IRS claims it can find “no records” on an $80 billion increase in its budget

Agency that can’t find who leaked private taxpayer info also asserts no one in the agency discussed additional funds and 87,000 new employees provided in “Inflation Reduction Act.”

August 9, 2022

(Washington, DC) – Today, the Functional Government Initiative (FGI) announced transparency litigation against the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) after the agency amazingly declared it had no records regarding an $80 billion proposed funding increase and an additional 87,000 employees included in the economic package referred to by its proponents as the “Inflation Reduction Act.” The proposals for drastically increased funding and staffing for the IRS were originally included in the Biden Administration’s fiscal year 2022 budget request.

Earlier this year, FGI began investigating the administration’s plan to flood the IRS with more taxpayer dollars for more agents and other things supposedly to increase compliance. The massive influx to the IRS would come amidst ongoing controversies of alleged political targeting and leaking of sensitive financial data. The original proposals also included a controversial attempt to monitor private transactions of more than $600, which would have affected nearly every taxpayer.

The IRS recently replied to FGI’s request for information by stating they have “no records” regarding any economic analysis, request for new agents, or resources, and they closed our case. With this response, the IRS is astonishingly claiming that it performed no analysis, there were no internal discussions and not a single mention by agency officials of these proposals, and there were no communications between IRS officials and the White House and Treasury officials regarding a plan to nearly double its budget and personnel. This would also indicate the agency has absolutely no plan for what to do with the additional funds, personnel, or resources.

After careful consideration, FGI is filing suit against the IRS to reveal what is really going on with these controversial proposals. We seek to uncover records if they do, in fact, exist. If it is true that the IRS has no records on this proposal, then Americans deserve answers regarding the dysfunction involved in keeping the IRS completely in the dark about a massive increase in the agency’s funding, staff, and resources.

Peter McGinnis, spokesman for FGI, issued the following statement:

“Not conducting an economic analysis or having any communications, not even a single email regarding one of the largest budget increases in agency history is hard to believe. If true, then it only goes to show that government spending has become so reckless that agencies are being handed billions of taxpayer dollars without first consulting with them about how those dollars will be spent. With all of the incredible dysfunction at the IRS – targeting organizations for political views, releasing taxpayer data they had promised to keep private – it is not surprising they would report they knew nothing about this proposal, but it should disturb every American.”


Treasury Hiding Records That Could Reveal True Basis for Fed Reserve Nomination

FGI files transparency suit seeking records regarding renomination of Jerome Powell

July 27, 2022

(Washington, DC) – Today, the Functional Government Initiative (FGI) announced transparency litigation against the Department of the Treasury seeking records on the Administration’s decision to renominate Jerome Powell as Chair of the Federal Reserve during a time of record-high inflation.

In November 2021, President Biden nominated Jerome Powell for a second term as chair of the Federal Reserve. Leading up to and during his renomination process, Powell had overseen monetary policy as inflation hit levels not seen for forty years. Given the state of the nation’s economy, Powell’s renomination had received criticism and pushback from elected officials on both sides of the aisle.

FGI’s initial concern was based on public reports that the renomination of Chairman Powell was not based on his record, his willingness to address skyrocketing inflation, or the independent agency’s statutory mission. Rather, the decision may have been due to his prioritizing a special interest agenda that is at least partially responsible for driving gas prices to all-time highs. The request from FGI is intended to uncover those motivations.

Though outside of the Federal Reserve’s mission, mitigating or inserting speculative climate risk analysis into U.S. monetary policy may have been a driving factor in Powell’s renomination. If true, this would represent a substantial departure from long-established norms of Federal Reserve independence upheld by both major political parties. Inserting such policy goals would no longer insulate the powerful independent agency from blowing political winds that could distract from its statutory mandate.

Peter McGinnis, spokesman for FGI, issued the following statement:

“Jerome Powell was given a second chance by the Biden Administration, and the American people deserve to know why. Based on public statements by senior officials, Powell’s second stint at the Federal Reserve may represent a concerning departure from past precedent that sought to protect independent agencies from a given Administration’s policy goals. With inflation continuing to climb and efforts to double down on the priorities of the climate lobby driving gas prices still higher, Powell’s renomination may represent the clearest sign yet of the Administration’s priority of fighting climate change over inflation. FGI will continue to pursue these documents so the American public can have an accurate picture of the federal government’s priorities.”


