President Biden’s plan to raise taxes to boost IRS funding in order to target the wealthy for audits could be a winner for Republicans in the 2022 midterm elections, according to top advisers in the Trump administration and the former president’s campaign.
The Washington Times reported a conservative advocacy group called the Coalition to Protect American Workers is spotlighting the Biden plan in an ad campaign targeting vulnerable Democrats, warning the president wants to deploy an “army” of tax collectors to harass taxpaying citizens.
The Trump campaign’s chief pollster, Tony Fabrizio, told the Times the hiring of new agents got the strongest negative reaction among administrations tax proposals.
“The top message here is: voting to raise taxes in order to spend $80 billion so the IRS can hire more tax collectors,” he said, referring to polling he did for the coalition.
When Biden was vice president, many conservative figures accused the Obama administration of targeting them with politically motivated audits. And Obama’s IRS infamously targeted tea party, conservative and Christian groups that opposed his campaign, delaying or blocking their applications for tax-exempt status.
Among the districts where the messaging for the 2022 campaigns was tested was Georgia’s 7th, represented by Carolyn Bourdeaux, and New Jersey’s 5th, represented by Josh Gottheimer.
Fabrizio said voters generally don’t believe their taxes will stay flat when there is talk of tax reforms.
The coalition has an ad that states: “The new America — where congressional Democrats want to defund the police and Biden wants to add thousands of IRS agents.”
While Biden insists only the wealthy will see their taxes raised, the numbers don’t add up, contends Marc Short, a top aide to Vice President Mike Pence in the Trump administration who now is one of the leaders of the Coalition to Protect American Workers.
Increasing the corporate tax rate from 21% to 28% generates about $700 billion in a best-case scenario, but the total tax plan is near $3 trillion, he pointed out.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki this week once again insisted that the tax plan is about the wealthy paying their “fair share,” promising that “middle-class Americans who are working hard, paying taxes, putting food on the table” won’t be impacted.
The Times reported the White House has said that audit rates won’t go up under Biden’s IRS enforcement plan for people making less than $400,000 per year.
But the administration estimates that the bolstered enforcement could help generate $700 billion to $1.3 trillion for the federal government.
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