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Democrats' Next Move: Double The IRS

Sekulow Radio Show / Jay Sekulow & Jordan Sekulow
The Truth Network Radio
November 9, 2021 12:00 pm

Democrats' Next Move: Double The IRS

Sekulow Radio Show / Jay Sekulow & Jordan Sekulow

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November 9, 2021 12:00 pm

The Biden Administration is pushing for a budget reconciliation mechanism that allocates $80 billion more to the IRS over the next 10 years. It would also mean 87,000 new enforcement agents. This is an agency already proven to break the law and illegally target political enemies. Nearly doubling the IRS' resources will allow them to target citizens and political enemies at a truly frightening scale. Jay, Jordan, and the rest of the Sekulow team discuss. This and more today on Sekulow .

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Today on Sekulow, so what's the Democrats' next move?

Double the size and power of the IRS. Keeping you informed and engaged, now more than ever, this is Sekulow. We want to hear from you. Share and post your comments or call 1-800-684-3110.

And now your host, Jordan Sekulow. We've talked a lot about the IRS and their enforcement mechanism, the $600 transaction, the $10,000 transaction. There was opposition to that from Democrat Senator Joe Manchin. What he hasn't expressed opposition to yet in the reconciliation, the larger, what the Biden administration calls the Build Back Better plan, is that while they may have stripped out for now what levels they can use without having to go to a court to get inside your bank account to look at your transactions, they are not moving away and they're not receiving the same kind of opposition within the Democratic Party in doubling, you heard that right, doubling the size of the IRS through a budget reconciliation mechanism.

What would this mean? It would mean $80 billion over 10 years to the IRS and 87,000 new enforcement agents. This is to go after Americans and it's to go after middle America because the top people in the tax bracket, the IRS is reviewing.

They've got the staff to do that. Just to put this in perspective, Dad, the IRS right now's budget is big. It's $11.5 billion. This would give it another $8.5 billion a year. It's almost doubling the entity that is the Internal Revenue Service. Yeah, and it does this for a 10-year period. And what is really troubling here in this bill is that while the $600 threshold may be eliminated, and we're looking at that right now to make sure that that stays out and we'll get an update from Van Bennett, you get 87,000 new agents and you're right, the high earners, the top 1, 2, 3% are already being looked at.

That's pretty much an annual situation for those kind of earners. But the average taxpayer, middle America, which is most people, this is going to increase the IRS' ability to be intrusive into your lives. Take that also with the fact that this same bill has a provision in it that also strips any kind of this funding that's going to go to infrastructure, cannot go to religious institutions. So it can't go to a church that needs to increase its childcare facilities to help its local community.

It can't go to a synagogue. So this bill is chock full of problems. But the top of the problem, of course, is $8 billion to the IRS a year doubles, in essence, 80% of their budgets increased. I think it's going to create nothing but havoc. We know what the intent was. So the one thing we know about this legislative history is we know what the intent was.

The intent was to get into everybody's individual checking account. And what we are hearing now, Thanh, and I'll go right to you in Washington, D.C., is they believe that if they get this increase in size, they've got this kind of staff, they could effectively accomplish what they wanted to do with that $600 or $10,000 a year aggregated. They could do that through regulatory and regulation, at least try to do that.

Of course, with this many new agents, they could go through the legal process, too. I mean, it would be – but my danger, Thanh, is the harassment of so many Americans who would not usually have to face this kind of scrutiny because they don't have the kind of money moving around that would usually trigger any kind of IRS action. It's just another way of accomplishing the exact same thing, Jordan. I mean, you talked about the $80 billion-plus up for the IRS. Out of that $80 billion, Jordan, about $45 billion would be targeted for enforcement and used to hire approximately 87,000 new agents.

But get this, Jordan, it gets a little bit scarier even than that. I did some back-of-the-envelope math here. If that $45 billion was used to hire 87,000 agents, you know what the annual budget for each of those agents would be to enforce tax law?

It would be about $515,000 for every one of those agents, Jordan. If that's not another way of accomplishing the very same thing, I don't know what is. All right, folks, we're going to take your calls on this, 1-800-684-3110. I think that we have to watch this very carefully. I mean, there's lots that's bad in reconciliation.

There was a reconciliation bill, the Green New Deal. It's ridiculous. But this, this will affect a lot of people. If the IRS is doubling in size, let me tell you something. If you don't have a lot of interaction with the IRS, you may very well wake up.

And soon, I mean, with this many new IRS agents, everybody's dealing with it. We're going to talk about this. We're going to take your calls, 1-800-684-3110.

We'll be right back on Sekulow. At the American Center for Law and Justice, we're engaged in critical issues at home and abroad. Whether it's defending religious freedom, protecting those who are persecuted for their faith, uncovering corruption in the Washington bureaucracy, and fighting to protect life in the courts and in Congress, the ACLJ would not be able to do any of this without your support.

For that, we are grateful. Now there's an opportunity for you to help in a unique way. For a limited time, you can participate in the ACLJ's Matching Challenge. For every dollar you donate, it will be matched. A $10 gift becomes $20.

A $50 gift becomes $100. This is a critical time for the ACLJ. The work we do simply would not occur without your generous support.

Take part in our Matching Challenge today. You can make a difference in the work we do, protecting the constitutional and religious freedoms that are most important to you and your family. Give a gift today online at ACLJ.org. Only when a society can agree that the most vulnerable and voiceless deserve to be protected is there any hope for that culture to survive. And that's exactly what you are saying when you stand with the American Center for Law and Justice to defend the right to life. We've created a free, powerful publication offering a panoramic view of the ACLJ's battle for the unborn.

