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God save America from the IRS … and those 87,000 new gun-toting agents

God save America from the IRS … and those 87,000 new gun-toting agents

In President Biden’s inappropriately named Inflation Reduction Bill there is a big boost in power for the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).  The Bill includes $80 billion to hire 87,000 new agents ostensibly to track down high-income folks who are cheating on their taxes.  Uh huh.  Incidentally, that comes to more than $900,000 per new agent.  There is a lot of room for mischief in that amount of money.

The IRS did not always exist … and maybe it should not have.  You will not find the IRS enshrined in the Constitution.  It was created in 1862 with the appointment of a Commissioner of Internal Revenue as part of the Treasury Department to collect a TEMPORARY income tax to finance the Civil War.  True to their word, the temporary income tax — and the Commission on Internal Revenue — closed shop a decade later.

In 1913, the newly elected progressive President Woodrow Wilson brought back the income tax and the Commission – which was later renamed as the Internal Revenue Service.  At the time, Democrat proponents assured the American people that the income tax would never exceed 10 percent on the richest Americans.  Uh huh.

Since that time, the IRS has evolved into one of the largest and most feared of the federal agencies.  It is larger than the State Department and the Justice Department combined – and that includes the FBI.

Their collection procedures are among the most severe and dangerous of any collection agency in the nation.  They have the unique power to seize personal property and bank accounts at will – without a court order.  Those whose property and/or money is confiscated have no effective means to object – and the ability to appeal is an entirely internal process.  The appeals are often handled by the same individuals at the IRS who make the initial decisions.  

Those they deem to be in arrears of the payments to Uncle Sam are subjected to exorbitant fines and penalties that quickly exceed the allegedly owed money.

The IRS monitors the bank accounts of every American.  Banks are require to report legal transfers and withdrawals of money from private bank accounts upon which no taxes are due.

When tied to automatic payroll deduction, the IRS set the stage for almost unlimited taxation – and the cancerous growth of the federal bureaucracy that we see today.  It is bankrolling authoritarian oppression by funding the growth of federal power – dismantling the Constitutional rights of states and the people to due process.  

Go check out the Tenth Amendment if you want to understand what the Founders meant by federalism – and the inalienable rights of we the people.  Oh hell … I will save you the Internet search.  Here is the Tenth Amendment.

“The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

If you think almost doubling the number of IRS agents from 90,000 to 178, 000 is just adding more accounts to the government payroll – and that is bad enough– you have not seen the IRS job application request.  It tells wannabe IRS agents that they can carry guns, make arrests and even use deadly force.  The IRS has since taken down that language from its website – but those are still part of the official job description.

There is actually a way to abolish the IRS.  It would be a National Sales Tax – along with a constitutional amendment to abolish the income tax. (That is necessary or the reprobates in Washington will eventually reinstate the income tax over above national sales tax – making things worse than ever.)

The money would be collected by the businesses – just as they are the tax collection agents for sales and other taxes.  They already collect the income tax in the form of the payroll tax.  The systems and infrastructure are already in place.

Since sales taxes are regressive – in that they hit the hardest on the poor – you make the National Sales Tax somewhat progressive.  That means removing the tax on medicines and essential foods and applying an excise or luxury tax on high end items.

Not only will the rich folks pay more because they purchase more – there will be no loopholes.  No zeroing out the tax.  And imagine a world without filing tax returns, no fines and penalties for mistakes.  No audits.  And one of the largest –and most expensive – agencies of government disappears.  The Founders would have liked that.

Unfortunately, there is so much political money flowing to and from the tax attorneys and accountants that there is virtually no hope of ending the role of the IRS (But I can dream, can’t I).  In view of the Biden legislation, the situation will only get worse – much worse — for the American people in the future.

So, there ‘tis.

