EDITOR'S NOTE: To paraphrase Commissioner Gordon from ‘Batman,’ Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) might not be the hero we expected, but he’s the hero we need in 2021. As one of the two Dem holdouts — along with Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) — against the Biden administration’s multi-trillion-dollar Build Back Better Plan, Manchin scored a major victory for personal freedom, beating back the surveillance clause in the bill that would allow the IRS to snoop on bank accounts with more than $600 (later raised to $10,000) in them. Manchin reportedly told Biden, per the AP, “‘Mr. President, I don’t know what happened. This cannot happen. This is screwed up. Do you understand how messed up that is, to think that Uncle Sam is going to be watching? ... and what it does for bankers and this and that?” regarding the plan to spy on the finance of millions of Americans. For now, Manchin has saved Americans from Soviet- or Chinese-style government oversight, but this is obviously a priority for many in the government so the situation bears monitoring.
Score one for freedom and privacy (for now) as Democratic lawmakers have scrapped their plans for a dragnet-style IRS surveillance across Americans' bank accounts.
The original proposal would have required financial institutions to report on any account (be it a checking account, savings account, stock portfolio, etc.) which handled more than $600 in inflows and outflows in a given year, practically implicating every bank account holder.
Bowing to pressure from banks and taxpayers, Democrats have attempted to quell concerns by raising the threshold. Unfortunately, even the raised threshold was still laughably low to accomplish Democrats’ stated purpose of cracking down on wealthy tax cheats.
But, now, that is all gone.. thanks, reportedly, to Senator Manchin (again), as AP reports, Manchin said he told Biden the idea was “screwed up” and that the president concurred.
“I said, ‘Mr. President, I don’t know what happened. This cannot happen. This is screwed up,’” the Democratic senator told listeners at the Economic Club of Washington.
“I said, do you understand how messed up that is, to think that Uncle Sam is going to be watching... and what it does for bankers and this and that?”
“So, I think that one is going to be gone,” the West Virginia Democrat said.
CNBC's Kayla Tausche has more...
NEW: Controversial proposal for banks to report cash flow information to the IRS for accounts with under $10,000 has been removed from the $1.5 trillion spending package after opposition from Senator Manchin – sources (via @kaylatausche) pic.twitter.com/Kl0W7VIACF
— CNBC Now (@CNBCnow) October 27, 2021
As we noted previously, instead of giving the Internal Revenue Service new methods of spying on people, Congress should focus on fixing the agency’s broken systems and processes.
Originally posted on Zero Hedge.