Issues & Insights

Who Will Save Americans From A Weaponized IRS?

Our American republic did quite well for nearly a century without the IRS or its forerunner, the Office of the Commissioner of Revenue. Today, federal “revenooers” are the greatest threat to freedom in a country where liberty is already being lost at an alarming rate.

The IRS is more than a mere revenue collector for the federal government. It has often been used an instrument of intimidation, even terror, against political foes, and those who might not be so enthusiastic about paying income taxes, or simply have a financial hardship that limits their ability to pay.

Administrations all the way back to Franklin Roosevelt’s have used the IRS to target their opponents. Elliott Roosevelt, one of FDR’s sons, said his father “may have been the originator of the concept of employing the IRS as a weapon of political retribution.”

And of course most of us recall the IRS sitting on and rejecting applications for tax-exempt status for groups that were trying to organize against the policies of Barack Obama, essentially barring their existence.

Now it’s Joe Biden “turn” to unleash the pain. His misleadingly named Inflation Reduction Act created, as we noted earlier, “​​a small army of IRS shock troops who will abet the progressive-socialist political complex’s consolidation of raw political power while wrecking families, individuals, and small businesses.”

The legislation, passed by a party-line vote in both chambers of Congress, hands the IRS an additional $80 billion, more than six times its current annual budget. It will increase the agency’s enforcement funding by 69% through fiscal 2031, and add as many as 87,000 new employees to its overall workforce.

How bad can things get? For that, let’s look to the author of “Unbridled Power: Inside the Secret Culture of the IRS,” written in the late 1990s by Shelley Davis, the first and last official IRS historian. In her 1997 testimony before the Senate Finance Committee, she said the IRS:

  • Had a “penchant” for destroying “its paper trail” which “ensures that it can never be held accountable for its actions.” 
  • Kept a list of “approximately 11,000 individuals and organizations designated as possible audit targets by the IRS,” most of whom were ​​determined by the “Special Services Staff” to be “of questionable character.” 
  • Is possessed of an “arrogance” that “is outrageous and harmful.”
  • Intentionally makes enforcement a mysterious process to scare Americans into compliance.
  • Is “the one agency that can truly bite back.”

Daniel J. Pilla, author of more than a dozen books about the IRS and taxpayers’ rights, and who almost 50 years ago saw the agency seize his father’s business, padlock the doors, auction off its equipment, and then go after the family’s home, has said we should “expect that every conservative political action group and public policy advocacy group in the U.S. will come under IRS attack, a coordinated attack including ‘other law enforcement agencies.'”

He’s also warned that “small business owners and self-employed people will be one of the key targets of IRS enforcement … because the IRS believes small business owners cheat on their taxes – virtually across the board.” 

Don’t fall for the story that the additional funding and reinforcements are nothing more than a needed boost for the IRS to catch up on its work, improve its “customer” service, and nab cheats. The Democrats don’t see IRS agents as bookkeepers necessary for keeping the numbers straight. They see street fighters in suits whose objective is to frighten and punish, to demoralize, to clear the path for a single-party government.

Sure, a bigger, more powerful IRS would increase federal revenues. But higher revenues pried from Americans’ wallets by a literally armed and dangerous IRS are not synonymous with anything but a more powerful government, which the Democrats want to preside over, and a shrunken private sector. The possibility of such a future is not inspiring.

Dare we put our trust in the Republican Party, which has let us down so many times when it’s had a chance to stop the marauding Democrats, to shield the country from the scourge of a runaway IRS? Have we any other choice? Let’s hope that the midterm voters at least give the GOP a chance to deliver us from the coming evil.

— Written by the I&I Editorial Board

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The Issues and Insights Editorial Board has decades of experience in journalism, commentary and public policy.


  • Superior article, taught me some new things about tax history. There have to be consequences for those who brought this evil plague. Not saying Joe Manchin should be disappeared into a coal furnace Jimmy Hoffa style or that Schumer should be hung from a lamppost near the Supreme Court steps Mussolini style. But somehow those masterminding this legal insurrection (further weaponizing the administrative state against the political & ideological enemies of the Marxist Dems) must be made to pay a very high price for their totalitarian inflictions on the freedom-loving half of the USA populace they wish to eradicate or suppress. But so far the IRS and FBI have been above the law (corruption and law-breaking has gone relatively unpunished; IRS whistleblowers are few, as severely punished). So, if past is any indication, this will be an expansion of administrative state partisan political tyranny (IRS audits, even if unarmed, are a costly punishment).

    GOP Senate lack-of-leadership, or rather lack of competent leadership, set the stage for this by giving radical and Marxist Dems almost their full wish-list over the past 18 months. A real loser strategy from the GOP Senate, who seem to hate (or fear) winning even more than some hate Trump. So, unrealistic to expect the current crop of GOP quislings to implement any practical remedies (so far just silence). Anyway, many in both parties may view squeezing an extra $200 billion out of Americans already plagued by price-inflation as a positive. Make America Poor Again, but for a good cause: a $200-billion weapons transfer payment to Ukraine’s corrupt oligarchy to pursue the USA’s proxy war against the Russian Federation. With Europe descending into a self-induced (via bad energy policy & sanctions) economic funk, this $200-billion largess from USA taxpayers may be the only way to pay for the USA/NATO/EU war against Russia. Tyranny at home to pay for war abroad.

  • Will any those newly hired 87,000 IRS agents not understand that their jobs require/depend that each one must find violations of tax law on those they review?

  • Nobody in either party seems to care how far taxes rise or whether an army of Feds will be coercing us to pay up.

  • Statements in this article, like this one: …. “The Democrats don’t see IRS agents as bookkeepers necessary for keeping the numbers straight. They see street fighters in suits whose objective is to frighten and punish, to demoralize, to clear the path for a single-party government.” …. are nothing more than totally unsupported hyperpartisan talking points, on a par with “Donald Trump actually won the 2020 election”. Please don’t be a part of the electorate that falls for this “us vs them” nonsense.

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