‘God Help Us’: Lindsey Graham Blasts Plan To Add 87,000 New IRS Agents, Vows To Redirect Funding To The Border
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham, R-SC, speaks during a press conference on US Attorney General William Barr's summary of the Mueller report at the US Capitol in Washington, DC on March 25, 2019.
MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images

Republican South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham blasted the provision in the so-called “Inflation Reduction Act” that would allow the IRS to hire up to 87,000 more agents.

At a press conference with South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster Tuesday, Graham assailed the provision to hire up to 87,000 new IRS agents over 10 years, more than doubling the size of the tax collection agency. Graham said that those agents would inevitably target middle-class Americans, since upper-class people have the money to afford accountants and lawyers that most people do not. Graham also vowed to fight against IRS expansion by rescinding the annual spending for the IRS and redirecting it to the southern border.

“The one that really has gotten a lot of attention is that, for some reason, somehow, every Democrat in Washington and the United States Senate believes it’s a good thing to hire 87,000 new IRS agents to come after you and your taxes,” Graham said. “This is supposed to be for the rich, but let me tell you, the rich have a bunch of lawyers and accountants. Well over half of all the audits conducted in the United States today are conducted on people who make less than $75,000 [a year].”

“I couldn’t believe it when I read it,” Graham continued. “They’re talking about expanding the IRS two and a half times.” Graham noted that the number of new IRS agents would be enough to completely fill either Williams-Brice Stadium, the University of South Carolina’s football stadium, or “Death Valley,” Clemson University’s football stadium. “So when you go to the football games this fall, just imagine everybody to your left and right being IRS agents.”

“Look at how it changes the [agency],” Graham went on. “[There are] 78,000 current employees, we’re gonna add 87,00 new ones in the next ten years. [I] wonder what they will be up to. If you think the federal government is out of control now, God help us when you get 87,000 new IRS agents who are looking under every rock and stone to get money out of your pocket. This is bigger than the British army. So, my belief is that we probably need a bigger British army and a smaller IRS.”

Graham then promised to fight the implementation of funding, and redirect that funding toward hiring more border patrol agents. “Governor, I’m gonna fight this tooth and nail,” he said, looking to McMaster. “This plan — of, I think it’s $60 billion additional funding for IRS — is implemented over a 10 year period. Every year, I’m gonna try to rescind the spending for the IRS and send it to the border, where we actually need border patrol agents. We have 18,000 border patrol agents. I’d like to see a lot more border patrol agents and less IRS agents.”

Graham closed his remarks by saying that the bill would harm the economy of South Carolina and deepen the recession the U.S. economy is currently in. He called the bill a “power grab in the name of climate change,” and “a tax and spend bill at a time we can least afford it.” He urged Democrats in the House to vote down the bill.

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