From its inception, Fox News has been a fear factory, manufacturing nightmarish scenarios that they could ascribe to Democratic politicians and pundits who seek to improve the lives of average Americans. The Fox News narrative is a non-stop dystopian disinformation machine built to undermine democracy, on behalf of the Republican GOP (Greedy One Percent).
This week Democrats in Congress will pass the Inflation Reduction Act that achieves several long sought after progressive goals. It expands Obamacare subsidies. It caps Medicare drug costs. It imposes a minimum tax on billionaires and corporations. It makes the biggest allocation of funds to mitigate climate change in history. And much more.
Republicans are staunchly opposed to all of those widely popular measures. Every GOP senator voted against the bill. And another feature of the legislation that majorities of Americans support is being demonized in a particularly grotesque manner. The bill provides an additional $80 billion in funding for the IRS to enhance their services, modernize their systems, develop their labor force, and strengthen their enforcement capabilities targeting high income and corporate tax cheats.
The bill’s funding of the IRS has triggered right-wing politicians and media to fabricate ludicrous conspiracy theories in order to scare the American people. And nowhere is that more repulsive than on Fox News.
On Thursday, Brian Kilmeade, sitting in for Tucker Carlson, launched into a maniacal monologue that recklessly declared that the bill will produce IRS Agents who, acting as “Joe Biden’s new army,” will “hunt down and kill middle class taxpayers” (video below). Considering the violence that has recently been aimed at the FBI following Fox’s incendiary rhetoric, it isn’t far fetched to be concerned about the safety of IRS agents. But Kilmeade had no such concerns when he said that…
“The so-called Inflation Reduction Act also says the $80 billion budget is to increase enforcement, operational improvement, and customer service. What kind of customer service? We don’t have to wonder. Before the IRS took it down yesterday there was a posting on their website that listed the job requirements for a special agent’s position. The major duties require agents to carry a firearm and be willing to use deadly force, if necessary. A little like James Bond, but instead of hunting down evil maniacs, these agents hunt down and kill middle class taxpayers that don’t pay enough.”
Holy Shih Tzu! Kilmeade is explicitly accusing the IRS of plotting to “hunt and kill” American citizens. Chyrons during the segment included “Weaponizing the IRS to Hurt Middle Class Americans,” and “Biden’s New IRS Will Hunt Down the Little Guy.” That requires minds so sick that they should be confined to padded cells. But it is not only nauseating, it is flagrantly false.
Among the misrepresentation by Fox News is the assertion that the bill’s funding will result in the IRS hiring of 87,000 new agents. What Fox doesn’t say is that that number is over ten years and includes 40,000 hires who are intended to replace retiring employees in the next five years. Also, the hiring is across a wide range of positions including IT technicians and taxpayer services support staff. In reality, the new funding will only allow the IRS to net about 20,000 to 30,000 more employees, which would be just enough to restore the agency’s staff to where it was before Republicans embarked on a crusade to neuter it.
What’s more, the charge that any of the new agents would be tasked with auditing middle class taxpayers is blatantly untrue. For the record, the Secretary of the Treasury, Janet Yellin, had this to say on the subject…
“Specifically, I direct that any additional resources — including any new personnel or auditors that are hired — shall not be used to increase the share of small business or households below the $400,000 threshold that are audited relative to historical levels. This means that, contrary to the misinformation from opponents of this legislation, small business or households earning $400,000 per year or less will not see an increase in the chances that they are audited.”
Nevertheless, Fox News is devoted to their lying about the bill. Kilmeade also mentioned a poll (that he failed to identify) that “shows that 45% of the country fears the IRS will increase the number of audits.” So what? That number could be attributed mostly to just people who have been lied to by Fox News. And of course Trump, who has weighed in, is arguing that Democrats should vote against the bill because it “Adds 87,000 gun carrying IRS Agents to cajole and harass you and your family.” Which is typical of his dangerous derangement.
Anyone who still thinks that these cretins aren’t hankering for a civil war is terminally naïve. They couldn’t be more clear about their overtly hostile intentions, and their blind allegiance to authoritarian cult leaders. But they couldn’t be more idiotic either. And while they are small in number and destined to be losers, we still need to be vigilant and steadfast in defense of democracy and freedom.
NOTE: Twitter suspended the News Corpse account after 11 years without giving a reason. So if anyone wants to tweet articles from my website, please feel free to do so often and repeatedly.
Brian Kilmeade just said that the IRS is "Joe Biden's new army" that will "hunt down and kill middle class taxpayers that don't pay enough" pic.twitter.com/8jvLf9zOXo
— Kat Abu (@abughazalehkat) August 12, 2022
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