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The Drill Down: An Army of Bureaucrats?


When Congress passed the Inflation Reduction Act in August, critics were quick to highlight one provision that raised alarm bells: $80 billion was to be allocated to the IRS for “enforcement” purposes. Over the last two decades, many unlikely federal agencies have experienced an increase in militarization, and on the latest episode of the Drill Down podcast, Peter Schweizer and Eric Eggers hone in on the rapid militarization of the IRS.

Between 2015 and 2019, the IRS spent more than $8 million on guns, ammunition, and related equipment while the Department of Veterans Affairs spent more than $11 million in the same time span. This information, collected by the nonprofit organization Open the Books, helps to paint a worrying picture of a federal bureaucracies growing more weaponized as time passes.

Conservatives fear that heavily armed federal agencies may imperil state and individual rights, whereas progressives are concerned that increased militarization disproportionately threatens marginalized communities. But unless lawmakers from both parties can form a consensus to reverse these trends, the militarization of federal agencies will only increase.