About The Author

Larry Horist

So,there‘tis… The opinions, perspectives and analyses of Larry Horist Larry Horist is a businessman, conservative writer and political strategist with an extensive background in economics and public policy. Clients of his consulting firm have included such conservative icons as Steve Forbes and Milton Friedman. He has served as a consultant to the Nixon White House and travelled the country as a spokesman for President Reagan’s economic reforms. He has testified as an expert witness before numerous legislative bodies, including the U. S. Congress. Horist has lectured and taught courses at numerous colleges and universities, including Harvard, Northwestern, DePaul universities, Hope College and his alma mater, Knox College. He has been a guest on hundreds of public affairs talk shows, and hosted his own program, “Chicago In Sight,” on WIND radio. Horist was a one-time candidate for mayor of Chicago and served as Executive Director of the City Club of Chicago, where he led a successful two-year campaign to save the historic Chicago Theatre from the wrecking ball. An award-winning debater, his insightful and sometimes controversial commentaries appear frequently on the editorial pages of newspapers across the nation. He is praised by readers for his style, substance and sense of humor. According to one reader, Horist is the “new Charles Krauthammer.” He is actively semi-retired in Boca Raton, Florida where he devotes his time to writing. So, there ‘tis is Horist’s signature sign off.


  1. Ben

    There’s more of us than them

    • larry Horist

      But they have a license to kill.

    • David Dutra

      I’d be willing to bet that the person writing this column has enough money to actually be worried about a audit or is getting paid enough by people that are being targeted to really make it worth his while…

      • larry Horist

        David Dutra …. Wrong on both accounts. I would bet that you are financially better off than me. But isn’t it typical of folks like you — inventing a mythical Larry Horist in your own mind to serve as your straw man. Maybe I should be “willing to bet” that you are a loser with an obsessive jealousy of people you fear may have more than you. See how assuming works?

  2. M

    So, NOW you’re against guns? And arming federal agents?

    • M

      Article I, Section 8, Clause 1:

      The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;

      So, the IRS was created to collect taxes. Do you expect the President or Congress to go around doing it? And I imagine that would be even more ripe for bribery than the current campaign contribution system is.

      • Joe Gilbertson

        Except that the Democrats have a recent history of weaponizing the IRS. Or do you not remember that? The conservative principle is smaller government.

        • frank stetson

          Show us an example of the recent history of Democratic weaponization of an IRS that is led by a Trumplicant, appointed by Trump, who recently had Comey and McCabe face extensive, personal, and highly unusual “random” audits that the IRS watchdog is investigating as Trumplicant weaponization of the IRS…..

          Show us how you achieved your brilliant conspiracy theory.

          BUSTED and badly.

          • larry Horist

            Frank Stetson … LOL … I love how you advance wimpy points and they judge yourself as having won the round, Are you afraid to let other readers judge for themselves? As to hour point … there is no evidence that the audits on Comey and McCabe were ordered from above. In fact, the Biden controlled IRS stated that they were coincidental and such audits are random. Hmmmm. But didn’t you just bust your own claim that the IRS operates above board — that if you do not cheat, you have nothing to fear? Suddenly you see a corruptible IRS??? Welcome aboard.

          • frank stetson

            Larry, the point was Democrats have recently weaponized the IRS which is run by a Trumplicant who recently targeted Comey and McCabe to which some accept his “nah, it’s just natural random selection,” to which some say, yeah — a 1 in 20,000,000 chance to nab the two guys from the Trump Revenge List. I do think that your and especially Joe’s theories are BUSTED. And I don’t claim the win, it’s just facts. And people will have their own opinions which I can not bust —- no matter what I write.

            But if you think Democrats weaponized a Trumplicant-run organization, yes, I have a NJ Bridge, own that does not suffer Republican blockades, to sell you.

            PS: that does not mean mistakes are not made, that no overreach ever occurred — it has, and Joe noted the targeting of right-wing conservative, I think 529’s, groups for which a hearty apology and perhaps a little cash, was offered as proof this was a bad one.

          • Joe Gilbertson

            You liberal BS artists forget events and/or rewrite them very quickly. It’s a psychosis I think.

          • frank stetson

            I’m sorry Joe, do you have a specific piece of BS to point out? Do you find a fact that is incorrect? You don’t actually mention any so I guess you are good with your BUSTED. Wear it well and if you have an actual fact, an actual contradiction, feel free to move from your feckless fantasies of generalized shaming and point something out, with facts and sources, instead of your typical hot air of lament that others are inferior to your great brain.

