Never mind that Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen specifically ordered the IRS not to use funds from the Inflation Reduction Act to audit those earning less than $400,000. Fox host Neil Cavuto kept insisting otherwise.
On today’s Your World, Cavuto interviewed White House economic adviser Jared Bernstein on the act, which President Joe Biden signed into law earlier today.
Cavuto said the act will be “pouring $80 billion into the IRS, presumably to beef up enforcement, and I’m thinking to myself, $80 billion in order to pay for that. You’re going to have to get at least that and then some from American taxpayers, and just taxing the rich more or going after their deductions won’t do it. Is it fair to say that the middle class will in fact have a tax hit from this?”
“It is not the slightest bit fair to say that,” Bernstein replied.
Cavuto interrupted. “Could you be clear why that is?” He claimed, “The IRS will investigate everybody presumably.”
“The president just said this in the clearest, most emphatic possible terms. Nobody under $400,000 of income will see their taxes go up one penny,” Bernstein said. He paraphrased IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig saying, “the new enforcement dollars will not be spent on increasing audits of anybody under, I think probably well above $400,000.”
In fact, Yellen sent a letter to Rettig on August 10 directing that:
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.
But Cavuto would not stop arguing otherwise. “That’s a large pool of people that you’re telling me now will not be examined,” he groused. “You can go after the rich all you want, it’s not going to raise this kind of money you want.”
“Are you saying that they [people earning under $400,000] need not worry about being scrutinized by the IRS?” Cavuto asked Bernstein.
“The $80 billion that you just mentioned from the Inflation Reduction Act to increase the tax enforcement is targeted directly at those in the top one percent,” Bernstein answered. “They will not be scrutinized more, they will not be taxed more if they’re under 400,000. Now, for people above 400,000, the tax gap, which is what we’re trying to close here, and remember, this is tax evasion.”
“I don’t believe Neil, that you want to say it’s OK to evade taxes,” Bernstein added.
“That’s not what I’m saying at all,” Cavuto said. “I just know that the 400,000 and under crowd make up more than half the money that comes into the IRS, and I just want to be clear. You’re saying that that crowd won’t be targeted by the IRS?”
Bernstein said the money for “beefing up IRS enforcement is going to target those well above 400,000.” He said that the “vast bulk of the tax gap” is at “the very top of the scale.”
“We can raise $120 billion, and that’s the CBO score,” Bernstein continued. “There’s no targeting of the middle class.”
You can watch it below, from the August 16, 2022 Your World.
I don’t doubt that that’s why Fox News keeps focusing on it.
The angry Right Wingers who inflicted this massive tax increase on Middle Class Employees were open about what they were doing and why. Multiple Fox shows featured those Right Wingers sneering at California residents or at what Tucker Carlson referred to as those “urbanites who voted for Hillary”.
So Cavuto’s mock “concern” rings more than a little hollow here.