Biden, Dems want IRS spying on Americans, their bank accounts

By Representatives Kevin Hern and Ashley Hinson for Fox News

Few issues have inspired the amount of outrage quite like the Democrats’ latest proposal allowing the IRS to spy on Americans’ bank accounts.  

Their plot would require banks to report transactional data to the IRS on individual bank accounts. We hear about it from our constituents daily now – they’re scared, and rightfully so.  

This isn’t just a fearmongering talking point, it’s a legitimate policy proposal.  

What many people don’t know is that Democrats laid the groundwork for this proposal in one of their spending bills earlier this year. The American Rescue Plan Act included a provision that forced enhanced reporting to the IRS for $600 in transactions in a year for goods and services paid through apps like Venmo and PayPal. So, if a family pays their kids’ babysitter over Venmo or someone sells $600 worth of stuff online, the IRS would know. 

They took the win and ran with it. 

Next, Democrats floated the idea of forcing banks to report data on any bank accounts with transactions larger than $600. For most Americans, that is monthly home and utility bills, or even just a big grocery run. That dollar amount fluctuated over the last month, changing temporarily to $10,000 inflows and outflows over the course of a year. This change is just hiding the ball – if a family makes over $10,000 a year, as nearly all Americans do, they would be reported to the IRS. 

Following an outcry from Americans, our Democratic colleagues were forced to move this proposal in and out of their reconciliation framework many times over recent months. But let’s be clear: no matter what form this surveillance policy takes – in this or any bill in the future – any encroachment on your right to privacy is completely unacceptable.  

Democrats claim these surveillance tactics are meant to track down those in the top 1% who avoid their taxes – that’s just not true. We believe everyone should pay the taxes they legitimately owe. This proposal would embolden the IRS to target working Americans by forcing community banks and credit unions to turn over personal information at a granular level.   

Financial institutions of all sizes are as opposed to this as are taxpayers. We’ve heard from community banks and credit unions – who operate to give families, farmers and small businesses access to credit they need to succeed – that this could force them to shut their doors for good. Not to mention, they don’t want to participate in this surveillance scheme targeting members of the community they have long served.  

Supporters of this policy argue that Americans shouldn’t fear this proposal if they have nothing to hide. But that’s not how America works; just because you have nothing to hide doesn’t mean the federal government deserves to look.  

Our constituents are rightly outraged about the IRS snooping, of course, but what keeps them up at night is: "What’s next?" 

No one has the stomach for this kind of surveillance, least of all your local bank; it’s simply un-American.  

Americans have watched as President Biden and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., have pushed for a systematic expansion of government into every part of our lives. Their answer to everything seems to be more government or another federal program – all paid for by you. 

Our constituents are rightly outraged about the IRS snooping, of course, but what keeps them up at night is: "What’s next?" When you give up autonomy, bit by bit, it becomes irreversible. Sooner or later, we’ll be asking for permission to act and thanking the government for allowing us to do so.  

Any infringement on your right to privacy is unacceptable and sets a dangerous precedent. If Democrats get away with this proposal today, who is to stop them from going even further when the government needs to increase revenues again next year, in 10 years, or 50 years down the road?  

The federal government shouldn’t rifle through your bank account like they’re looking for spare change in the couch cushions. To pay for their radical agenda, Democrats are going to need trillions of that spare change, and they’ll turn over every cushion until they find it.  

We’ll be watching like hawks to ensure the IRS isn’t weaponized against working Americans – in this proposal or in the future.  

U.S. Rep. Ashley Hinson, a Republican, represents Iowa's 1st District.

U.S. Rep. Kevin Hern, a Republican, represents Oklahoma's 1st District.