            I said BUSTED. You said right-wing targeting conspiracy. I said Bush appointed commissioner and court determined truth is you are WRONG, there is no sufficient evidence to indict, but you did get an apology for the potential overreach and then you just up and started crying that we don’t play fair. What’s next, pack up your marbles and run home crying? Good discussion…..not. You give up too easy.

        • M

          Against whom? Be specific – what were they charged with, and what was the outcome?

          • frank stetson

            All the suits, Trumps and the class action, were settled out of court. Trump’s for an undisclosed amount which Trump said was YUGE. And the other for an apology which tells you how much real money Trump got.

            So, the charges were accepted in court, they settled without admitting guilt and offered a sincere, sure, sincere apology. It was determined that there was no sufficient evidence for federal changes. Just like Russiagate.

            Not exactly your smoking gun. According to the court which determines truth in these cases.

            The IRS commissioner over all this was appointed by Bush, although he did contribute to the DNC in 2004. Hardly a Trumplicant, yet, but certainly good enough for Bush, hardly a AOC-level progressive either.

            But the bottom line: smoke, no fire. Try again. Or admit Trump is in bed with the Russians and now has boxes of top secret papers he has declassified for their enjoyment. Smoke, no fire, right?

    • Ben

      The agents know that they will have a 99.9% chance of being cleared if they shoot us for any reason. Unless it’s a black person who gets shot.

  3. JERRY Leonard

    Now you know why Biden has been pushing to take YOUR guns away.

    • frank stetson

      Biden is pushing for common sense gun control law; he may restrict some arms, like whatever-they-term as assault rifles, that only designed to kill humans in mass numbers, but in no way has he “been pushing to take YOUR guns away.” That’s just bogus hyperbolic bullshit. You will always have guns, under Biden or anyone.

      • Burt

        Biden ain’t pushing for anything that’s common sense. The stupid idiot can shove his gun laws. The 2nd amendment got a new breath of life in June. The scotus ordered the federal courts to revisit their cases on so called assault weapons.

        • frank stetson

          The current set of new common sense guns laws was already passed by a bipartisan Congress so you can begin to shove these new laws which don’t ban any guns. You didn’t even notice.

  4. frank stetson

    That’s just great. As a rich, old person, I don’t buy much. I win!!! Thanks Larry. Can’t wait to see the progressive sales tax where you have to show a W2 to buy a dozen ears of corn at the farm stand that you just go to your handy list to see if corn is essential.

    As to 87,000 agents — don’t break the law and you will be fine.

    I have been tagged a dozen times, have paid when I am wrong, I make more money off the interest of not paying than the interest the IRS charges, and never has a penalty stuck —- they ALWAYS removed them.

    Funny story —- my first gig was for like $327.58 —- the exact amount I paid so I figured a mistake. But there was a little interest and like a $2,000 penalty. I kept getting the “just send a letter, we will look, and it is probably go away.” To which I said — but if it doesn’t, won’t the penalty and interest go up?” They responded, “it might, but that’s the process.” I lived outside of DC, so on a Friday, one of those top-ten-days-of Spring, I called the Commissioner at high none. I got his secretary, told my tale of woe, was told the Commish was out (playing golf no doubt), a pause, and then I retold my tale of woe —— next thing I know I am transferred to “the office of problem people,” whereupon I got my own special agent to handled the special problem of this special taxpayer. He said: “I got it, get back to you in a few weeks.” A few weeks later he got back to me and said — issue solved. I asked for written confirmation. He said no, we don’t do that. And then I mused: “OK, this was easy for me, local call, but what if I was in bumfuck and it was an expensive LD call (they were costly in the 70’a, no unlimited yet…..” He said: “oh, they would find us eventually.” I took the win, said thank you, and hung up.

    I have done battle with them a dozen times, and only paid what I owed due to error, a little interest and never a penalty. No big deal for me although I think they have been increasing the interest rate, might be 5% now which is a little harder to compensate for.