It's called Mission Life. It will show you how you are personally impacting the pro-life battle through your support. And the publication includes a look at all major ACLJ pro-life cases, how we're fighting for the rights of pro-life activists, the ramifications of Roe v. Wade 40 years later, Planned Parenthood's role in the abortion industry, and what Obamacare means to the pro-life movement. Discover the many ways your membership with the ACLJ is empowering the right to life.

Request your free copy of Mission Life today online at ACLJ.org slash gift. All right, $1.9 billion for taxpayer services. Maybe they'll pick up the phone. You don't have to be on hold for three hours to deal with the IRS. Or they could get back your tax returns on time. They have a law about that, but yet they use COVID as an excuse.

But that's typically this agency. Is the way to fix the DMV just double the size? Don't do any reforms.

Don't change any of the actual mechanisms. Just throw more money at it and more bureaucrats at it and see the mess that that will cause the American people. That's a small provision. So they don't really care too much about actually servicing you, the taxpayer, who should be able to contact your government, especially the IRS, who we all interact with. But then it's $44 billion for enforcement. Then $27 billion for operations support for that enforcement and $4.7 billion for business systems modernization. Then you go over and there's an additional $498 million to the Department of Justice tax division, which is different than the Treasury Department's tax division, to enforce federal laws against tax evasion by pursuing civil and prosecuted criminal violations. What they are trying to do now is create a new pool of people that would be subject to the random audit by the IRS that usually would not be in the income levels. That's why I think it hits home to everybody because even small business owners who might be a real small business that is not doing the kind of revenue that would usually be on the radar of the current agents, well, there's going to be 87,000 new agents looking for work to do. No, it's really creating an agency within an agency.

That seems to be part of the problem here. I think we have to be realistic on what that means. What that means is that you're going to have a whole new bureaucracy created inside the Internal Revenue Service. Put on top of that that we know what their intent was. What was the intent? The intent was to lower a threshold on cash transaction or expense transactions to $600, which puts every American in the country in that bracket, so would have been able to get what they call the look. They would have gotten that look without a search warrant, without probable cause.

They are eliminating that provision. So instead what they're doing is creating an entire new bureaucracy that will go through the administrative steps necessary to start auditing everybody that they can. Look, we know they target people. We know they target people because we saw them target the Tea Party groups and the conservative groups. Then as soon as the new administration was in, who did they start targeting again?

A group called Christians Engaged. Our friend Kelly Shackelford handled that. They got that tax exemption finally resolved. The letter to the taxpayer, though, was totally outrageous. I mean, just totally outrageous. D was a legend, was a Republican.

W, word of God. The fact that the IRS was even writing these things is enough to make you understand what they were trying to do here. We had a court order, a consent decree that said they could not do it.

They did it anyways. Now, we have issued a FOIA to the IRS, and they are fighting back very aggressively, and we are too. We've got briefs that are going to be due on this very shortly that are being worked on right now. So we're going to get to the bottom of this, but if we don't keep the pressure on, this is what's going to happen. And I think that if Professor Hutchinson is down there in the studio, I'd like to find out what he thinks from a policy standpoint, Harry, what we're talking about here.

I mean, take a look at increasing this bureaucracy, almost doubling it, doesn't do anything to me except cause more problems. I think that's correct. So essentially, what the Democrats are proposing here in the so-called Build Back Better program is they are trying to legitimize the targeting of virtually all Americans.

That's number one. Number two, they have placed Christian organizations in their crosshairs for selective mistreatment. And I think this particular case and the FOIA that we have filed illustrates that. But if you also look deeper into the bill, the bill also provides funds for a number of secular organizations and explicitly excludes religious organizations. That decision by the Democrats to place that particular provision in the bill is arguably contrary to the Supreme Court's teaching in Trinity Lutheran. And so I think at the end of the day, what we are seeing is hostility to working class Americans, hostility to Christians and other religious groups. And at the end of the day, what do the Democrats want? They want to control each and every aspect of our lives.

I wanted to jump in on something that Harry just said because I think it's very relevant to our discussion. And that is we talked about this provision that basically ops out without any request to be opted out, religious institutions from receiving federal funds here just because they're a religious institution and have a sectarian mission. That to me is totally, as Harry said, unconstitutional. And I will tell you, if this bill becomes law, we would be prepared to challenge that on behalf of churches, synagogues, other religious institutions that feel like they're being discriminated against. But Ben Sisney, who heads up our FOIA practice, just sent a note to me, maybe to all of us, during the break here, during the commercial break, and said that this administration is the most hostile we've had to deal with on these FOIA requests.

So we know what we're dealing with here. If, in fact, this obligation or this restriction stays in the bill, Ben, as it relates to religious institutions, I think we'd be prepared to challenge it. But what's the path that this bill is going on right now? Well, just this week, Jay, a couple of days ago, the House passed the rule to consider the bill in the House of Representatives. Now, as our listeners have probably been following, a lot of the news is reporting that the negotiations on this bill are taking place between President Biden and Senator Joe Manchin.

