On Tuesday, The New York Post reported that the Internal Revenue Service has spent more than $5 million shoring up its arsenal for its increasingly militarized agents. What?
The article reports:
A new report shows the Internal Revenue Service has been stocking up on weapons, ammunition and combat gear to the tune of $10 million since 2020.
The findings released last week by OpenTheBooks, a watchdog group that tracks government spending, reveal that in 2021 alone the IRS spent more than $5 million shoring up its arsenal for its increasingly militarized agents.
Since 2020, the oversight group found, the IRS has spent $2.3 million on ammunition, $1.2 million on ballistic shields, $474,000 on Smith & Wesson rifles, $463,000 on Beretta 1301 tactical shotguns and $243,000 on body armor vests.
A slew of other line-item expenditures – include a mysterious $1.3 million spent on “various other gear for criminal investigation agents.”
Actually I think the IRS was scary enough without being armed. We went through an audit many years ago after I made a donation to the Tea Party. They audited our charitable contributions. We sent them all the records, they delayed their conclusion twice before finding nothing wrong, and then informed us that the case wasn’t actually closed. It was basically an intimidation tactic. I really don’t think they need to be armed.
The article also notes:
The IRS is also in the midst of a hiring spree, with current openings to hire 360 criminal investigators based in all 50 states.
The agency notes that applicants must be willing to “carry a firearm; must be prepared to protect him/herself or others from physical attacks at any time and without warning and use firearms in life-threatening situations; must be willing to use force up to and including the use of deadly force.”
The IRS has said that its special agents are armed because they consistently are involved in organized crime, drug and gang investigations.
President Biden provided the agency with more than $80 billion in new funding as part of the $739 billion Inflation Reduction Act he signed in August.
The IRS argument does not hold up–we have law enforcement agencies that can deal with organized crime, drug and gang investigations. The purpose of the IRS is to collect taxes. I don’t know enough about a flat tax to support it, but it may actually be time to abolish the IRS if they are going to become a bunch of armed bullies.