    • larry Horist

      Frank Stetson…. rich and old. That explains a lot. I assume VERY old. The IRS you describe has not existed in more than 50 years. You actually called the IRS commissioners office and spoke to his secretary? It is virtually impossible to reach an agent today … or even a live operator. That has not been possible for at least 50 years. I have had a few issues with the IRS myself and on behalf of clients. I have never seen a case with the interest has been waived. Some exorbitant penalties have been reduced by never eliminated. Because of the excessive spending of the federal government, they are more like Mafia collectors today …. even jail time. Saying that if you do not break the law, you will not have a problem is wrong …. foolish. There are millions of cases of the IRS’s abusive practices. A generation ago, there were congressional hearings on the Agency’s abuses — some resulting in suicides. I once had my summer home seized for no good reason. When I went to appeal the case to higher ups, I was told the case has already been appealed and I lost — appealed by the same woman who seized the house. I had to pay $50,000 ransom to prevent the house from being sold. The senior official said she would consider my appeal letter but not to get my hope up. When she studied the case, she was shocked. She said that the local agent had broken every IRS rule and probably the law. There were never any back taxes owed beyond a small current dispute. I was in the middle of a divorce — and my divorce attorney was in cahoots with the IRS lady to swoop in an by my property for pennies on the dollar. They had hoped to buy the house before I knew … and the attorney knew I did not personally have the money to stop the sale. He also did not know I had good friends. During the Obama administration, you may recall that conservative groups were not be granted tax exempt status or slow walked. A process that once took less than a month with a high percentage of approvals suddenly took years and a much lower rate of approvals. You are lucky to be rich and old and insulated from the larger realities… but millions of Americans have suffered the abuse of the IRS. Your polly anna view is a fantasy. The more we run deficits and increase the National Debt, the more abusive the IRS will become. We have already seen that trend.

      • frank stetson

        When you can’t push back on the comment, make fun of the man: “Frank Stetson…. rich and old. That explains a lot. I assume VERY old.” And yet, still younger, and more alert, than you.

        My last go round with the IRS was just a few years ago. The biggest one, trying to gig me for over $100K was less than 20 years ago. I guess your mind starts slipping when one reaches your age.

        I agree, interest rarely waived, but it has been on occasion of them being wrong for example. Penalties — in my case, 100% and a lot of times. Once Obama’s money man got gigged for using turbo tax badly, I became much looser in my scrutiny so have had more errors as of late. Plus, there are parts now that are all Turbo Tax, digitized, from soup to nuts and I have not a clue what’s going on —- I don’t even bother to check. Makes for issues. I have had close to a dozen penalties removed, never have been penalized.

        I am sorry for your trouble, but I am not alone, I have helped a basket full of family and friends for the same results. Not only that, I find the IRS personnel to be kind, courteous, and forgiving. Yes, forgiving. The only time I failed was with some Bush-era rebate or something that they literally embedded in the current year tax. So they took outstanding interest and penalties out before they applied the rebate. Had a case that should have been turned over but because of the process we gave up with hardly a fight. I still think we could have won.

        I am sorry for your troubles and stand incredulous based on my experience. In all court cases for IRS targeting of conservative, groups, one settled for undisclosed amount, the other settled with an apology. Not exactly a house on fire.

        Yes, I feel lucky to be alive, safe, and sound. No, my reality is not fantasy, except to you who has a different experience. I have been in your shoes, and never had a problem. Some scary moments when they come for a low 6-digit error, but once I figured it out, it was fair, and a now a small five-digit number. Probably fair, but if not, it was my company, not me, not the IRS, and the company had downsized, outsourced the shop, and there was no old data accessible. Since I was pretty sure I did owe, I gave up and paid.

        I do agree that the IRS is less accessible than before the end of Obama, I think his watch ended the personal touch. Hopefully, this new budget might help some of that. But my own experience as recent as of a few years ago, has been just fine, I feel no targeting or abuse. While I can see that you, and others, have had bad experiences, me and mine have not and I don’t think any special treatment occurred.