But, Jay, they've not been able to arrive on a package that can sort of pre-clear the Senate. So Speaker Pelosi has taken a different strategy now. She's actually adding things back into this bill that Joe Manchin does not like. She's doing that in order to get the votes of the progressives in her caucus, the AOCs of the world, the Rashida Talibs of the world. And, Jay, she is aiming to take a vote on this bill. And by the way, the price tag, when she takes a vote on it, is going to be north of $2 trillion, not the $1.75 trillion that Biden and Manchin agreed on. She's aiming to take that vote in the House of Representatives next week, Jay. Now, if she's able to get it through the House, that would send it back to the Senate, where, again, the negotiations with Joe Manchin would become relevant.

And theoretically, if he reached a deal with the President and altered the bill in some way to get it back to a size that he was comfortable with, they could pass it in the Senate and send it back to the House, which would be for sort of a take it or leave it vote. And, Jay, I kind of go through all of those machinations just to say people should not take this for granted because there are things being put into the bill as we speak. There are things coming out of the bill as we speak. And the absence of this IRS provision should not give people any rest that this bill is not just as threatening as it was before it was in there. It's changing as we speak. It could clear the House for the last time of really being able to stop it in the House as soon as next week.

So, yes, there's runway ahead, but, Jay, it is moving closer to the finish line and we've got to remain vigilant. You know, it's interesting. I want to play this because, Christine on Facebook, does the IRS and Congress really think we're this oblivious to their plans? I want you to listen to the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Economic Policy at the Treasury Department, which oversees the IRS, Natasha Sared, Byte 3.

It won't surprise you to hear that I think that the information reporting provisions were an incredibly important part of the compliance agenda. And I think that without them, there's a lot of good that's going to be done. But, honestly, a lot of good that we won't be able to do unless we have some light into these opaque income streams.

And so I'm hopeful that what we'll see over the course of the next few weeks, there's a very committed group of senators, Senators King, Warner and Carper, who are very committed along with, of course, Chair Wyden and Senator Warren and many others to trying to get this past the finish line. I think there are ways that we can get there and that we're going to be able to provide the IRS both information and resources that are going to fundamentally overhaul the way tax administration is all for the better. I mean, when they talk about opaque income sources, they're talking about people who are, again, a $10,000 in aggregate spending. I mean, that's not opaque. There's just not that much transaction. It's $800 a month.

Yeah, it's just not that much money. So the IRS has to kind of figure out, okay, where are we going to prioritize? They're going to prioritize bigger earners, bigger transactions, foreign transactions, questionable to countries that are on list of concern.

I mean, things that make sense. Calling the average American opaque with their income and their resources is absurd. The way they try to find it is like the entire country is full of billionaires. Of course, that's A, incorrect.

And B, we know the target. It's the American people. They said it because in the original bill they wanted that $600 transaction as kind of a linchpin in the whole thing.

So this isn't any great surprise. This is exactly and precisely what they want. So, you know, they're going to do it now by just doubling the size of that institution. I have said off, and I'll say it again, the IRS is incapable of self-correcting. They're institutionally incapable.

This is just going to add fuel to the fire. Well, and I think in the case of the Christians Engage case, that was a perfect example of that, not being able to self-correct. And we're going to take your calls when we come back at 1-800-684-3110, but to target a Christian group and to say, well, because you're based on biblical values, we think you're part of the D party. But the D party meant, in their appendix, Republican. So you're really just a Republican group because you're religious and you probably have conservative beliefs, and we've looked at this. But they're looking at a theology to determine your politics. You know, it's horrendous. So what our FOIA asks is, who else was being treated this way? Because usually everyone doesn't speak up.

We'll be right back. Battle through your support. And the publication includes a look at all major ACLJ pro-life cases. How we're fighting for the rights of pro-life activists. The ramifications of Roe v. Wade 40 years later. Play on parenthood's role in the abortion industry. And what Obamacare means to the pro-life movement. Discover the many ways your membership with the ACLJ is empowering the right to life. Request your free copy of Mission Life today online at ACLJ.org slash gift. At the American Center for Law and Justice, we're engaged in critical issues at home and abroad. Whether it's defending religious freedom, protecting those who are persecuted for their faith, uncovering corruption in the Washington bureaucracy, and fighting to protect life in the courts and in Congress, the ACLJ would not be able to do any of this without your support.

For that, we are grateful. Now there's an opportunity for you to help in a unique way. For a limited time, you can participate in the ACLJ's matching challenge. For every dollar you donate, it will be matched. A $10 gift becomes $20.

A $50 gift becomes $100. This is a critical time for the ACLJ. The work we do simply would not occur without your generous support. Take part in our matching challenge today. You can make a difference in the work we do, protecting the constitutional and religious freedoms that are most important to you and your family. Give a gift today online at ACLJ.org. Welcome back to Secular.

We are taking your phone calls as well at 1-800-684-3110. If you have questions about how this would impact you, the IRS doubling in size. We're not getting that same opposition to the idea of the IRS getting basically an entirely new budget a year, doubling the budget per year. 87,000 new IRS enforcement agents.

Another half a billion dollars to the DOJ to then criminally prosecute Americans. They call this opaque income sources. But what we know is that most people are just trying to comply with a complex tax code. I think at the heart of this what upsets me the most is that the Americans that are going to be most affected by this can't afford accountants. Don't have lawyers looking at their economic situation.

They might go to an H&R block to help with a simple kind of filing. But while the Republicans and the Trump administration tried to simplify the tax code by raising the standard deductions and items like that make it easier. Most people are trying to comply and trying to do the right thing. They're not tax cheats. They're not criminals. This kind of criminalizes everybody with people that don't have the resources to fight back. Well of course we know that because we know what they were trying to do.

