Just when you thought things couldn’t get dumber ...
Given the Afghanistan catastrophe, the vaccine quasi/pseudo-mandate and the southern border sieve, it seems the Biden administration lurches – or races – from fiasco to fiasco.
Now it has surpassed itself. As reported by the London Daily Mail on Sept. 9, the Administration wants to look into all of our bank accounts.
In addition to what are reportedly contemplated in the House of Representatives to be the biggest tax increases in US history to pay for this infrastructure proposal, the Administration also wants to make sure it gets to tax all the money we currently make. “A key prong of President Biden’s plan to bankroll Democrats’ $3.5 trillion budget plan is to monitor gross inflows and outflows from an individual’s bank account,” says the paper.
The Administration says this surveillance (conducted by the Internal Revenue Service) will prevent tax evasion. But what would trigger an audit of a potential miscreant? Would a $50 cash deposit from a yard sale trigger one?
Let’s hope not. But if the Administration thinks it’s so cash-strapped that it needs to make sure we are paying all the income taxes on the money we make, why wouldn’t it audit everyone, to get every last buck it thinks it’s owed?
This unprecedented invasion of privacy raises Constitutional issues: “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated,” says the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution, “and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”
As you know, the arrest reports we compile always reference the affidavit of probable cause for the given arrest. So what probable cause could there be before the fact to allow the IRS to look at every person’s bank account?
According to the Daily Mail, the measure would require banks and financial institutions to report to the IRS every single withdrawal and deposit to accounts, including transactions from PayPal, Venmo, and cryptocurrency as well as other payment platforms, to combat tax evasion.
The justification? According to a May report released by the Treasury Department, the government missed about $600 billion in tax revenue in 2019. As reported by bizpacreview.com, that’s about 15 percent of tax revenue for that year.
So how does that justify a presumption of guilt on the part of every single holder of a bank account? That’s where you end up without probable cause ...
But do the police or sheriff’s deputies come up to you on the street and ask you whether you’ve broken any laws, and if so, which ones, so they can arrest you? Of course not – there’s no probable cause.
Besides: how reliable is this Treasury report in the first place? Was it complied to justify this egregious overreach? And if the government already thinks it knows how much tax revenue it missed, why the overreach?
Oh, yeah, so the IRS will know who to victimize ...
Speakin’ o’ victims, can you imagine what a job it would be for each and every bank in the country to try to get all that information to the IRS every day? And how much bigger would the IRS have to grow, to handle this task? (And how much of that “extra” tax money the agency hopes to get would be eaten up by the added IRS payroll required to accomplish this nationwide unreasonable search and seizure?)
And a final concern: this whole scheme presumes complete competence and honesty on the part of the IRS folks, together with total reliability of the gear to collect and compile the data. But as we have seen in numerous organizations, from major financial institutions and governmental agencies down to small businesses, no one is immune to data breaches. Never mind the efforts of outside actors to steal identities and money: what if an IRS agent goofs, or the system malfunctions, enabling the data breach of everyone’s bank account?
Or what if employees are bribed or coerced into enabling the breach?
There are far too many things far too wrong with this monstrosity for anyone to support it. Nonetheless, I hope the Administration keeps pushing it. First, I figure even the most liberal court in the country will jam it down the Administration’s collective throat should a lawsuit be filed to stop it.
Second, regardless of how any court rules, the 2022 elections are fast approaching. And the harder Biden & Co. push for such IRS snooping, the more people it will alienate.
And hopefully, voters will respond by giving Republicans big enough majorities in both Houses to make an impeachment – for which there appear to be manifold grounds – actually stick for the first time in history.
Gary Exelby is a reporter for the Paragould Daily Press. He can be reached at email@example.com.