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ALEC on WIZM Radio: Don’t Use the IRS to Harass Taxpayers

"If we actually use some of that money for taxpayer services, that's great, but don't use it harass small businesses and keep them from doing what they need to do in a very difficult economic times." 

ALEC Chief Economist and Executive Vice President of Policy Jonathan Williams spoke with host Mike Hayes on WIZM Radio in LaCrosse, WI this week to talk about how the latest big spending bill out of Washington will hurt American families. Below are highlights of their conversation.

Mike Hayes: Some here in Wisconsin are calling this the Inflation Creation Act. Have you found anything good in this bill?

Jonathan Williams: I suppose in this massive spending package there may be some things that are less bad than others. But I am seeing huge increases in federal spending, that will once again put inflation at a point that the Federal Reserve will continue to raise interest rates. It is becoming more and more painful.  Real estate markets are just going into a recession. And then the thing that has most people most worked up is the $80 billion in new funding for the IRS to hire an additional 87,000 employees. It wasn’t that long ago when Lois Lerner was on the news every night, and there was a huge scandal in the IRS for targeting political conservatives. The IRS agents are projected to bring in an additional $200 billion to the treasury. How are they going to do that? Maybe they target political conservatives. They are going to have a huge audit function on small businesses and people earning under $200,000-a-year. Up to 90% of that revenue is coming for people earning under $200,000-a-year. That’s the thing that should probably keep most Americans awake at night.

There’s a lot of things in this bill that President Biden just signed that’s going to make our economic situation worse, not better. I recently called it economic malpractice. I think it’s exactly that.

Mike Hayes: I’ve heard from a number of people that said, “Wait a minute, 87,000 employees, they are they going to be armed agents coming to your house to confiscate your stuff, because you’re late on your tax bill?” But it sounds like many of the new IRS agents will just be answering the phones. The IRS says something like 90% of the phone calls to the IRS office went unanswered because there aren’t enough receptionists.

Jonathan Williams: The numbers I’ve seen actually show that $80 billion dollars in spending increase that’s going to the IRS budget that would double the number of employees.  I think the vast majority of that is going to the audit function. The IRS is not a taxpayer assistance organization.  Taxes are way too complex. I think we should get rid of the income tax or go to a flat tax like Steve Forbes advocated 20 or 30 years ago. But until that point, the IRS should be there to help taxpayers, not to harass taxpayers.  If we actually use some of that money for taxpayer services, that’s great, but don’t use it to lock down or target political conservatives and don’t use it to harass small businesses and keep them from doing what they need to do in a very difficult economic times.

Mike Hayes: Is there anything good in the Inflation Reduction Act? Is it going to reduce costs of anything?

Jonathan Williams:  I’m sure in any piece of legislation are things that probably are just fine, unfortunately, all the big ticket items here are going to increase inflation, increase taxes, and really make this American economic recovery that much more difficult.

Listen to full interview below.