Joe Biden wants to know what’s in your bank account, and he’d like to keep watching.
That’s the alarming issue Reason magazine has explored, noting that buried deep within Biden’s much-touted tax hikes for “infrastructure” American Families Act unveiled last April 28 is a sneaky Democrat plot called the American Families Tax Compliance Agenda. That will force the IRS to hire 87,000 new IRS agents, all of them armed with vast, new, and expanded surveillance powers.
Biden[‘s] tax plan would cull financial data on masses of law-abiding, tax-compliant Americans. In the name of catching tax dodgers, the Biden administration is seeking serious snooping rights to oversee all American bank accounts and payment apps. “Instead of promising a chicken in every pot, Biden’s plan promises an auditor at every kitchen table,” commented Sen. Chuck Grassley (R–Iowa).
Under President Joe Biden’s proposal, 87,000 new IRS employees would be hired and everyone could expect more scrutiny of the flow of money to and from their financial accounts.
Those powers include the “right” to continuously spy on Americans’ checking accounts through forced reporting requirements from banks on all cash flows. They will also spy on Americans’ PayPal and Venmo accounts in the name of knowing whether they are reporting their petty side income. It’s definitely a war on the little guy. The rich know how to hide their wealth, says Reason, so it’s not going to be they who get caught up in this federal fishing expedition and bankbook dragnet:
Rather, it’s the folks who sometimes get paid “under the table” for informal gig work — babysitting, house cleaning, a stray manual labor job here and there, sex work, fixing a few cars, peddling homemade baked goods, occasional music gigs, selling things on eBay or Etsy, and so on — who probably aren’t likely to have elaborate schemes for hiding a little stray income from their checking accounts and payment apps.
About 80 percent of that tax gap is attributable to people underreporting their incomes or taking too many deductions. The rest is people either not filing returns at all, or doing their taxes correctly and failing to pay what they owe.
That doesn’t sound like the rich wastrel hiding his untaxed income out in the Cayman Islands and living it up of the Biden-like legend. For that matter, it doesn’t sound like the illegal alien who gets paid under the table and sends remittances to El Salvador instead of paying taxes, which doesn’t even get mentioned. There are 12 million to 30 million illegal aliens in the country now, and more now due to the border surges, so there are quite some uncollected taxes on that front that don’t sound like targets for enforcement.
That’s quite a wide field — 80% of their “market.”
Nope, it’s the little guy who is going to get it. As if Democrat COVID lockdowns and shop-smashing, looting Black Lives Matter/Antifa riots, plus already existing monster taxes and regulations, weren’t enough of a Democrat war on small business already.
Biden claims he can recoup $700 billion in lost federal revenue from these new federal spying powers to “pay for” his gargantuan government expansion. He’s billing it as a means of targeting the tax-scofflaw rich, who, as Reason noted, already know how to hide their wealth. By Biden’s logic, these mega-rich are all hiding it in their checking accounts, so this will get to the bottom of it.
Biden’s new IRS agents want to know everything about everyone’s money, no matter how poor he is, and not only will they spy on him, but they will draw their own conclusions about the cash they see coming in and out. If someone does banking for a wayward son on his own account, and includes the kid’s money, or lends to a friend, or gets paid back a very old debt, well, now the IRS will say he’s concealing income and bust him accordingly.
As Reason notes, citing the Wall Street Journal:
“Account flows don’t actually represent income and deductions, so the government wouldn’t be able to match these reports with tax returns as it does with W-2s,” notes The Wall Street Journal. “The report says the information would give the government enough of a window into transactions to target audits more effectively where there are large discrepancies and that tax evaders would change their behavior because they know what information the government has.”
Here’s the big problem with it, not mentioned by Reason.
It’s a violation of the Constitution, specifically the Fourth Amendment against unreasonable searches and seizures. The ChiComs would enjoy this sort of thing, but this is far, far, far from our American law and tradition. We already see too much of this crap with Democrats’ abuse of public domain laws and random seizures of property such as computers from federal agents and local police in assorted court and law enforcement cases. Law enforcement most certainly can be abusive — so we know from these cases.
And under Biden, it can also be politicized, meaning we know which little guys the IRS will target — not illegal aliens, but random conservative Americans, as a means of political control, and a means to scare the others. The IRS, after all, has done this before. Remember Lois Lerner? Oh, heck, she’s ancient history. Biden’s advanced the “tradition” in his short administration. Remember this?
It also will do some very funny stuff to the economy: it will drive more of it underground. Huge amounts of it already are underground, and this will expand it exponentially. Little guys will start keeping cash in their coffee cans and burying them in their backyards. They’ll stuff it in their mattresses, as they do in Argentina. They’ll buy gold or hard-to-trace bitcoin. M1 will go down, and the Fed will have problems tracking the money supply. Meanwhile, home-robbers will have a field day, the same as they do in Mexico.
Republicans have got to fight this, and the constitutional challenges from legal groups have got to flow. Biden wants all of the power with this creepy measure, including the right to spy on all Americans without cause and take everything Americans own.