Interior Cancels Another Lease Sale While Gas Prices Continue to Skyrocket

Dysfunctional energy policy could be driving Americans’ pain at the pump

May 13, 2022

(Washington, DC) – Yesterday, the Department of the Interior announced it was canceling planned oil and gas lease sales in Alaska and the Gulf of Mexico in the middle of a heightened energy crisis at home and abroad. A Department spokesperson blamed the cancellation of part of the proposed sale on the “lack of interest” from oil and gas companies to drill. Critics of the move were quick to attribute this lack of interest to the federal government’s energy policy.

As one of its first actions, the Biden Administration issued an executive order halting oil and gas lease sales on public lands and waters. Months later a federal judge ordered them resumed. Earlier this year, FGI began an investigation into the federal government’s oil and gas policy, seeking records related to a request for the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to investigate oil and gas companies for price gouging and records from a variety of relevant agencies around offshore leases. A month into the investigation, the administration announced that leasing sales would resume, though with an 80 percent reduction in acreage and a more than 50 percent increase in royalties. Industry insiders claimed these changes could result in lower production, hampering efforts to reduce prices.

Interior’s decision comes during a time of crisis at the pump, where Americans are paying nearly double what they were two years ago. FGI will continue to press for answers about the federal government’s oil and gas policy.

Peter McGinnis, spokesman for FGI, issued the following statement:

“If there is a better example of the impact of government dysfunction on the lives of Americans, I can’t think of one. No matter how hard they try, the government cannot repeal the laws of supply and demand. It is more than a little puzzling that, at a time of skyrocketing fuel prices and international turmoil involving energy supply, the federal government would make a series of decisions, culminating in the latest cancellation of lease sales, that could serve to restrict energy supply.”


The Story of Inflation: Government Dysfunction at its Finest

Pete McGinnis’ Op-ed at Townhall

Last week’s leak of a draft decision from the Supreme Court was an unprecedented break from tradition and trust, but it is sadly emblematic of the state of our nation’s government today. The federal government’s dysfunction continues to degrade public trust in our institutions.

Among the top issues affecting the American public in 2022, there is no better example than inflation to demonstrate the ongoing dysfunction of our federal government. In the early days of 2021, after nearly a year of economic chaos stemming from the global pandemic and government-imposed shutdowns, the federal government passed yet another massive bill known as the American Rescue Plan. It was sold under the guise of distributing vaccines and stimulating the economy. However, the $2 trillion price tag raised eyebrows as the fourth major COVID related legislation in a year, leading many critics to predict it would trigger inflationary concerns. As my group and others have analyzed the spending coming out of the American Rescue Plan, the apparent frivolity of many programs has bolstered assessments of critics that the law’s price tag was excessive. So much of this massive bill is going to long-term spending priorities, and even part of the spending that could arguably be related to the pandemic is stretched out over years.

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Functional Government Initiative: ‘Nothing of substance has been done’ about high gas prices in North Carolina

By David Hutton (Cabarrus Today)

April 18, 2022

The Biden administration’s latest move concerning high gas prices has been to invoke the Defense Production Act, which concerns electric vehicles, not American energy production.

This is drawing the ire of the Functional Government Initiative (FGI) and is fueling its latest government investigation.

According to FGI, “The Functional Government Initiative is a new organization dedicated to improving the American public’s awareness about the officials, decisions and priorities of their government.”

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‘Energy prices are crushing the American dream’: Functional Government Initiative discontent with Biden’s handling of high prices at Wisconsin’s pumps

By Andy Nghiem (Northwoods Reporter)

April 18, 2022

The Functional Government Initiative (FGI) is questioning the motives behind the Biden administration’s latest actions to address soaring gas prices in Wisconsin and across the U.S.

In the midst of the U.S. experiencing the highest gas prices in history for the second month in a row and inflation being at a 40-year high, President Joe Biden has announced that the administration will be invoking the Defense Production Act, according to a release from the FGI. This move is said to be an attempt to ease potential supply chain issues for electric vehicle components. The FGI has voiced its discontent regarding this announcement and pointed out this move is just another way for the administration to move the American public away from gasoline and toward electric vehicles.

