Billionaire Elon Musk is among those raising their eyebrows over the roughly $80 billion overhaul of the Internal Revenue Service included in the Democrat-backed spending bill that passed the Senate on Sunday.
“Seems high,” Musk, the world’s wealthiest individual, tweeted.
Musk’s reaction to the IRS funding was in response to a report by the Washington Free Beacon, which found the tax agency’s expensive hiring spree would make it larger than the Pentagon, the State Department, the FBI, and Customs and US Border Patrol combined.
Funding included in the reconciliation bill, dubbed the “Inflation Reduction Act,” will allow the IRS to hire up to 87,000 additional agents – potentially doubling the agency’s size. The IRS plans to use the money to step up its tax enforcement efforts and modernize its technology in a bid to maximum federal tax revenue.
“Maybe investment in automation?” Musk added in another tweet.
President Biden and other Democratic proponents of IRS expansion argue the initiative will help to close the “tax gap” – or the amount owed to the federal government compared to what is actually collected. But Republican lawmakers and other critics say the funding will place costly burdens on individual taxpayers and small businesses.
As The Post reported last week, the nonpartisan Joint Committee on Taxation estimates that up to 90% of the $200 billion of the additional tax revenue the IRS is projected to collect will come from small businesses earning less than $200,000 annually.
Meanwhile, just 4% to 9% would come from businesses making more than $500,000 per year.
Republican firebrand Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene took her criticism of the IRS plan a step further in a Twitter thread.
“87,000 IRS agents will be hired with $80 billion taxpayer dollars when the Senate Reconciliation bill passes this weekend,” the Georgia representative said last Friday. “And they’re buying more guns & ammo too. Lower to middle income Americans & small businesses will be the primary targets of Democrat’s new IRS force.”
The Democrat-controlled Senate passed the Inflation Reduction Act by a 51-50 vote on Sunday, with Vice President Kamala Harris serving as the tiebreaker. The $740 billion spending bill also includes tax hikes on corporations and major investments related to climate change.