Tucker Carlson Tonight fill-in host Brian Kilmeade on Thursday engaged in some blatant fearmongering regarding one of the components of the Inflation Reduction Act, warning that an increase in funding to the IRS would translate to government agents “hunt[ing] down and kill[ing]” modest earning Americans who don’t pay the required amount.
The legislation, which passed the Senate over the weekend and now awaits a vote in the House, would allocate $80 billion to the IRS for hiring more agents, improving technology, and for enforcement, including of tax payments on cryptocurrencies. Republicans reacted to its passage in the upper chamber by making misleading and false claims. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), for instance, said that 70,000 agents will be armed because of it, when in fact the number of armed agents was just over 2,000 last year, according to an Associated Press fact check.
“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,’” the Fox host said, as if to instill concern in a television audience that tends to strongly support the Second Amendment.
“A little like James Bond,” continued Kilmeade, “but instead of hunting down evil maniacs, these agents hunt down and kill middle class taxpayers that don't pay enough? It's Joe Biden's new army.”
In a letter dated Wednesday to IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen noted that opponents of the Inflation Reduction Act have resorted to propagating “misinformation” about its effect. Yellen also directed that “any additional resources” at the agency’s disposal as a result of the legislation “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.”