Fox News’ Brian Kilmeade, a substitute host on “Tucker Carlson Tonight” on Thursday, says there’s a new monster to be afraid of: the Internal Revenue Service.
Kilmeade discussed the roughly $80 billion in funding set aside in the Inflation Reduction Act for the IRS to crack down on wealthy tax avoiders. Although the allocation is expected to help generate over $120 billion, Kilmeade questioned any funding that would “supersize and weaponize” the IRS.
Kilmeade also claimed that President Joe Biden just wanted to hire more IRS agents and that a special agent position required someone to “carry a firearm and be willing to use deadly force, if necessary.”
“A little like James Bond, but instead of hunting down evil maniacs, these agents hunt down and kill middle-class taxpayers that don’t pay enough?” Kilmeade asked. “It’s Joe Biden’s new army.”
Brian Kilmeade just said that the IRS is "Joe Biden's new army" that will "hunt down and kill middle class taxpayers that don't pay enough" pic.twitter.com/8jvLf9zOXo
— Kat Abu (@abughazalehkat) August 12, 2022
Kilmeade’s spiel over the IRS came as Republicans, including Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), claimed “87,000” new tax collectors were “coming for YOU.” That figure came from a 2021 report that estimated funding could go toward hiring roughly 87,000 IRS employees.
A Treasury Department official said the funding, which is meant to aid IRS enforcement for 10 years, would cover a wide range of positions, including auditors who would crack down on “corporate and high-income tax evaders,” Time reported.
On Wednesday, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen sent a letter to IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig urging the agency not to use any of the new funding to increase audits of Americans making less than $400,000 a year, CNN reported.
This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.