IRS Can Revoke Passports

The IRS is not only inefficient, it is ruthless and calculating. Prepare to go through the IRS to leave the country!

July 30, 2018

By: Bobby Casey, Managing Director GWP

IRS Revoke Passport TaxesThe IRS is the collections agency of Congress. Whereas in MOST cases you owe someone money for goods, services, or because you deliberately took out a loan; in the case of the US Government, you owe money for simply being productive.

So, in addition to the US being $21 trillion in debt, individuals are also in debt the moment they earn a dollar.

The irony of the IRS chasing down private citizens to pay their “fair share” while the US is $21 trillion in debt – 67.5% of which is held by the very taxpayer they are hunting – has not gone unnoticed.

One of the many great follies of government is that it’s NOT run like a profitable business. Every employee is in a “just doing my job” silo, so no one is accountable for the unsustainable consequences of their collective actions.

Border control costs, for example, run in the tens of billions… only to prevent 11 million immigrants from collecting a couple billion in welfare. If it were really about being cost efficient, legislators would end welfare. The argument is that border control is “protecting the country”. If by “country” they mean “welfare state” then sure. But if they think they are protecting people, property, or the economy, they would be dead wrong.

The same goes for tariffs. As the gap between the US and other countries’ tariffs was closing, Trump thought it a good idea to throw a wrench in the works and jack up tariffs. US farmers went from being profitable to collecting a $12 billion taxpayer funded bailout. It’s not about being profitable.

The IRS is no exception. While it is meant to enforce the income taxes leveled by congress, it is NOT required to be efficient – or for that matter very effective – at it. For a third time, the IRS was charged to hire private collections services to obtain unpaid taxes; and for a third time they spent more than they were able to collect. According to the Taxpayer Advocate Service, the IRS spent $20 million for this private collection service, and only managed to generate $6.7 million in revenues out of the $920 million they were supposed to collect.

Lower income individuals were supposed to be exempt from these collections, but instead they targeted people with a median income of $14,365 per year.

So, to recap: Congress spent $20 million to collect $6.7 million. This is American taxpayer dollars HARD at work.

If efficiency, effectiveness, and profitability aren’t the objectives, then what is? Arguably, the endgame is control.

There’s been a lot of focus on immigration enforcement for the purposes of keeping people out. As stated before, the US needs to keep poor people out so as not to further strain the welfare doles. But the protection of the welfare state is a two-way street. You can’t JUST prevent immigration and call the problem solved. You must also prevent emigration.

Stopping poor migrants from getting on food stamps is all well and good, but who will fund everything for everyone else?

Former Congressman, Bob Barr, writes in Townhall:

“[T]he Republican-controlled Congress handed the Internal Revenue Service the power to strip individuals of one of the most important and tangible rights possessed by American citizens – their passports. The Service is now starting to use this hammer.”

This was passed under an infrastructure bill called the “FAST Act” (Fixing America’s Surface Transportation). It seems unrelated until you realize that in order to pay for this ambitious bill, funding solutions were needed: funding solutions such as this IRS provision.

Emigration threatens the largess, albeit the US is one of two nations in the world that can tax its persons (not just citizens) outside their borders. Despite the trope offered by anti-immigration zealots, it’s not the lazy who pack their stuff and haul out. It’s the disenfranchised productive folks who do this; or who I often call “economic refugees”.

You don’t just see it manifesting internationally, you see it domestically. The exodus out of California to lower tax states is just one of many examples. Businesses setting up corporate structures in Wyoming and New Mexico (even though they are not in those states) serves as yet another example.

Being an expat myself, I can easily attest to this. I left before the Great Tax Cut of 2017, but I still have no intention of coming back permanently. My tax obligations are considerably lower by remaining an expatriate, and knowing how American politics work, Trump’s tax cuts (while I applaud them) are not long for this world.

Freedom of movement is a fundamental and natural right; and has been confirmed as such by the SCOTUS. To put discretion of such a right into the hands of such a corrupt agency as the IRS is reprehensible. The FAST Act was passed in 2015… in the wake of discovering the IRS was targeting conservative non-profits.

The IRS was given explicit instruction to NOT target low-income individuals with the private collection services. Did they heed? Nope.

If the IRS can get away with that, imagine what it can do with this!

It starts with passports. Which unto itself is wrong. But what about federal background checks for to get a job, to acquire a firearm, or to adopt a child? Can the IRS hold that up too? If rights can only be suspended through due process, what due process is there prior to the IRS imposing these restraints on American persons?