So you're right. So most people, the vast majority of Americans comply with a voluntary tax system. But if you have ongoing dealings with the IRS right now, you know how difficult that is. In other words, how difficult it is to get a response. How difficult it is that most of it's automated. We don't even know if the agents are in their offices yet in light of COVID.

So now you add another layer of bureaucracy when you hire all these new agents that come in to be trained. And who are they targeting? Let's talk about that half a billion dollars for the Department of Justice. Does anybody believe right now that the Department of Justice, if they have a major tax fraud case, can't bring that case? No, of course they can. So this is not real.

Who are they looking? I had this happen when I was with the IRS. We had a case and it was less than $10,000 and I could tell it was driving this family really hard and hurting them. And it was over an educational expense deduction for a child that had special needs.

And this I'm talking about in the 1980s. And I went into my boss's office and I was a Department of the Treasury lawyer. I went into my boss's office and said, can I settle this case, please? Because this is really bothering this family and we need to get this resolved. And we did. OK, my boss was a compassionate guy, was a smart guy.

And there was enough basis upon which we could settle the case out and settle it for something the family could afford. Here's the problem. This is not what this is.

Those days are gone. This is an agency. We know what's happened to this agency. We've seen what happened.

It's so politicized now. You are weaponizing the IRS with an $8 billion increase per year, $80 billion over 10 years. You're weaponizing this institution who already has problems.

And I go back to what, Harry, and I'll ask you this again. If you look at it from just a policy standpoint, pouring money on a system that doesn't work doesn't make that system now work. It does not. And I think your analysis is spot on. On the other hand, you should keep in mind, and listeners should keep in mind, that this is driven largely by ideology.

It is not driven by efficiency. And so for many of the Democrats, basically unleashing the IRS, for instance, to go after churches, to go after working class individuals, this is part of a religious experience that they have engaged in. Keep in mind what the deputy press secretary suggested, that the Biden administration is pursuing transformational change. No one can define what transformational change is apart from a religious experience.

And so for many of the Democrats, who is the source of their religious experience? It's the government. And so at the end of the day, build back better is all about one thing and one thing only. Expanding the size and scope of government. Expanding the size and scope of government so that it can interfere with our individual lives. And so at the end of the day, the American people need to be energized to push back against this effort to expand the scope and size of government.

If they don't push back now, it's going to be very, very difficult going forward. I mean, Thanh, when I would listen to Natasha Sare, that deputy assistant secretary at the Treasury Department, and she lists the senators, it's northeast coastal far left liberals who are some of those who were caught up in that idea when we were representing those Tea Party groups, who were the same senators writing the letters to the IRS to go after the Tea Party groups. Oh, they've been asking for this kind of authority. The senators have, Jordan. I mean, they want the IRS to have this targeting ability, this enforcement ability. They've been publicly on the record. They actually think it's a benevolent thing to give the IRS this authority.

As shocking as that may believe. But, you know, you referenced that soundbite, Jordan. And the other thing that I heard in it when she talked about other ways to give the IRS the enforcement mechanisms and the authority that they need. Jordan, I know exactly how they do that.

And we all do. We've seen this happen on a number of different issues. It involves a two-fold approach. You throw money at it. In this case, it's $80 billion for the enforcement of the IRS. And then what do you do, Jordan?

You use the executive branch to engage in regulatory rulemaking. Now, that sounds very boring. That sounds very innocuous. But if you have $80 billion and 87,000 new agents, and you tweak the rules to allow more random audits of everyday Americans, let me tell you what the least concern of those Americans who will be audited is. Access to their checking account. Because the IRS will have that and they will have so much more. So this is just another way and a way that they've used before to accomplish the same objective that they were after before. You know, we get to the second half of the broadcast. I want to hear from you. What do you think that the Democrats' agenda, the Biden administration's agenda is here in expanding the IRS? You've heard some of our opinions.

I want your opinions as well. Give us a call. 1-800-684-3110. That's 1-800-684-3110. But, you know, Dan, when we look at that Christians Engaged case, we look at the Tea Party cases, what we usually know going into this first half hour of broadcast is that a lot of people receive this initial context by the IRS and they just say, okay, I don't want to form this organization anymore.

We're not going to continue going through this process. Effectively, they are silenced by the IRS from just getting a letter. That's the power of the IRS.

It scares people. You double the size of the IRS, it's going to be that much more intimidating. Well, of course, and we know what they did. I mean, when they did the whole attack on the conservative groups and the Tea Party groups, it was to stifle a particular voice from participating in the body politic. It was viewpoint discrimination.

Classically, that I've argued at the Supreme Court for four decades, you can't do. So you take that and then combine it now with this budget increase and what do you end up with? Who do you think they're going to target here? I mean, let's be clear. Who are they going to target? They've already showed their hand. The first thing they did when they got into office was go after a group named Christians Engaged. Why?

Because they were named Christians Engaged and they had biblical values. That was enough to stifle them in the IRS's view. Yeah, so this is, again, as we go into this break, I want to encourage you to remember this is our Matching Challenge Month of November. You can double the impact of your support for the ACLJ, double the impact of your donation. So a $25 donation to the ACLJ right now during our Matching Challenge, that triggers a group of donors who say, we'll match all the donations that month of November. So it's like a $50 donation to the ACLJ, but all your charge is $25. This is a great time to support our work and we have a lot to fight up against.

