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Political Smell Test: Clint Didier claims health reform bill purchase 3,000 shotguns for IRS

Post by Peter Callaghan / The News Tribune on June 16, 2010 at 8:57 am with 10 Comments »
September 23, 2010 3:33 pm

During an interview with TVW at the state Republican convention Saturday, U.S. Senate candidate Clint Didier listed ways Washington residents could resist the federal health care law.

Didier, a farmer and high school football coach from Eltopia, told TVW’s Niki Reading that people could support state Attorney General Rob McKenna’s lawsuit against the law, replace the members of Congress who supported it and refuse to take part in the program.

Here’s the exchange that occurs at the six minute mark of the interview (the ellipses don’t indicate that words have been removed, only that the speakers are interrupted or change direction):

Didier: “The third thing right now that we have is we the people tell the federal government we’re not participating. Now put us all in prison and find out where you’re going to get the money to run this massive government that you’ve created.”

Reading: “So you mean just not buy …

CD: “Just don’t participate, cause they said…and they’ve already bought 3,000 military grade shotguns in this health care bill to the IRS so they can arrest the ones who don’t pay.”

NR: “I thought it would be a fine.”

CD: “Why are they buying shotguns, military grade shotguns?”

NR: “I haven’t heard that.”

CD: “It’s in the bill. You gotta start looking at what they’re putting…and what did we hear from our great speaker of the House? Well just pass it and then we’ll found out what’s in it. Well how about you guys start reading the bills.”

It seems Didier’s statement is based on a combination of claims made during and after passage of the bill. For example, according to an analysis by FactCheck.org, U.S. Rep. Ron Paul said in an interview that the bill called for the hiring of “16,500 ARMED bureaucrats coming to make this program work.”

And Nevada Sen. John Ensign said this on the floor on March 25: “And 16,500 new IRS agents are going to be required to be hired because of the health care reform bill. Do we want IRS agents showing up at people’s houses, not only to audit them because of their taxes but because now they are not paying an individual mandate fine?”

FactCheck thinks the 16,500 numbers come out of a partisan extrapolation of an IRS estimate that implementing the tax-related aspects of the law could cost between $5 billion and $10 billion over 10 years. The House GOP staff took the high figure and decided that it would pay for 16,500 IRS employees. That would be the case only if all the money went for staff and none for office space, desks, computers etc.

Here’s what FactCheck concluded:

. None of those claims is true.

The IRS’ main job under the new law isn’t to enforce penalties. Its first task is to inform many small-business owners of a new tax credit that the new law grants them — starting this year — which will pay up to 35 percent of the employer’s contribution toward their workers’ health insurance. And in 2014 the IRS will also be administering additional subsidies — in the form of refundable tax credits — to help millions of low- and middle-income individuals buy health insurance.

The law does make individuals subject to a tax, starting in 2014, if they fail to obtain health insurance coverage. But IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman testified before a hearing of the House Ways and Means Committee March 25 that the IRS won’t be auditing individuals to certify that they have obtained health insurance.

He said insurance companies will issue forms certifying that individuals have coverage that meets the federal mandate, similar to a form that lenders use to verify the amount of interest someone has paid on their home mortgage. “We expect to get a simple form, that we won’t look behind, that says this person has acceptable health coverage,” Shulman said. “So there’s not going to be any discussions about health coverage with an IRS employee.”

In any case, the bill signed into law (on page 131) specifically prohibits the IRS from using the liens and levies commonly used to collect money owed by delinquent taxpayers, and rules out any criminal penalties for individuals who refuse to pay the tax or those who don’t obtain coverage. That doesn’t leave a lot for IRS enforcers to do.

More recently, some conservative bloggers found a purchase order on a federal procurement site. It asked for proposals to sell the IRS 60 shotguns. Here is that
purchase order

Some of the bloggers, including this gun owners blog, say this would be the first time revenue agents are armed. That’s not true either. Others have suspected that it is tied to enforcement of the health care reform by the aforementioned “armed bureaucrats.”

Again, from FactCheck:

In fact, the only IRS employees who are authorized to carry firearms are “special agents,” who are sworn law enforcement officers who work on criminal cases. As of last year there were only 2,725 of those, making up just under 3 percent of all IRS employees. So even if thousands of new IRS workers were actually hired, very few of them, if any, would be “armed bureaucrats.”

In fact, as previously mentioned, the bill signed into law specifically waives any criminal penalties for individuals who refuse to obtain coverage and also refuse to pay the tax. It says (on page 131): “In the case of any failure by a taxpayer to timely pay any penalty imposed by this section, such taxpayer shall not be subject to any criminal prosecution or penalty with respect to such failure.”

So even though Didier’s claim is not true, it is conceivable that it could have emerged from a series of widely distributed misstatements about the law – that it hires thousands of new agents, that they would be armed, that they would come after citizens who don’t abide by the law. Toss in two truths – that the IRS has somewhere in the neighborhood of 3,000 special agents and that the IRS is in the market for shotguns – and the false story comes together.

Note: Some conservatives accuse FactCheck.org of liberal bias. I have found it to be a good source of information, especially to check the truth of political claims.

Leave a comment Comments → 10
  1. Another good reason to vote out comander and thief,s cronnies whos seats are up this year in November!! I hope AG Mckenna is successful. I also understand that Seattle is taking him to King county court !! If you wish to call any of his offices for those interested in doing so to support ask for comment line and leave a message of support! It takes little time to do so.

  2. If you get the chance, would you ask him about his views on fluoridation? I’m thinking that could be amusing.

  3. layne50, are you saying that we should vote for Republicans because they never tell us the truth and always lie about everything all the time? I don’t get your logic here.

  4. tomwa007 says:

    Dieder only a farmer and high school football coach?

    He is a retired multimillionaire pro football player who seems unable to comprehend what he reads and can only rehash the talking points of the right wing political entertainers.

  5. Good lord, can’t wait to draw a cartoon about this palin-endorsed idi0t!

  6. tubbythetuba says:

    You Liberals crack me up……If the thought of evading taxes and the resulting attention by the IRS doesn’t make your colon seize up, you are not living in the present. If you think the IRS hired 16,000 agents to give away money, you are crazy. When someone comes to arrest you, they do not carry slingshots….. Remember, Katrina victims were disarmed and removed from their property at gunpoint by Gubment Officals. Be Scared, America!

  7. smartmoney says:

    Clint, Now you’ve gone and lost my vote. I really wanted to vote for you and then you jump in lock step with the ‘Party LIne”. What are your personal suggestions for health care reform sir? Damn, I really wanted to vote for you too!

  8. tomwa007 says:

    Sound like tubbythetuba or his water system has something to hide from the IRS.

  9. headedsouth says:

    Tubbytuba should flush before he speaks.
    Ask CD about the Federal farm subsidy checks he has cashed over the years. He also doesnt mind watering his farm with water created by Federal projects. CD, fire your advisorys because if you stay on this path, you might as well hand over your campaign funds to Rossi and go back to growing stuff.

  10. Obviously this article was generated for the liberal mindset. TVW is nothing more then a propaganda tool for Mommy Gregoire and her progressive policies.
    IRS up until Obama changed their mandate was a REPORTING agency to the Department of Treasury. Now they are also a collection agency for so called private insurance policies. Keep drinking the kool-aid you fools and one day you will wake up and wonder what the hell happened with your freedoms. But then again many who follow the progressive movement want control over their lives.

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