American People See Through the Deluge of New Audits

Yesterday, Rep. Jodey Arrington (TX-19) participated in a House Ways and Means Committee hearing where he questioned U.S. Commissioner Daniel Werfel about the accountability and transparency of the IRS.

Excerpt from Questioning:

Arrington: Commissioner, you can imagine how concerned people are with your past practice if that's any prediction of future behavior. They see a deluge of new audits on working people and small businesses, and they're having to hear the line, “We're from the government. We're here to help and you can trust us.” Listen, I'm not questioning your commitment or integrity. But I think too often we take the American people for fools, and that they are just going on their past experiences and the data. So, I certainly hope that the commitment is genuine, and that the fulfillment of that commitment is consistent with what you're saying because I find that unacceptable. And if you're going to focus on the more complicated and the high-net-worth individuals, I don't see any justification for the eight billion a year and then the President's budget asking for a 15 more percent increase.

Now, I'm not asking for you to respond to that. If I may, let me jump to another question seemingly a little unrelated to that one, but another concern. I was at the Rules Committee talking matters of budget and debt ceiling. But the issue of the IRS, your agency, came up and firearms and the idea that in some of your job listings it says that people who are looking to be employed should be “willing to use deadly force.” There was an article in The New York Post that was cited in this hearing that stated that the IRS had almost 5000 guns: 3282 handguns, 600 plus shotguns, 539 rifles, 15 fully automatic weapons, anyway, big cache of weapons. Is that true or not true? With no sort of commentary or a value judgment – is it true?

Werfel: I'm not going to make a value judgment. I'm just going to make sure that I point out that our Criminal Investigation Division is where we work to reduce and engage in tax fraud and acute areas of tax evasion where in order to enforce, we're putting federal employees' life in danger. And therefore a need to arm this is less than 3% of the IRS. It's a small part of the overall operation.

Arrington: Just can you confirm that?

Werfel: I can get back to you. I don't know the specifics on the data that you provide, but I certainly can get back to you.


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