President Joe Biden's planned hiring binge at the Internal Revenue Service in a bid to boost collection of back taxes to fund his multi-trillion-dollar spending proposals is meeting with resistance from conservative groups who say the changes will only solidify Democrats' control of the IRS.
The Coalition to Protect American Workers, founded by former Vice President Mike Pence's Chief of Staff Marc Short, is one of the groups launching TV advertising, emails, and social media messaging to slam Biden's plan, which involves hiring almost 87,000 new IRS tax collectors, who, according to the administration, will bring in $700 billion over a decade.
"As we polled multiple districts on multiple different messages the one that polled best for us was the notion of opposition to $80 billion dollars in hiring more tax collectors," Short told Politico. "So that’s why I say I still think this is an Achilles heel for the overall plan."
Short's group has already started a six-figure ad campaign in House districts in Pennsylvania and Georgia and there are plans to expand the message to 20 more House districts in six states.
Opponents of the IRS plan say the Biden administration wants the expansion not only to target tax cheats, but to raise taxes, increase the dues going to left-leaning unions, and broaden the government's oversight on conservative organizations.
Anti-tax group Americans for Tax Reform launched an email campaign, saying the additional tax enforcers will increase union dues to the National Treasury Employees Union, which represents IRS employees, and claim that the "$80 billion Biden IRS bailout is just another way to funnel taxpayer money to progressive candidates and causes."
Heritage Action for America also spoke out about the plan in its report to Capitol Hill, saying that, rather than hire tax enforcers, it would be better "to simplify the tax code, make compliance less complex, and reduce incentives for avoidance by reducing the tax burden." Meanwhile, Biden's plan "would further complicate the tax code and make compliance more costly."
Biden and fellow Democrats say the president's $80 billion plan is intended to grow the IRS and target tax evaders and are optimistic it could meet with bipartisan approval.
The White House has dismissed the ad campaigns trying to sink the plan as the work of special interest groups that don't represent the interests of a majority of Americans.
"A massive, bipartisan, majority of the American people support making the richest Americans and biggest corporations pay the taxes they owe — without increasing the rate of audits on any people or small business owners earning less than $400,000 a year — so we can use that money to invest in the middle class,” White House spokesperson Mike Gwin said. "A few special interest-funded ads won’t change that fact or a single mind."
Republican lawmakers are also divided on Biden's IRS plan. Sens. Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia and Susan Collins of Maine say they support the idea, while others such as Sen. Mike Crapo of Idaho say they don't think there will be enough of a return on the government's investment.
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