Yellen’s Empty Audit Promise, CDC’s Dirty COVID Tricks and other commentary


IRS watch: Yellen’s Empty Audit Promise

The IRS supersizing rammed through in the Inflation Reduction Act will indeed mean more audits of lower-income Americans, warns Michael McKenna at The Washington Timesdespite Treasury Secretary Janet “Yellen’s pretty clear commitment not to increase audits on those making less than $400,000 a year.” And not just because Democrats voted down an amendment to ensure that: A January Treasury notice (five months after her vow) notes, “As of December 2022, IRS officials have not yet finalized what constituted the $400,000 income level or what historic audit level will be used for its metrics.” It’s obvious, says McKenna: “Team Biden plans to squeeze everyone, irrespective of vague commitments made in the heat of the moment.”

Tech desk: The CDC’s Dirty COVID Tricks

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention “played a direct role in policing permissible speech on social media throughout the COVID-19 pandemic,” rages Reason’s Robby Soave, telling Facebook parent Meta “what the agency wanted it to do.” Facebook “moderators repeatedly thanked the CDC for its ‘help in debunking’” COVID claims. “By July 2021, the CDC wasn’t just evaluating which claims it thought were false, but whether they could ‘cause harm.’” Meta in turn “kept the CDC apprised of criticism of Anthony Fauci”: One email warned “that Facebook users were mocking Fauci for changing his mind about masking and double-masking. The CDC replied that this information was “very helpful.’” Did attacks from President Biden and his team — “which included the specific threat of punitive regulation if demands for greater censorship were not met” — influence “Meta’s decision to delegate COVID-19 content moderation to the CDC”?

Conservative: Justice’s Document Double Standard

“It’s convenient,” snarks The Wall Street Journal’s Kimberley A. Strassel, “the White House was able to keep quiet for nearly 70 days the revelation” President Biden “inappropriately retained classified information” — so the “news didn’t break” before the midterms. Convenient, too, “that the FBI immediately declined to engage,” thus giving no “public FBI display to equate the Biden document mess to the Trump one.” And “a little too convenient is the White House’s argument that it can’t speak to any of this given the investigation.” Yes, Biden “faces a special counsel investigation.” “But the Justice Department seems unlikely to be done bestowing conveniences on this president.”

From the right: Climate Warriors’ Twisted Minds

John Kerry, “chief climate alarmist for the Biden administration,” said at last week’s World Economic Forum it’s too late to save the planet, note Issues & Insight’s editors. Kerry nonetheless “claimed climate programs still need more ‘money, money, money, money, money, money, money.’” He crusades for a cause that would “strip Westerners” of their wealth and freedom while he flies in private jets and owns multiple homes. Ex-veep Al Gore was “no less nauseating,” coming off like “the crazy uncle,” a “man whose pot is cracked.” People who think like these guys “have no trouble wrecking the lives of others. Just collateral damage on the way to a utopia dreamed up by twisted minds.”

Culture critic: Sports Betting’s as Old as Sports

The “sportsbook content on the broadcasts is sometimes obtrusive and tasteless. But I have to admit I find the complaints about legalized gambling at least as annoying,” declares the National Post’s Colby Cosh. Older generations thought “paying athletes was undignified and destructive, that it would despoil the hallowed purity of sport. Now their heirs are nervous that we’re allowed to bet on it.” Yet somehow, “the balletic and theatric pleasures of sport have contrived to endure as the business of sport grows ever bigger.” Indeed, “it’s closer to the truth to say that gambling is an inherent part of the pleasure of sport than it is to say it’s inimical to those pleasures. If you see two boys having a footrace,” you know “something is at stake between them even if it’s not monetary” — and the first thing you think is “I wonder who’s gonna win?”

— Compiled by The Post Editorial Board


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