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The Drill Down: Guns All Along the Potomac

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Americans have an almost natural disdain for government force. Even when the use of force is justified, there is an uneasiness that often hovers in the back of our minds. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that the increased militarization of all levels of government, but especially of federal agencies, has millions of Americans concerned. On the latest episode of the Drill Down podcast, Peter Schweizer and Eric Eggers explore some of that history and how it relates to the recently passed Inflation Reduction Act (IRA).

The IRA allocated $80 billion to the IRS, largely to increase enforcement capabilities, and if recent trends are any indication, millions of that will go to guns and ammunition. Between 2015 and 2019, the IRS spent more than $8 million on military-style equipment, but with the agency’s budget essentially doubled for the next decade, that number will also likely swell.

The Department of Health and Human Services spent even more than the IRS did on arms and ammo in that time frame, totaling almost $14 million. How the IRA will affect HHS expenditures on arms remain to be seen, but the past is often prologue.

Increased militarization strains all pillars of society, especially when civilian-government trust is in the gutter. The more government agencies rely on the threat or use of force to carry out their policies, the more they lose what public trust they have left.