I mean, think about this. You can double the impact of your donation. We might have to take on an IRS that's twice as big. An IRS that's twice as big with a partisan agenda being backed by partisan actors in Washington, D.C. on this increase.

So it's a time to be ready for battle. Support our work. If you can financially, it's at ACLJ.org. Double the impact of your donation. We'll be right back on Sekulow. Protecting the constitutional and religious freedoms that are most important to you and your family.

Give a gift today online at ACLJ.org. Keeping you informed and engaged. Now more than ever, this is Sekulow. And now your host, Jordan Sekulow. Welcome back to Sekulow. We are going to take your calls too. What do you think is the reason? We've talked about our opinion here.

We want to hear from you as well. 1-800-684-3110. Why does the Biden administration, at a time when they are trying to get all these spinning proposals, even when they said, okay, we don't want to really do the $600 to the $10,000, but we still want to add another 87,000 agents to the IRS with an increase in budget of $80 billion, $8.5 billion a year over 10 years. The IRS budget is only $11.5 billion a year right now, so it's almost doubling. It's 80%. It's about doubling the size of the IRS.

That's major in Washington. You'd watch any agency that was doubling up its resources and enforcement power, but they are saying, Dad, affect two Americans. They are doing this to come after you. This is not like to make the process easier, make the tax code more simple for people to follow. This is to come after Americans who don't have layers of lawyers and accountants that the IRS would have to usually work through. Which is most Americans do not have that capability.

So let's be clear here. If you're in the top brackets, if you're making that kind of revenue, you're going to have lawyers and accountants that will deal with the IRS, and if there's any issues, you resolve them. If you've committed tax fraud, if someone's committed tax fraud, there are Department of Justice, U.S. Attorney's Office, it's called the Tax Division.

They've been around for a long time. They prosecute cases. Does anybody believe that they're not going to be able to prosecute a major tax fraud case because they're not getting an additional $8 billion?

No. So what do they want the $8 billion for? Well, maybe it goes to the tax-exempt groups so they can start going after nonprofits again like they have a history of. A history that was so bad that we had to go to federal court and get court orders to get them to stop, which they then violated as soon as they got back into power. So we know where this goes. We know from history of the history of this bill, right, Dan? Initially, the target, the trigger for this whole bill was $600 worth of expenditures, and there was an uproar. But we know that's what they wanted as a basis upon which they could start looking at people.

Dan? And the American people spoke up, Jay, said they will not stand for that, so they didn't walk away from it. They just pivoted how they're going to accomplish this. And look, I think we need to describe the IRS for the agency that they are today. I mean, they are the most feared agency by the American people. They're the most powerful agency in the federal government. They're the most punitive agency in the federal government. And Jay, I would say they're the agency that's the most in need of reform, and that's a pretty significant statement when you're talking about the federal government. But again, you've got to learn from history.

I mean, this is not ancient history. This is the last decade for the IRS. They have used the authority that they already have, not the authority we're talking about today, the authority that they already have to target people based on their political views and their religious views. Jay, if we almost double their size without instituting a fundamental reform of the agency, you're just going to get more of the same. In fact, I would say again, and Jordan said this a couple of times, but I don't think we can have this conversation without continuing to say this, the IRS, Jay, actually needs to go to the other direction. We actually need to simplify the code and remove the authority that they have because they've clearly been shown not to handle it. This is going in the wrong direction.

I want to go to the phones quickly. This is an organization, Jordan, just to be clear, this is an organization that acts taxpayers in the nonprofit world what the contents of their prayers were. Will Haines just pointed that out. They asked that. Then they did it again in the Christians Engage case. So we know what they're after here.

I mean, the American people are smart. We know what's going on here. Yes. We're going to start taking calls as we come back from this break.

But let me just also reiterate that this is just part of Build Back Better. Remember, we talked too about the provision that says we're going to do all this early childhood education, unless you're one of the many early childhood education providers that does that through a religious institution. They can't even apply. They say don't even apply. Don't ask. So if you're a preschool attached to a church, which how many of those do you drive by on your way to work every day?

Probably more than you even count. Those can't apply for any of the funding in Build Back Better. So it's also the idea of only secular education is even allowed into the process. This is why you got to support our work, folks. We're fighting back. It's all of this. They're trying to overwhelm you and trying to trick people into pushing things through.

We're not going to be tricked. Double the impact your donation at ACLJ.org. It's a matching challenge month of November. Your support is critical financially. If you can do it, donate today. At the American Center for Law and Justice, we're engaged in critical issues at home and abroad, whether it's defending religious freedom, protecting those who are persecuted for their faith, uncovering corruption in the Washington bureaucracy and fighting to protect life in the courts and in Congress. The ACLJ would not be able to do any of this without your support.

For that, we are grateful. Now there's an opportunity for you to help in a unique way. For a limited time, you can participate in the ACLJ's matching challenge. For every dollar you donate, it will be matched. A $10 gift becomes $20.

A $50 gift becomes $100. This is a critical time for the ACLJ. The work we do simply would not occur without your generous support.

Take part in our matching challenge today. You can make a difference in the work we do, protecting the constitutional and religious freedoms that are most important to you and your family. Give a gift today online at ACLJ.org. Only when a society can agree that the most vulnerable and voiceless deserve to be protected is there any hope for that culture to survive. And that's exactly what you are saying when you stand with the American Center for Law and Justice to defend the right to life. We've created a free, powerful publication offering a panoramic view of the ACLJ's battle for the unborn.

