Critics Aren’t Buying Biden’s Pledge That Americans Earning Under $400,000 Won’t Pay a ‘Penny More’ in Taxes


President Joe Biden said after signing the Inflation Reduction Act that no Americans making under $400,000 per year will pay more taxes despite the bill giving the IRS a massive cash injection for enforcement, prompting a flurry of criticism arguing that Biden’s pledge holds no water and that the tax agency will squeeze middle-income households harder.

Biden said at an Aug. 16 signing ceremony at the White House that the bill will be one of the “most significant laws in our history” and that households earning less than $400,000 per year will “not pay a penny more” in federal taxes.

But skepticism runs deep regarding Biden’s claim, especially among Republicans.

“Today, amidst record inflation and after entering a recession, Joe Biden signed a bill which: continues reckless spending, raises your taxes, expands IRS audits, fails to tackle inflation,” Rep. Nancy Mace (R-S. C.) said in a statement, adding that “Biden pinky promises” the Inflation Reduction Act won’t have any of the impacts she listed, adding, “but who still believes his PR spin?”

Democrats argued during a debate last week on the House floor that the Inflation Reduction Act would bring much-needed relief for soaring prices by lowering costs for American households.

Later, following passage of the bill, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N. Y.) said in a statement that “Democrats got it done!” and “showed we can deliver real change that matters to everyday Americans.”

Schumer argued that the measure “will lower costs for middle-class families, close tax loopholes for the rich and big corporations, take the most significant action ever to fight the climate crisis, and create good-paying jobs.”

Republicans, none of whom supported the reportedly $740 billion bill, have panned the measure as inflationary.

“Democrats robbed Americans last year by spending our economy into record inflation. This year, their solution is to do it a second time. The partisan bill President Biden signed into law today means higher taxes, higher energy bills, and aggressive IRS audits,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said in a statement reacting to Biden signing the measure into law.

Critics have also sounded the alarm over the bill’s provisions that bolster the IRS with nearly $46 billion in additional funding for enforcement, including for hiring more auditors. While the bill doesn’t have specific hiring targets, Republicans have speculated that the money would be used to hire tens of thousands of IRS agents while arguing that their enforcement efforts would target ordinary Americans.

“Today, Biden signed a bill to raise taxes during a recession and unleash 87,000 new IRS agents to audit more Americans like you,” said Chad Gilmartin, deputy spokesman for House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), in a statement.

McCarthy earlier expressed a similar view, saying in a statement that, “Democrats in Washington plan to hire an army of 87,000 IRS agents” who would go after middle- and lower-income Americans.

A Treasury Department report from May 2021 (pdf) estimated that an investment roughly the size of the one in the Inflation Reduction Act would enable the IRS to hire around 87,000 employees in a range of posts by 2031.

Despite the flurry of critical claims that the Democrat-backed inflation bill will hit Americans earning less than $400,000 per year with more IRS audits, Biden administration officials insist this is not the case.... (Read more)

Submitted 38 days ago

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