In the news everyday now, we are hearing about the 87,000 new IRS agents being hired by the federal government. At base level, this seems to be a bit egregious and threatening. Let’s be honest, there has never been a human being in the history of this country who has received a letter from the IRS and looked at that envelope and smiled. Never. Although some good news may be hidden within, it always seems to portend the end of someone’s financial world. Time, money, audits, you name it. It is sort of like a pilot getting a letter from the FAA.
But I am going to be totally honest with you. When I first heard the number, I just shook my head. But as I did a little more research, it was not as ominous as it first appeared. Well, at least not this huge number. The reality is that the IRS is expecting to have some 50,000 or so retirements and these will replace those leaving. At the same time however, this new influx of personnel will still raise the total of IRS personnel to over 110,000 (80,411 IRS employees as of 2012 - c. 50,000 planned retires + 87,000 new hires = 110,000+). For a comparison as seen of Fox News, in terms of staffers, not total personnel, the Department of Defense has 27,000, the State Department has 23,000, the FBI has 35,000 and Customs and Border Protection has 60,000. This is still pretty significant for the IRS.
I do have one short IRS story. Several years ago, I owed taxes and had to pay back. Not a big deal, I had planned for it during the year. I set up a payment plan with the IRS. The first month, I got a letter saying they did not receive my payment. Okay, the system had not caught up yet. Sent a payment sans late fee. For the next two months, the exact same thing. Finally, I got tired of this insanity, made an appointment and went to the IRS office here in Montgomery. I sat down with all my paperwork and asked what the deal was. I set up an automatic withdrawal from my checking account but for three months, I kept getting hit with a late fee for no payment. I place the paperwork in front of the lady’s face. Her answer?
My paperwork was run through one of their Atlanta offices. It is the responsibility of a person in that office, who handles my account, to physically input my information into the computer EVERY SINGLE MONTH to make the transaction go through. This person clearly did not do that. Excuse me? I said, look. I buy a car. I pay with automatic payments. The computer does what it does and done. But at the IRS, you have people supposedly inputting this information monthly and when they don’t, the IRS happily sends out evil letters. Remember what I said earlier about getting letters from the IRS. So, I took out my checkbook, paid the full amount (without the late fees thank you very much), grabbed my PIF receipt and left. My point? More staffers? How about updating your automation and your website to come into the 21st Century instead.
But as I looked into the addition of 87,000 agents, there were certainly several more disturbing aspects above and beyond the total numbers. When this was first announced, you could go to the IRS website and look at the job description. It said, “As a Special Agent you will combine your accounting skills with law enforcement skills to investigate financial crimes. Special Agents are duly sworn law enforcement officers who are trained to “follow the money.” No matter what the source, all income earned, both legal and illegal, has the potential of becoming involved in crimes which fall within the investigative jurisdiction of the IRS Criminal Investigation. Because of the expertise required to conduct these complex financial investigations, IRS Special Agents are considered the premier financial investigators for the Federal government.”
Nothing too strange here, but in a follow-on paragraph, one that has since been removed as of this writing, goes on to further state, “Special Agent ‘major duties,’ which include ‘[carrying] a firearm and [being] willing to use deadly force, if necessary.’ Applicants for the Special Agent position must also ‘be willing and able to participate in arrests, execution of search warrants, and other dangerous assignments.’
Look, I am an ex-military guy and LEO, “Use of Deadly Force Authorized” has been a part of my entire adult life. I get it. Absolutely and without any doubts. The IRS? I sense a bit of a disconnect here. In June of this year, Breitbart News reported on Rep. Matt Gaetz’s (R-FL) concerns over the IRS’s purchase of approximately $700,000 of ammunition “between March and June 1” of this year. Forbes reported that traditionally administrative agencies spent more than $20 million on weapons and ammunition. Of four notable examples, “the 2,300 Special Agents at the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) are allowed to carry AR-15’s, P90 tactical rifles and other heavy weaponry.” Recently, the IRS armed up with $1.2 million in new ammunition. This was in addition to the $11 million procurement of guns, ammunition’ and military-style equipment procured between 2006-2014. This Forbes article is a very good read and I highly recommend it.
Forbes also mentions The Small Business Administration (SBA) spent tens of thousands of taxpayer dollars to load its gun locker with Glocks last year and that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service modified their Glocks with silencers. Silencers??? Today, the VA has 3,700 officers, armed with millions of dollars’ worth of guns and ammunition including AR-15's, Sig Sauer handguns, and semi-automatic pistols. In 1996, they had zero enforcement officers. Lastly, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) agents carry the same sophisticated weapons platforms used by our Special Forces military warriors. The HHS gun locker is housed in a new “National Training Operations Center” – a facility at an undisclosed location within the DC beltway. You will get to see so many agencies that have been and are continuing to arm themselves. But to what end?
Way back in 2013, I wrote a Robservation titled, “I Am Not a Conspiracy Theorist.” I am not. But as a historian, I most certainly like to look at information sitting in front of me and then try to analyze what I am reading and then apply this to some historical context. In this Robservation, I quoted then President Barak Obama who said, “We cannot continue to rely on our military in order to achieve the national security objectives we’ve set. We’ve got to have a civilian national security force that’s just as powerful, just as strong, just as well funded.” Wh-wh-what?? His words, not mine. In Uncle Adolf’s manifesto, Mein Kampf, he wrote, “On purely practical grounds it is impossible to build up a national defence organization by means of private associations, unless the State makes an enormous contribution to it.”
And before any of you think I am comparing President Obama to Uncle Adolf, don’t go there, please. There is NO comparison between the two and I am NOT making one so don’t go Democrat on me with it. I am, however, willing to say that the idea of a national police force on par with the military is a very National Socialist idea. Arming these organizations to the teeth is not necessarily a good thing. I saw a meme the other day that said, “Instead of asking me why I should be able to own an AR-15, you should ask yourself why the IRS is arming themselves with them. Although the IRS is certainly not a planned part of any national police force, and I am not making that suggestion, but arming them to the teeth? Why? They are nevertheless part of an apparent trend of arming government agencies. We have many other organizations out there better suited for this law enforcement responsibility.
To end this Robservation, I am going to conclude with my final paragraph written nine years ago. It still holds true today. “I am not willing to cry ‘helter, skelter – the sky is falling’ but all I want to do is point out that there are those out there, who for whatever reason, want significant change in our country; significant control. Change, folks, is not always a good thing. I believe a desired doctrine of having a civilian police force stronger than our military is a dangerous precedent and history I believe clearly backs this up. When any society has such a force whose goals are not primarily wars abroad but the controlling of its own citizens within, democratic principles and values become hostage to ungodly ideals. I am also not saying that this is the direction we are necessarily going, but look at the ‘doctrine’ previously espoused by some in our country, look at the facts that are out there and then make a decision for yourself.”