ICYMI: CBS News Calls Out MAGA Tiffany Smiley for IRS Lies

(Seattle, WA) — King 5 News is the latest to call out MAGA Republican Tiffany Smiley for the outright lies that are featured prominently in one of her recent ads against Senator Murray. This is not the first time Smiley’s misleading ads have been debunked: earlier this month, Smiley was featured in a CBS article debunking the oft-repeated MAGA Republican talking point that 87,000 IRS agents are coming after American families; these claims have also been thoroughly debunked by Reuters, the New York Times, the Washington Post, TIME, CNBC, the LA Times, and many other sources.

“Other TV and radio outlets who are getting paid to run ads promoting Tiffany Smiley’s lies, should at least make sure their newsrooms set the record straight on something as blatantly false as an army of IRS agents coming after Washington state families — we’re glad KING5 is recounting the basic facts for its viewers,” said Washington State Democratic Party spokesperson Caitlin Harrington.

Read more from KING 5: Smiley ad about ‘stadium full’ of IRS agents forcing families to pay for law degrees is false

  • Nearly 30 viewers emailed KING 5 to ask us to look into an ad by Tiffany Smiley’s campaign “Smiley for Washington.” Smiley, seen standing with Lumen Field in the background, said, “… I think it’s insane that Joe Biden and Patty Murray are sending a stadium full of new IRS agents to force families making less than $75,000 to pay for someone else’s law degree.” The ad also shows text next to her that reads “87,000 IRS agents to harass the middle class.”…

  • This claim is combining two separate pieces of legislation — the Inflation Reduction Act and the Student Loan Forgiveness Executive Order — and because the language in the ad only references numbers from the Inflation Reduction Act, we can say the claims in the ad are false and lack context.

  • In August, President Joe Biden signed the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 into law. The legislation includes the largest-ever federal effort to combat climate change anD aims to lower the rising costs of goods while paying down the nation’s debt. The bill also includes about $80 billion in funding for the IRS over the next 10 years. About $45.6 billion of that IRS funding will be put toward expenses for IRS tax enforcement services through September 2031, including hiring more employees. But the legislation does not mention that the agency will hire 87,000 new agents specifically tasked with audits, and the U.S. Department of the Treasury says these claims are false.

  • Additionally, the IRS is expecting a large number of employees to leave in the next 10 years and will hire new staff to fill those roles. At least 50,000 staff members will leave or retire from the agency in the next five years alone, according to the Treasury Department. These staff members work in various departments throughout the IRS and aren’t tasked with only enforcement. The addition of new employees won’t mean increased audits for middle-class Americans, according to the Treasury and IRS.

  • In a letter sent out in August, IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig also assured Senate members that the IRS would not “increase audit scrutiny on small businesses or middle-income Americans.”

  • According to a spokesperson for the Treasury Department, “the resources to modernize the IRS will be used to improve taxpayer services, from answering the phones to improving IT systems – and to crack down on high-income and corporate tax evaders who cost the American people hundreds of billions of dollars each year.”