Sen. Lummis asks Biden ‘do you distrust Americans so much that you need to know when they buy a couch?’

Sen. Cynthia Lummis (R-WY) took her opportunity to blast President Biden during the latest Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen appeared for a hearing Tuesday when Lummis took aim at Biden’s financial policy.

Following Biden’s proposal to require banks to hand over transaction data over $600 on individual bank accounts, Lummis railed against the president

“Banks do not work for the IRS,” Lummis said. “This is invasive of privacy. Wyoming’s people literally will find alternatives to traditional banks just to thwart IRS access to their personal information, not because they’re trying to hide anything, but because they are not willing to share everything.”

However, Secretary Yellen corrected the senator. She claimed that the administration would just see reports on aggregate transactions. This way, there would be no way to see the data behind individual accounts.

“Do you distrust the American people so much that you need to know when they bought a couch? Or a cow?” Lummis asked. “I am astounded by what you’re supporting and proposing. I think it’s invasive. I think privacy for individuals is being ignored. And I think that treating the American people like they are subjects of the government is unconscionable.”

“The IRS has a wealth of information about individuals,” Yellen said. According to the treasure secretary, the proposal is for those who have “opaque sources of income.”

“A $600 threshold is not usually where you’re going to find the massive amount of tax data you think Americans are cheating you out of,” Lummis responded.

According to the Office of Tax Analysis, a crackdown on unreported income could generate $460 billion over the next decade. Yet, the IRS estimates that compliance on taxes due on wages is 99%. Meanwhile, compliance on what they call “less visible” sources of income is at 45%.

You can follow Jenny Goldsberry on Twitter @jennyjournalism.

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