        And not to worry, I can always find the commissioner’s number. That’s my special gift. I’m the guy who got microsoft to pay off on a virtual OS that I didn’t like after they said: “you can’t return virtual.” Or Apple after my teenager ran up a $2,000 bill on virtual music on my credit card because they kept it on file. That’s was a toughie with me claiming they were like drug dealers addicting these kids and not even bothering to inform the credit card holder, the parent. They claimed I should raise my kid better and what could they do. I said, you are computer wizards, you can’t whip a text to the credit card holder when you see obvious abuse? Then they said, it’s virtual, how can you return virtual. I said virtually! They paid in full.

        My take is you can live in fear of bureaucracy or you can learn how to navigate these waters successfully. I find the IRS fairly easy, and fair, to navigate. Sorry you have not been as fortunate. Perhaps it’s agism.

        • larry Horist

          Frank Stetson … you are creating your mythical Larry Horist when you compare our respective cognizance. Just a vapid insult. But if you think comparative cognizance is a worthy subject, please explain how you can criticize me for not remembering what happened to YOU 20 years ago (paragraph 2)?. In paragraph 3, you seem to admit that you use Turbo Tax, but do not “have a clue what is going on.” In paragraph 4, you say you are sorry for my troubles, but you are not alone. You mean others your know feel sorry for my troubles? You say you have been in my shoes. How so? You had a house illegally seized by the IRS? Your rambling in the rest of your posting is a word salad. What in hell does your problem with Microsoft and your kid’s bill on Apple have to do with the discussion at hand? And you preface your comments claiming that you are “more alert” than me. Really?

          • frank Stetson

            Ah, the old “mythical Larry Horist” retort; so repetitious getting so emotional over the tiniest things as major affronts, vapid insults. You made the comment: “The IRS you describe has not existed in more than 50 years,” to which I responded my experience was far less than 50 years, it was 20 years. Sorry for your confusion, I am sure it’s my bad.

            And no, I admitted that “there are parts now that are all Turbo Tax, digitized, from soup to nuts and I have not a clue what’s going on,” not, as you wrongly construe: “you seem to admit that you use Turbo Tax, but do not “have a clue what is going on.” Parts Larry. The totally Digitized Parts – soup to nuts, where, yes, sometimes I don’t know what’s going on. But if you can follow 50 individual state taxes applied to mutuals in your head, or compute the AMT there as well, well then, bully for you. But no Larry, I do know what’s going on for the vast preponderance of the tax form, just not a few parts where “the machines” are in total control, from data entry to tax computation.

            “In paragraph 4, you…” What I was trying to say was that the folks I have helped don’t live in fear of IRS overreach, as you do. They feel like me. And no Larry, I have never had property seized by the IRS, I am not that stupid. Mine was only a bill close to $200K, nowhere near a $50K loss on a house, just four times the amount so not even close.

            Hope that clarifies. And the rest was just some background on how I don’t cotton to being ripped off, by the IRS, or other big bureaucratic concerns, and rather than play the victim, the loser, the martyr, I tend to navigate the process, mostly, but not always, successful. Tough shit if you don’t like a good war story of beathing the system.

            My point in all this is 1) if you are legal, you have little to fear 2) my dealings with the IRS have been positive on my behalf, and the behalf of almost everyone I have helped, 3) you seem to delight in your little games of snarky names, and 4) your fear of big brother is not well founded based on my personal experience with my own taxes and others I have helped EVEN when they are under the gun, so to speak, and being issued a penalty and interest. IOW — for me, and those I helped, your dog don’t hunt.

            More alert than you? Perhaps in my own mind since I don’t know, but face it, you started it, this was just a little tit-for-tat, I understand your pain. Do you mine? But more alert? Well, my friend, I did not lose and walk away from $50K. In my case, I got my bill very low, and I actually did owe it, and really even wondered why we had so much money, but I did owe it due to my company not withholding taxes on one out of over 20 sales of company options, given to me for my good service, and I did not catch it given all the options sales on my W2 that year as I divested from a company I no longer loved. Another funny story, as I did to the final computations, I turned to my wife and said: “hey, remember two years ago when I said, “my goodness, these Clinton years are like printing cash for us,” well, apparently they were! So I paid was I owed while saving well over $100K they said I owed, but turned out, didn’t. Pretty scary though, and my second biggest spreadsheet.

