‘It Was a Middle Finger to the American Public,’ DeSantis Slams 87,000 New IRS Agents

August 17, 2022 Updated 11:55 AM ET

Governor Ron DeSantis speaking with attendees at the 2022 Student Action Summit at the Tampa Convention Center in Tampa, Florida (Gage Skidmore).
Governor Ron DeSantis speaking with attendees at the 2022 Student Action Summit at the Tampa Convention Center in Tampa, Florida (Gage Skidmore).

August 17, 2022 Updated 11:50 A.M. ET

PENSACOLA (FLV) – Gov. Ron DeSantis criticized Democrats for supporting the Inflation Reduction Act, which includes funding for the IRS to hire 87,000 new agents.

“I think it was basically just a middle finger to the American public that this is what they think of you,” DeSantis said. “All these problems we have to deal with and they think the way is to do 87,000 IRS agents.”

Supporters of the new IRS agents said it would help replace employees who are expected to leave or retire in the coming years. When the White House economic advisor was asked whether the president is guaranteeing nobody making under $400,000 would be audited by the agents, he said nobody making under that amount would pay higher taxes under the new law.

“And I’m keeping my campaign commitment: No one — let me emphasize — no one earning less than $400,000 a year will pay a penny more in federal taxes,” Biden said in a speech.

However, Republicans have expressed concerns that the agents would be used to target businesses and other middle class workers.

“They’re gonna go after independent contractors, they’re gonna go after small business people, they’re gonna go after someone that may be driving an Uber or a handyman,” DeSantis. “And why would they do that? Because you’re not going to be able to contend with the audit.”

“So they’re going to crush a lot of people by doing that.”

The National Republican Congressional Committee cautioned that the new agents could be used to target conservative groups.

“Joe Biden is building an army of IRS agents to harass and bully the middle class. It’s something that should concern every American taxpayer. The IRS targeted conservatives during the Obama Administration, so it’s fair to wonder whether Joe Biden will use his new IRS Army to attack conservatives,” said NRCC chairman, Rep. Tom Emmer, R-Minn., in a statement to Fox News.

Florida Republicans have criticized the Inflation Reduction Act. U.S. Rep. Byron Donalds said it would raise taxes and worsen the economy.

“This is the government pushing more money into an economy that doesn’t need more money. Inflation is going to rise. Taxes are going to rise. These senators are out to lunch. They don’t know what they’re doing,” Donalds said.

Despite the name, the Congressional Budget Office said the bill will would have a “negligible” effect on inflation.

President Biden said the act will fight inflation by “having the wealthy and big corporations finally begin to pay part of their fair share.”

“Big corporations will now pay a minimum 15 percent tax instead of us — five- — 55 of them got away with paying zero dollars in federal income tax on $40 billion in profit,” Biden said.

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