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Request your free copy of Mission Life today online at ACLJ.org slash gift. Welcome back to Sekulow. We're going to start taking your phone calls now. Let's start with RC in Mississippi online. Hey, RC, welcome to Sekulow. You're on the air.

Hello there. I just had a question. Earlier you mentioned that the Build Back Better plan gives the IRS access to our checking account. Does that include or exclude our savings account?

I'll hang up and listen. Yeah, so RC, it's a great question. If they got their way, and right now that's not in the current draft, because there was opposition from Senator Manchin, not to the expansion of the IRS, and by the way, they are now on the record saying they think there's still a way to get there even if they can't do it legislatively, but then it's aggregate funds. So if you were moving money from your savings account to your checking account and then to maybe another account, that would all count towards either the $600 or the $10,000 total in a year. I think that would all count.

Yeah, let me give the short answer and then explain it to RC. The short answer is yes, it includes your savings account. Now, the longer answer, like you said, Jordan, the way they wanted to structure it would be any account that had aggregate inflows or outflows of $600 initially and then up to $10,000 annually.

So it would have included either account. But Jordan, this is a way of accomplishing the same thing, because if one of these new 87,000 agents with that $515,000 per agent budget decides to audit RC, they're not just going to go in and not going to look just at his checking account. They're not going to look just at his savings account. They're going to look at all of his financial picture, and Jay can speak to this better than any of us.

He's been on the other side of these kind of investigations. So this is just another way of accomplishing the same thing. The savings account won't be off-limit. The checking account won't be off-limit. Your other angles of income, those won't be off-limit either. Yeah, I mean, I look at this, too, and I see you talked about the DOJ side of this, the tax division. They're also getting, they would get $500 million a year to their budget. And you were talking about they don't have issues right now if they've got a big tax case.

This is to go after the everyday man. Yeah, I mean, if they have a big tax case right now, they are bringing those cases in federal court through the grand jury subpoenas and indictments and ultimately trials or resolutions in these matters in the federal court system. So this just, you've got to be clear what this gives access to.

And what this gives access to is the, it gives the Department of Justice the ability to take those not-so-big cases. My concern with all of this is a redirection of, or an addition of this kind of resource, where's the limits on what it's going to be spent for? Are we going to see an increase in tax-exempt entities being scrutinized about their prayers? Are we going to, we know that religious institutions can't use money, and they cannot even get money in the Build Back Program, even though they're probably one of the greatest providers of childcare and child assistance in the country. And we're eliminating, the Biden plan eliminates nonprofit religious institutions from participating in a broad-based program that, Harry, really provides the benefit to the community. That's the reason you get tax exemption in the first place, because of the benefits you provide. But they're taking an entire group out, probably the largest provider group out, and putting them off limits while Planned Parenthood, of course, can get, I guess, rebuild their infrastructure and their situation.

I think that's precisely correct. And so if you look at constitutional law, the government is not supposed to establish religion, but equally true, it is not supposed to impair the private establishment of religion. But the Biden administration is forcefully moving down a track, and this track has been carved out by globalist elites for decades now, that basically says that anything that touches on religion, even if it helps the community, should be declared off limits. And the Biden administration is dominated by globalist elites who, at the end of the day, generally speaking, hate religion and religious expression. Equally true, they hate the conservative expression of views. And so I am not surprised that they seek to exclude, for instance, a private religious pre-K or pre-school program from government assistance. And equally true, the IRS is planning right now, in my opinion, as we speak, to target all conservative and all religious groups. In addition to which, now the IRS is targeting average working class Americans. They seek access to, or at least the ability to audit, each and every bank account you and I hold.

Let me play too. This is from the White House deputy press secretary. She talks about, you know, what is the big picture with this?

This is where I get very nervous when I hear these kind of terms coming from the White House and the Biden administration by 20. It is important to sell this, yes, to sell this, but for the people to understand that this is going to make a transformational change in their lives, an investment that we haven't seen in my whole entire lifetime, and it's going to be critical and important. And Harry, what we're worried about is that this transformational change is that you cannot live without the government.

Absolutely. So essentially they want to control all of your money, and then they will seek to control all of the expenditures of your money, and seek to exclude certain expenditures that they don't think are in the best interest of transformational reform. Transformational reform and the whole idea of transformation takes us back to the halcyon days of Karl Marx, who sought to destroy everything that lives because he believed that any existing structure was domineering and oppressive. The Democrats have basically taken on board a softer version of Marxism, plain and simple, and this also is part and parcel of their playbook in terms of pushing critical race theory in public schools. Yeah, I mean this, to me, Dan, when you hear transformational change...

Dangerous. Yeah, exactly. Yeah, I mean as soon as you say transformational change, alright, because the transformational change isn't going to put the IRS in every American's life as if they're not already there. Transformational change is we're not going to help out the religious institutions that actually provide benefits to our community. We're going to exempt them out and we're not going to let them participate, which is a lawsuit, by the way, that we'll be glad to make if this bill becomes law. Transformational change is adding $80 billion of expenses of income to the IRS over the course of 10 years, when they are already institutionally incapable of even living up to obligations that they signed on to in federal court.

So you look at all of this and you say to yourself, yeah, this is part of the plan. Now, what we do is we're not just going to talk about, oh, this is horrible, this is terrible, what are we going to do? We're already in federal court to find out what the heck happened with this Christians engaged thing. How in the world did some IRS official think they could start asking a religious institution again about their prayers, about the Bible, about the word of God?

