Biden Administration Is Gaslighting Americans on Economy, IRS | Eastern North Carolina Now | Press Secretary says there is 0% inflation, while Treasure Secretary denies auditing will increase with new IRS funding

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    Publisher's Note: This post appears here courtesy of the John Locke Foundation. The author of this post is Brittany Raymer.

    While President Joe Biden is on vacation in South Carolina with his family, his administration continues gaslighting Americans about the country's troubling economic situation. From denying the continuing high inflation and the likelihood for higher taxes to the possibility that Americans will face IRS auditing in greater numbers than ever before, the nation's policy leaders seem content to ignore serious problems and happy talk their way through various crises.

    On Wednesday, Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre made a new announcement, which many thought had Orwellian vibes.

    "We just received news that our economy had 0% inflation in July. While the price of some things went up, the price of others, like gas, clothing, and more, dropped," she tweeted.

    That not entirely true though.

    Sure, the rate of inflation did not increase between June and July, but it's still at a 40-year high of 8.5% compared to the year before, which is how inflation is truly calculated. The price of gas also decreased, a trend based on changes in driving habits and not increased supply, but the cost of food still went up.

    Jean-Pierre was under fire a month ago for stating that the country is "stronger economically than we have been in history," which doesn't sit well with most Americans who are seeing their savings deplete, incomes stretched thin and a sense of dread every time they pull into a gas station.

    It seems like the administration is always content to pull out one good piece of information out of a mostly negative report and portray it as a sign of overall success.

    The other great concern is how the "Inflation Reduction Act" might increase taxes and possibility contribute to more inflation and economic instability.

    Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform, expressed his frustration to Fox News over the recently passed legislation.

    "This all hits middle-income Americans," he said. "The president knows that; he lied."

    Preston Brashers, senior tax policy analyst at the Heritage Foundation, also acknowledged the reality that though the new taxes are supposed to only impact the top wage earners, it'll be felt across the board.

    "Basically, what they're doing, they're applying these taxes and they're not specifically hitting lower-income people. What they're doing is they're applying general taxes across the whole economy, and so everyone's going to be caught up in it," he told The Epoch Times.

    "These are gonna be taxes that are just kind of economy-wide."

    In addition to tax increase, the new funding for the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) will probably result in more auditing, though Janet Yellen tried to deny that with some careful word choices in a letter to IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig.

    "I direct that any additional resources - including any new personnel or auditors that are hired - shall not be used to increase the share of small business or households below the $400,000 threshold that are audited relative to historical levels," she wrote. "This means that, contrary to the misinformation from opponents of this legislation, small business or households earning $400,000 per year or less will not see an increase in the chances that they are audited."

    But this "historical levels" bit is misleading, as the audit rate has fallen by 75% between 2010 and 2019 for those making between $25,000 to $200,000.

    John Koskienen explained in an interview with PBS: "The IRS won't be starting from scratch. It has a lot of plans in place to improve taxpayer service, to modernize its information technology systems, and to catch up in its enforcement. The audit rate is down by over 50 percent. So that means a lot of people who should be audited, who are cutting corners or even cheating, are getting away with it because there aren't enough revenue officers and revenue agents."

    But how many law-abiding Americans will be caught up in this great "enforcement" efforts? How are small businesses already struggling economically going to manage an audit and greater tax scrutiny, when profit margins have already been depleted? And will the IRS be weaponized against conservative groups yet again?
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