    • Mike

      So you’re an old guy. Good. You won’t be around long. Then you will become a good democrat

      • frank stetson

        May your kind words be returned ten fold as you say good to my imminent demise claiming that only a dead Democrat is a good Democrat. We know your kind of person, coward afraid of his own shadow much less someone with a different opinion. You can’t argue based on facts so you attack the man and wish him death. Sweeeet.

        This don’t look like Kansas. l

        • larry Horist

          Frank Stetson. Mike’s insult was directed at me according to the thread. But your characterization of him still applies.

          • frank stetson

            Larry, a good democrat?

  5. Mike

    Larry, Your solution to the income tax issue sounds great-if you are a Republican. You mention that the sales tax is regressive, but it is not only because of food purchases. Poorer people spend most of their money purchasing things-things that rich people also purchase but because of their higher income, not a significant portion of their take-home pay. Like all Republican solutions to the tax issue, you want to stick it to the poorer population (recall the tax cuts of 2017, when the wealthy got a dramatic tax cut, lower income earners virtually nothing?). Can’t understand why republicans are so adverse to having the wealthy pay their share-they have obviously benefited from the greatness of the country and should want to do everything they can to make it continue to succeed….

    • larry Horist

      Mike … Follow the bouncing ball. My plan protects the little guy and makes the big guy pay more without any deductions of loopholes. The Little guy pays no tax on meds and essentials while the rich guy gets hit with an excise tax on Lamborghinis, Chivas Regal, and Armani suites. How you got the concept ass backwards is beyond me.

      • Mike

        Larry, I read your proposal, and did not get it ass backwards as you say. There are a lot more purchases made than food and meds by lower income people, and those purchases take up a greater amount of income for people in the lower brackets than those in the higher. Sales taxes are regressive-end of story, though your suggestions obviously make them less regressive than if they included food and meds. Income taxes are far easier to adjust for differences in income, so that they are “progressive”. However, Republicans continually balk at reforming them to make them generally fairer across income levels, and instead provide tax cuts to the rich every time they tinker with them. You are simply too ignorant to realize that….

        • frank stetson

          There is no way to do a deep dive on Larry’s sales tax does all theory, it’s tall on mush, short on specifics.

          He’s got “essentials” that are tax reduced or tax free, nice idea, but can’t compute effect.

          Worse yet, he’s got excise taxes on luxury goods, but no idea what those are and where the line would be.

          He’s got “somewhat progressive,” nice idea, kind of sounds like somewhat-pregnant, but not only can’t compute, but can’t see how that could be operationalized across the nation, large and small businesses. Sounds nice but impossible.

          Two things will always be true:

          1. Any tax scheme you implement will pick winners and losers, that’s just the way it is. Larry’s consumption tax is no different. If you only buy essential goods, you win. If you only buy luxury good, you lose. Is it fair: can’t tell, the devil’s in the details and Larry has no details.

          2. Guaranteed the lower incomes get hit worse. IMO. Why? It’s a consumption tax and it HAS to bring in the same amounts as the income tax. Does Larry’s plan shift the ratio from lower to higher incomes? Only if the rich buy luxury items every month, but how many boats and Ferrari’s can you buy each month? Guaranteed no matter what the tax scheme that at the end of the month, the lower incomes have a much smaller percentage of discretionary dollars as the rich. IOW — the poor must spend 80%, have 20% to play with. And the rich would be the converse, only must spend 20% but have 80% to play with, much of which gets invested, not taxable in Larry-world. Guaranteed that lower incomes spend a much larger percentage of their income each month than the rich. Larry’s concept is you’re taxed based on your consumption, but the poor consume more of their income just to survive than the rich and the rich DON’T have to spend anything beyond the small percentage of their income they need to spend to survive. No amount of progression, excise, or excused essential items will cover that gap. Pretty sure of that but no way to know without further details on Larry’s plan.

          It is a nice idea, but not easily workable.