I mean, it's insane that this even happened. Having said that, we're going to find out why. Now, they're fighting back hard, we're going to push back even harder.

That's what we have to do with the ACLJ. Then, if this bill becomes law and we see this religious organizations exempted, churches exempted from these benefits, we'll go after that too. Then, what you got to hope, and I don't know what the plan on this is, Stan, is has Joe Manchin said anything about the money going to the Internal Revenue Service, the budgeting increase? Not specifically, Jay, although the framework that the White House put out did include this sort of a line item for the IRS. They called it an IRS investment to close the tax gap.

That's the sort of the phraseology that ended up in this $80 billion increase. But, Jay, right now, I got to tell you, Speaker Pelosi in the House doesn't care what Joe Manchin says. They're going to put anything that they can into this bill before they send it over to the Senate. And, yes, Joe Manchin will get his crack at it then and maybe some of it will come out. But, Jay, just to echo what you were talking about, transformational change, we've been focusing in on the IRS portion. There's more than half a trillion dollars in this thing for Green New Deal items. I mean, so we haven't even scratched the surface of the scope of this thing. I don't think Joe Manchin is going to go for all of that, Jay, but as it always happens in Washington, D.C., there's a back and forth and some of these things do slip in. Yeah, no, it's got me very concerned.

Yeah, and we see some of the timing on this. I want to take a call. Let me go to Dora in Colorado on Line 3. Hey, Dora, welcome to Secular Year on the Air. Hi. It is a wonderful blessing for us out here in the northeastern corner of Colorado, out here in rural America, to be able to listen to you guys. I tell you, you have given us all such great understanding and knowledge. My question, though, means we are in the middle of a cornfield in corn harvest.

I have to be quick. What do we do to fight this off as individuals? How can we be more involved? We need more of a specific direction. I want to donate to you guys because of this, even though it's going to be a minimal amount. There's others that can donate more money, but how else can you be more specific?

Can we get engaged, involved? Well, what we've got to do is hold the IRS accountable. We're trying to stop the legislation. We're working on that.

We did get the $600 provision out. That was a good thing, but they're going to try to get around it. Then you go to court, which we're already doing to find out what happened on this last case with the targeting so that maybe that doesn't happen again. So we're going to have to go to court there, and I'm sure we'll have other cases. There's provisions in this bill we'll challenge. We will fight back.

That's how you do it. Don't lose hope. We fight back. There is strength in numbers, like you said, Dorf, coming together, pooling our resources together to fight back against these massive institutions and government institutions as well.

We'll be right back on Secular. Only when a society can agree that the most vulnerable and voiceless deserve to be protected is there any hope for that culture to survive. And that's exactly what you are saying when you stand with the American Center for Law and Justice to defend the right to life. We've created a free, powerful publication offering a panoramic view of the ACLJ's battle for the unborn.

It's called Mission Life. It will show you how you are personally impacting the pro-life battle through your support. And the publication includes a look at all major ACLJ pro-life cases, how we're fighting for the rights of pro-life activists, the ramifications of Roe v. Wade 40 years later, play on parenthood's role in the abortion industry, and what Obamacare means to the pro-life movement. Discover the many ways your membership with the ACLJ is empowering the right to life. Request your free copy of Mission Life today online at ACLJ.org slash gift. At the American Center for Law and Justice, we're engaged in critical issues at home and abroad, whether it's defending religious freedom, protecting those who are persecuted for their faith. I'm covering corruption in the Washington bureaucracy and fighting to protect life in the courts and in Congress. The ACLJ would not be able to do any of this without your support.

For that, we are grateful. Now there's an opportunity for you to help in a unique way. For a limited time, you can participate in the ACLJ's Matching Challenge. For every dollar you donate, it will be matched. A $10 gift becomes $20.

A $50 gift becomes $100. This is a critical time for the ACLJ. The work we do simply would not occur without your generous support. Take part in our Matching Challenge today. You can make a difference in the work we do, protecting the constitutional and religious freedoms that are most important to you and your family.

Give a gift today online at ACLJ.org. Welcome back to Secular. We'll go right to your phone call.

It's 1-800-684-3110. Let's go to Jeff in Alaska online. Hey, Jeff, welcome to Secular. You're on the air. Hey, I got a question for you.

I mean, I'm listening to you. As far as the little guy you're talking about that's going to be affected by this, if your taxes are already taken out of your paycheck, what are they going to do if they have access to you? I mean, if you're switching money from your savings to checking and checking the savings or, you know, paying your church and stuff like that, which it comes out of mind automatically every month, I don't understand how that's going to affect. What are they going to do with that? Well, what they're going to do is use this as a basis upon which they're going to increase. If they're getting 87,000 new agents, breaking news alert here, they're going to increase their audits. And who are they going to be auditing? Do you think they're going to be auditing an increase in the top one or two percent taxpayers? No, because they're already auditing those groups. So who are they going to be auditing here? You.

I mean, me, everybody. This is the idea. They're going to try to get, if you increase 87,000 agents, and Stan did his quick math, with resources of $500,000 per year per agent, instead of making this a simpler tax system, it makes it that much more difficult to deal with an agency that already doesn't respond.

Yeah, and I think in Jeff's case specifically, he talked about a number of things where those agents would be interested in. Your automatic donations that come out of your bank account. How are those being labeled?

Are you paying anybody for work around your house? How is that being labeled? And then that gets to them. See, they're building webs, too.

