Live from Music Row Friday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – host Leahy welcomed to the newsmaker line Jenny Beth Martin, co-founder of the Tea Party Patriots and columnist for The Washington Times, to voice deep concerns with the IRS’s intent on auditing middle-class Americans and violating the rights and privacy of citizens.
Leahy: We are joined on our newsmaker line right now by my very good friend for now about 13 years, Jenny Beth Martin, the honorary chairman of Tea Party Patriots Action and one of the founders of the Tea Party Movement.
Jenny Beth, I and a couple of dozen other people were on the call that launched the Tea Party Movement on February 20th, one day after the famous Rick Santelli rant. Jenny Beth, you and the Tea Party Patriots had an unpleasant encounter with the IRS back in 2013.
Now, with this new bill signed by the legal but not legitimate President of the United States, Joe Biden, there is going to be 87,000 new IRS agents. What could possibly go wrong, Jenny Beth?
Martin: I think what could possibly go wrong is so many things, it’s not even funny. You are right, Michael. The Tea Party Patriots had a very unpleasant encounter with the IRS. It began as soon as we started applying for nonprofit status in 2010 and continued well all the way to 2014.
I think actually we applied for nonprofit status and the IRS targeted groups with Tea Party and Patriots in their name. They asked all sorts of questions well beyond what an audit would do, questions about the contents of speeches and back-end access to our website, and names of all of our donors, even donors they were not legally entitled to have.
And eventually, it was revealed that they were targeting our group as well as over 100 other groups around the country. And then it took another year from the time it was revealed that they actually were targeting us for us to receive our nonprofit status.
And we received the nonprofit status by phone call to our attorneys the day before I testified before Congress. They just played all sorts of games.
This new bill with 87,000 new IRS agents. Congressman Kevin Brady, the ranking minority member of the Ways and Means Committee, says that he estimates there’ll be 1.2 million more audits in America every year.
And these audits will happen to people who are middle-class Americans, and they’ll go through very much similar things to what Tea Party Patriots went through. Ours was beyond a normal audit.
Audits are very time-consuming. They’re very stressful. They cost money because usually, you wind up hiring an accountant to handle the audit.
And it is not a fun process for anyone, especially if the goal of a bill seems to be to actually just increase more audits rather than to do with the Democrats’ claim, which is to provide better service.
Leahy: Jenny Beth, isn’t this just another illustration of the desire of the deep state and Joe Biden and the Democrats to centralize power and control average Americans?
Martin: Yes, I think that you’re exactly right about that. And the IRS exerts so much power and control, you know that when they ask you a question, you are going to respond because if you don’t, they can garnish wages, they can levy bank accounts, can seize property, and put liens on property.
So you respond and you do what they want you to do. And I think you’re exactly right. It’s just another example of how this administration and the radical leftists want a centralized power to control people around the country.
And that will happen, especially if they have access to more and more banking information of people and just watching everything that we do.
Leahy: Is that access to banking information that you talk about an element of this bill or is this something or this now law or is this something that the IRS has just been adding to their capabilities bit by bit over time?
Martin: As they audit you, the IRS can go in and seize money out of your bank account. So that part isn’t new. They’ve always been able to do that. I suppose levy may be the better term there.
But they’ve always been able to go through and pull money from bank accounts if they feel like you owe them money and they’re not getting their money.
But with the audits, they’re going to look at every single transaction that you have, not just what you’re supposed to file and report to them, whether it’s your income or your deductions, but they want to know how every single dollar was spent.
Not just how much money you made, but how you spent all of your money. And I think that is what I was talking about more specifically. I do know Michael, and you’ll have to forgive me because I don’t remember the exact detail on this of helping my kids get moved back into college for their sophomore year this week.
So I haven’t stayed completely up to date on everything. But I do know they now will be reporting transactions like Venmo transactions or other online transactions, I believe, if they total over $500.
And it’s possible that you may receive more money than that or give more money than that in Zelle or Venmo type transactions, just as reimbursements to people from time to time.
Leahy: Crom Carmichael is in studio. He has a question for you.
Carmichael: Jenny Beth I think the point that you’re making, we need to make sure I want to make sure that I understand it. You’re saying if it totals more than $500, not if each individual transaction is $500. Is that correct?
Martin: That’s what I believe. But again, I may be wrong, so I just understand that it’s what I think I read, but I could be wrong on that. I have to go follow up. The bigger point is they want more access to more information, and they want that information because they want to control us.
And that is not how a free people is supposed to live. We’re not supposed to earn our freedom after they’ve looked at all of our transactions and decide whether we’re allowed to spend our money or not. We are free, and the government is supposed to exist to protect our freedoms.
Carmichael: It seems to me that if they have access to that level of detail, that seems to me, just off the top of my head to be a violation of the Fourth Amendment, where you have your privacy on your papers and all these different things.
And I would imagine that somebody along the way will sue on the question of whether or not the government having access to that level of detail is in violation of the Fourth Amendment.
And I certainly hope somebody does take that to court because that needs to be looked at. Because I agree with you. When you consider that these are just government people who get to look into everything that you’re doing in your life, that’s not a free society.
Listen to the interview:
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