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FGI criticizes Biden administration’s ‘perplexing’ move to invoke Defense Production Act

By Bob Martin (Keystone Today)

April 15, 2022

With gas prices the highest they have been since 2008 and inflation at the highest it’s been since 1981, the Biden administration recently announced that it will invoke the Defense Production Act (DPA).

The decision comes as the administration is trying to ease potential supply chain concerns for electric vehicle parts, according to the Functional Government Initiative website.

The move is another way for the Biden administration to move the public away from gasoline and toward electric vehicles, FGI reported. The order reportedly will move funds to private projects surrounding the extraction of minerals used for building electric car batteries. This includes lithium, cobalt, graphite, nickel, and manganese.

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FGI: ‘Nothing of substance has been done’ to lower Nevada’s gas prices

By Art Benavidez (NW Clark News)

April 15, 2022

The Functional Government Initiative (FGI) has released a report contending that the introduction of the Defense Production Act by the Biden administration has more to do with its stake in the production of electric vehicles (EVs) than remedying the country’s lagging energy efforts.

The move comes on the heels of inflation in the country being at a 40-year high and is rooted in the Biden administration’s efforts to move the country to renewable energy, the recent report said. Invoking the act facilitates money for private developments geared toward removing lithium and cobalt, which are critical components to the manufacturing of EV batteries.

Should the initiative become successful, it could lead to less U.S. reliance on China; the report said. But that would not present a clear pathway to remedy the current inflation surge or lower energy prices in the short-term.

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FGI remains concerned about federal energy policy’s impact on Ukraine war, inflation

The federal government has reversed its initial decision but continues to steer away from energy independence.

March 9, 2022

(Washington, DC) – Yesterday, the Biden Administration announced it would be reversing course and would move to stop imports of Russian oil into the United States market. The Functional Government Initiative announced last week it had begun an investigation into the initial decision to exclude the Russian energy sector from U.S. sanctions. In spite of yesterday’s reversal, FGI’s probe is expected to yield vital information, allowing the American people to better understand the federal government’s energy priorities.

While FGI commends this decision, the American people have legitimate concerns about the impact of energy policy on rising prices, not only on energy but also across the economy. Concerns don’t end there. News about the decision to move away from Russian imports came alongside developments that may simply result in Americans’ depreciating dollar being redirected to another set of hostile foreign governments. American officials have reportedly begun talks with the Venezuelan government that may lead to easing of economic sanctions. These sanctions were originally placed on Venezuela in 2019 after numerous human rights abuses committed by the government under Nicolas Maduro, a close Putin ally. Talks also continue with Iran, the world’s prime state sponsor of terrorism, which may ease sanctions on the Iranian oil sector.

Energy prices have broad and deep effects on virtually every sector of the economy. As fuel prices continue to rise and widespread inflation continues to afflict American families, FGI will continue investigating how energy policy affects our influence abroad and Americans’ pocketbooks at home.

Peter McGinnis, spokesman for FGI, issued the following statement:

“Last week we expressed our concerns regarding the reluctance to sanction the Russian energy market and announced that we would be seeking information surrounding that decision. However, the current situation creates the fear that we may be moving from funding Russia’s war machine to paying the dictator in Venezuela and the state sponsors of terrorism in Iran. The concerns of the Functional Government Initiative remain. We will continue working to expose the dysfunction of government and investigate the impact of today’s energy policy on our foreign policy and near-record levels of inflation.


Nonprofit Watchdog: Government Policies “Supercharging” Inflation

By David Beasley (Arizona Business Daily)

March 8, 2022

Experts have explored for several months the potential contributors to the high U.S. inflation numbers, but there has yet to be a sound consensus on the primary reason, the Functional Government Initiative (FGI) said in a recent news release.

Leading contenders include federal spending on pandemic relief  bills, high oil prices, and now high tensions in Europe, the news release said. FGI has begun their search by digging into government policies.  

FGI, a non-profit watchdog group, is seeking full transparency from government agencies in the following areas: “actions to slow gas price hikes using emergency powers; calls for investigating the meat and energy industries; efforts to hinder domestic fossil fuel production, halt pipeline approvals and shut down American mines; and considerations behind the decision to re-nominate a Federal Reserve chairman who has presided over 40-year highs in inflation,” the group said in the release.  

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