You might be a connection to go to someone else that they usually would not spend the time on. But they're saying on purpose, they're doing this because they believe there's trillions of dollars of revenue out there that people are not paying in taxes. Now, I would say if you really believe that, make the system easier. But then where is the argument in Washington? Why are there no arguments in Washington? We have all this technology, all this AI technology. Why do we ever need to hire 87,000 new people to enforce an old tax code?

The answer to that is not a pleasant one, Jordan. It's that the bureaucracy in Washington, D.C. loves to draw more power unto itself. Yes, there would be certainly more efficient ways to do this. Of course there would be more efficient ways to write the tax code. And in fact, Jordan, there would be more efficient ways to make sure that the current tax laws, if they were simplified, actually generated more revenue to the federal government. Now, we could have a debate or not of whether that would be a good thing or not, but of course there are more efficient ways to do that. But Jordan, it would not draw power and influence over the lives of regular Americans into Washington, D.C., into the bureaucracy as this approach would do. And I've got to tell you, that really is at least a secondary.

I would argue it's probably the primary reason that this is the preferred approach, because it brings more power, it brings more authority, and it brings more control into the agency. All right, let's go back to the phones. 1-800-684-3110 to talk to us. Let's go to Camilla in Maryland, on Line 1. Hey, Camilla. Hi.

I just am so grateful that you guys are there. Anyway, I have a question. I'm going to be 71 in January, and then in June I start getting from my 401k. And I also, we want to downsize.

I mean, my husband would be 80. Is this going to, like, affect real estate and 401k and all that stuff? Yeah, absolutely, Dad, because anytime there's money moving around, there was some talk that initially they wouldn't look at just income payments, so, like, that wouldn't trigger what you make a year, but it's the transactions that you have to do to live as a American. You have to pay your bills. And also, you've got minimal withdrawal requirements that come from when you reach a certain age, I think 71 and a half, from your retirement plan. So all of those will be income.

Look, I mean, but now we're past the $600 threshold. Harry, we're at an institution that's going to effectively double in size. Absolutely. So I think at the end of the day, this is all about information and control. So most people, when they look, for instance, at their Facebook account, they believe that they're in control of sending out information.

But a number of researchers have found that it's really the other way around. Facebook, to a great extent, is in control of our lives because they have so much information about our purchasing patterns, our preferences, that they then send us information to purchase things we don't need. I think the IRS is preparing their own version of Facebook control, so that, in essence, they will then have information and they can then create an algorithm to basically go to the House and Senate and say, you need to cut back on the deductibility, for instance, of churches. You need to cut back on the deductibility of 501c3 organizations. You need to basically constrain the ability of the American people to, at the end of the day, to be free to make their own choices.

So what we have is a massive expansion in government, a massive expansion in government power, but most fundamentally, this is a massive expansion in government access to information about our day-to-day lives, and this is abhorrent, I think, to the American way. Let me go to Bob in Wisconsin. Final call of the day.

Hey, Bob, welcome to Secular. You're on the air. Hey, brother, thank you so much for taking my call.

I've talked to you guys a couple of times and listened frequently. Thank you. My wife and I are both 100% disabled veterans. I'm combat wounded, and my wife also draws her Social Security.

How is all of this going to take a look at mine and my wife's income from the IRS? So it's transactional-based. Let me say, Bob, right away, thank you for your service.

Thank you for your wife's service to our country. But this is the issue that it's not so much where it comes in. It's once you start utilizing it. And once you start utilizing it, it's going to be treated just like anybody else's money and resources. That's right. So it's transactional.

As you said, Jordan, that is exactly the way to say it. It's transactional-based, meaning that it's how the money is expended, which is, by the way, what the IRS loves to look at. They love to see if you're donating to this organization or that organization or your church. As I said earlier, they're trying to take the churches out of this restructuring or the infrastructure bill in total. Yet they're the greatest provider of child care services in the country, but they want them out. So again, I think what we have to do here is raise the alarm we have, see what happens in the legislation.

We got that $600 provision out. I think they're making an end run by trying to do it this way. But then let's be prepared to challenge those provisions that we think are unconstitutional.

But let me say this. Elections have consequences. Political races matter, and it matters when it becomes policy. And if you've got an institution that is incapable of self-correcting, which I believe the IRS is, this does not bode well for the next few years with the IRS, because we've already seen in the last six months what they're up to. Now they got slapped down on that one pretty quickly, but that doesn't mean they won't try again. And like Ben and Harry and you have said, you add 87,000 new agents, that's 87,000 with a budget of half a million dollars each, is nothing but trouble. Alright folks, this is why we are fighting on all these different, every bit of this, and it's a massive spinning bill. We're not going to let these provisions go by without raising the issues, forcing these politicians to answer for why they would vote for this. Again, support our work.

It's a critical time. You can double the impact of your donation because we have a matching challenge this month of November. Whatever you donate, a group of donors said, we'll match that. But you've got to make that initial donation to trigger that match. Do it at ACLJ.org. Donate today if you're financially able to, and we will talk to you tomorrow.

At the American Center for Law and Justice, we're engaged in critical issues at home and abroad. For a limited time, you can participate in the ACLJ's matching challenge. For every dollar you donate, it will be matched. A $10 gift becomes $20. A $50 gift becomes $100. You can make a difference in the work we do, protecting the constitutional and religious freedoms that are most important to you and your family. Give a gift today online at ACLJ.org.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-07-24 17:24:30 / 2023-07-24 17:47:50 / 23

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