This Takes Some Kind of Audacity: Biden Sends Americans IRS Letter About Relief Payment

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Remember last year when President Donald Trump sent a letter notifying Americans about their “Economic Impact Payment?” How some on the left and in media freaked out that he did that? How dare he claim credit for something he advocated and signed into law!

From USA Today:

A former taxpayer advocate at the Internal Revenue Service called the letter “unbelievable” and said it makes the agency “look like it is the handmaiden of one administration and one party.”

“This will harm the IRS and its ability to appear nonpolitical and nonpartisan,” said Nina Olson, executive director of the Center for Taxpayer Rights. “If I were there, I would be strongly advocating against this.”

Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) also threw a fit.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said Trump “unfortunately appears to see the pandemic as just another opportunity to promote his own political interests.”

Schumer said he is planning to file legislation that would prohibit the use of any taxpayer funds “for any publicity or promotional activity that includes the names, likeness, or signature” of Trump or Vice President Mike Pence.

Well, guess who just sent out a very similar letter, also from the IRS? You got it: Joe Biden.

Newsweek’s Elizabeth Crisp notes the Biden folks said they weren’t going to do it, but did it anyway.

Can we now expect the same stories in media, noting the criticism of Biden’s letter? This Twitter user asked USA Today if he would be seeing the same story with the same criticisms that they ran on the Trump letter.

I’m just taking a wild guess that we wouldn’t be seeing those stories. In fact, I’ll wager we don’t hear anything negative at all about this. If anything, it will be how caring Biden is that he sent a letter.

Bottom line? Tucked away in the USA Today story, they note there was a requirement in the bill Trump signed that called for a letter to go out notifying people of the payment. So that, if there were any questions/concerns/mistakes, Americans would have that letter as a record to reference. So, it wasn’t just an idle letter to promote Trump. There’s the same requirement in latest Act with which the Biden team has to comply, as CNN notes. But Biden’s letter wouldn’t get the same criticism. There was no criticism of Biden in the CNN story yesterday, reporting about the checks; indeed there was only criticism of Trump.

Now, first thing I’d say about the letter: I get that it’s an IRS payment, but seriously, IRS letters give people heart attacks, with people’s first thought that they’re in trouble.

But do you notice something else in there?

Here’s what Biden claims in his letter:

“A key part of the American Rescue Plan is direct payments of $1,400 per person for most American households. With the Direct Payment from December, this brings the total relief payment up to $2,000. This fulfills a promise I made to you, and will help get millions of Americans through this crisis.”

Oh, no, he just didn’t! He just took credit for money that passed under Trump.

Also, prior to the election, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi balked at the passage of a smaller bill that Republicans would have agreed to. She then was cool with it after the election. Why? She admitted “that’s OK now because we have a new president.” So, it takes some chutzpah to take credit for something that should have been passed before, under Trump.

Not to mention that after the $600 payment began going out at the end of December, Biden and the Democrats were still claiming they would be sending out $2,000 checks, if you would vote for their candidates in Georgia. On the eve of the Georgia run-off, Biden, Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock made it all about the check in their closing argument to voters. All said if you voted for Democrats you would get a $2,000 check. So, people understood that to mean $2,000, on top of the $600 that was already going out, for which Trump was responsible.

From NBC:

“Their election will put an end to the block in Washington on the $2,000 stimulus check,” Biden said. “If you send Sen. Perdue and Loeffler back to Washington, those checks will never get there. It’s just that simple. The power is literally in your hands.”

Ossoff and Warnock are both running aggressively on a promise for $2,000 checks.

So if you voted for them because of the check, you then got a bait-and-switch on the amount, with them later saying, whoops, we really just meant $1,400 additionally. This “fulfills a promise I made to you?” Not even close.