Is this meant to become the forfeiture laws of civil liberties? A counterpart to the federal forfeiture laws that target physical property?

If this doesn’t alert you to the importance of a second passport, I don’t know what will. It’s easy to laugh at government folly because it’s generally expected. But if there is one thing the government is ruthless about it is enforcement.

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2 thoughts on “IRS Can Revoke Passports”

  1. Border control is not “simply to keep 11 million ILLEGAL ALEINS off a couple billion in welfare” what a misinformation comment. The cost in jobs, healthcare, lost taxes, cost to schools, city county and state programs for legal citizens, is a more accurate statement. It’s billions lost not welfare issues. Illegal persons—not in the US legally—are not welfare recepitents generally.
    Obama’s plan—2015 law passage issue—is not as you allude to Trumps idea. All the obama regeme direction was to take from the people—“you didn’t earn this” “ you didn’t build your business” etc. if you choose to say something tell the truth. I’m not a trump person especially but he has addressed facts. The tariffs have addressed and brought to the table countries that benefit from an unlevel trading point. When enacted—nafta Asian agreements—China Mexico etc wee developing nations—25/30 years ago—those agreements need to be updated. Intellectual properties are being stolen. Your lack of knowledge is clear.
    The IRS are the modern day brown shirts. Clearly—but scare tactics like your suggestions that forfeiture of civil liberties need more than your random idea of “what” may happen. Your article was poorly stated.

    1. The cost in jobs? I think that’s a misinformation statement. They don’t “cost jobs”. If they are more qualified, they EARN jobs. That is literally no different than saying someone moving from CA to TX is “costing” a Texan their job. That’s nonsense.

      And insofar as welfare is concerned, all public funded services are welfare. Let’s not kid ourselves here. Public schools, Medicaid, all those city and county services you alluded to… that’s all welfare. That you don’t sit there and apply for a check doesn’t make it any less a social program. But the migrant pays local taxes, don’t they? They pay fuel tax at the pump. They pay sales tax at the point of sale. If they somehow get a rental property their property taxes are built into the cost of that unit no different than any other American renter. So when you refer to the local draw, it would be misleading to say they don’t pay in, when they pay in as much as any other local does in most cases (except in states that don’t have an income tax).

      I agree, they aren’t generally qualified for federal aid. It would certainly take some creativity on their part to get it.

      I don’t think there was any thing untruthful stated in this post at all. The tariffs aren’t as inequitable as you have portrayed them to be. In fact since 1993, they have been becoming more equitable! You say they need to be updated? But they have been over the past three presidencies leading up to Trump. He made a mountain out of a molehill and quite frankly threw out years of diplomatic work and for what?

      In 1993 the average US tariff was 5.6% while Chinas was 39.1% and the rest of the G7 nations were approximately 6.8%.
      By 2013 (also under Obama), the US dropped to 3.4%, China dropped to 9.6%, and the rest of the G7 nations to roughly 3.7%.

      What are you talking about when you say “those agreements need to be updated”, and what is this unlevel playing field you speak of? Sure, there was some work still left to be done on China, but not so insurmountable that we needed to throw our farmers back into the dark ages! Lack of knowledge seems to be on your part because most of what you are saying are straight off Trump’s teleprompter. These are talking points.

      And to call the probability of further civil liberty infringement a “scare tactic” is naïve. Name ONE instance in American policy where one narrow infringement wasn’t totally exploited to spread elsewhere. For goodness sakes, you have Trump playing the national security card as a reason for leveling tariffs on Canada! This article literally addressed how the IRS couldn’t follow a simple instruction to leave the poor alone. And despite the cost to the taxpayers, they received NO reprimand. But YOU think this article is reaching to assume that soon other civil liberties might wind up on the chopping block?

      The right to travel is a natural right… one that Constitutionally should not be revoked without due process. I’m surprised that you think this sort of thing is inherently contained or restrained in some way. The surveillance state alone should give you some indication of how wildly out of control government can get when any margin of power is assumed. It’s not a random idea… if the government is already looking for ways to restrict gun ownership… if the government already declared the zone 100 miles from ANY US border a Constitution free zone… if the government can use “safety” or “security” as a guise for 4th amendment violations. That’s already happening.

      I envy your ability to see this article as hyperbolic and misinformed. I really do. And if ever I wanted someone to be right, you would be that person. But the conclusions or suppositions posited herein are not baseless or without precedent.

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