Making The IRS The Abortion Police

The House Republicans are determined to expand the role of the IRS:

Under a GOP-backed bill expected to sail through the House of Representatives, the Internal Revenue Service would be forced to police how Americans have paid for their abortions. To ensure that taxpayers complied with the law, IRS agents would have to investigate whether certain terminated pregnancies were the result of rape or incest. And one tax expert says that the measure could even lead to questions on tax forms: Have you had an abortion? Did you keep your receipt?

In testimony to a House taxation subcommittee on Wednesday, Thomas Barthold, the chief of staff of the nonpartisan Joint Tax Committee, confirmed that one consequence of the Republicans' "No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act" would be to turn IRS agents into abortion cops—that is, during an audit, they'd have to detemine, from evidence provided by the taxpayer, whether any tax benefit had been inappropriately used to pay for an abortion.

I wonder how this is going to fix the deficit or create jobs? Well it might to do the latter:

"Were this to become law, people could end up in an audit, the subject of which could be abortion, rape, and incest," says Christopher Bergin, the head of Tax Analysts, a nonpartisan, not-for-profit tax policy group. "If you pass the law like this, the IRS would be required to enforce it."

Yeah we would need more IRS auditors, but of course that would cost more money.

But as I read this, I keep thinking back way in time. We’re talking eons ago, back to late 2009 and early 2010. That’s when the healthcare debate was going on and the Republicans attacked the bill because the IRS would have to enforce provisions of it; especially the tax credits for having healthcare. Here’s a couple of reminders:

Subcommittee on Oversight ranking member Charles Boustany (R-La.) said the IRS provision in the bill "dangerously expands, in an ominous way the tentacles of the IRS and it's reach into every American family," he said today during a press conference. Republicans estimate the IRS will need nearly 17,000 new employees to meet its new responsibilities under health reform.

Then we have John Boehner:

“Ten billion dollars and 16,000 new IRS agents to make sure that everyone buys the health insurance that the government decides you have to have – making sure that every employer either provides health care to their employees or pays a $2,000 fine.”

Michelle Bachmann:

“…about 16,500 new jobs will be created at the IRS for a very important reason: theIRS will be tasked with breathing down the neck of 300,000 million Americans every month to determine whether we have purchased governmentally acceptable levels of health insurance.”

And Ron Paul:

“16,500 armed bureaucrats coming to make this program work. If it was a good program and everybody liked it, you wouldn’t need 16,500 thugs coming with their guns and putting you in jail if you didn’t follow all the rules.”

Of course these claims were absolute LIES. Here’s what FactCheck.org said:

This wildly inaccurate claim started as an inflated, partisan assertion that 16,500 new IRS employees might be required to administer the new law. That devolved quickly into a claim, made by some Republican lawmakers, that 16,500 IRS "agents" would be required. Republican Rep. Ron Paul of Texas even claimed in a televised interview that all 16,500 would be carrying guns. None of those claims is true.

The IRS’ main job under the new law isn’t to enforce penalties. Its first task is to inform many small-business owners of a new tax credit that the new law grants them — starting this year — which will pay up to 35 percent of the employer’s contribution toward their workers’ health insurance. And in 2014 the IRS will also be administering additional subsidies — in the form of refundable tax credits — to help millions of low- and middle-income individuals buy health insurance.

Yet those claims by the lying GOP, stemming from a single talking point, took off and the American people started buying it. Maybe the Democrats should play the same game. “5,000 new IRS agents will act as auditor and OB/GYN, as well as monitor your sex life.” Lies like this worked great for the GOP, so come on Democrats – let’s do it! The American people seem to only respond to outrageous claims, so this is our best line of defense.