Considering that the Republican party, formerly led by Donald Trump, coined the term “fake news” in relation to left-leaning media outlets like CNN, it is ironic that presently, conservatives are the ones who are spreading “fake news” following the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act. While the primary goal of this act is to combat climate change and incentivise Americans to purchase energy-efficient vehicles and appliances, $80 billion of federal funds will also be distributed to the IRS over the next 10 years in order to reduce inflation.
Naturally, Republicans who opposed this bill in the first place were immediately skeptical of why the IRS needed this large sum of money, leading to the circulation of lies by conservative politicians, claiming that Biden is planning on “arming tax auditors.” Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley described a disturbing and outlandish image of auditors on Fox News last week, saying “Are they going to have a strike force that goes in with AK-15s already loaded, ready to shoot some small business person in Iowa with these?” Since one of the primary Republican values involves decentralizing government and lowering taxes, it comes as no surprise that the Biden administration’s plan to hire an additional 87,000 tax collectors for the IRS is alarming to conservative Americans, prompting these lies to spread. Ron Wyden, a Democratic Senator from Oregon, replied to Grassley’s statement saying “It’s unbelievable that we even need to say this, but there are not going to be 87,000 armed IRS agents going door-to-door with assault rifles.”
Disgraced Florida Representative Matt Gaetz, who is a proud Trump supporter, went on Tucker Carlson’s Fox News show and discussed the Inflation Reduction Act, with Carlson asking Gaetz “Why would the IRS need millions of dollars worth of guns and ammo?” This extremely leading and misinformed question led to Gaetz to respond “Well, Joe Biden is raising taxes, disarming Americans, so of course they are arming up the IRS like they are preparing to take Fallujah,” prompting Republicans across the internet to interpret this statement as factual and continue to spread this absurd theory.