drugs throughout our community. I don’t know about you, but I think we could use 87,000 new Border Patrol agents, not IRS agents.
What this all boils down to is that Democrats’ misplaced priorities are creating problems for the rest of America. But you can rest assured, I will keep fighting back and standing up for hardworking taxpayers across the country. Before Biden’s army of auditors starts harassing us, let’s make sure the tax collectors themselves have paid their own taxes. And that’s what I’m doing with my audit of the IRS.
U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst, a Republican, represents Iowa.