Unintended Consequences

Nancy Pelosi’s Cracked Solution to Our $600 Billion Tax Gap: More Low Income Audits

The upper class owes 90.8% of unpaid income taxes, but monitoring bank accounts actually targets working-class America.

Kristle Chester
Politically Speaking
4 min readOct 19, 2021

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Pie chart showing the estimated percentage of unpaid taxes by income percentile. The poor pay what they owe. The wealthy don’t.
Author provided image. Data source: “The Case for a Robust Attack on the Tax Gap,” US Department of the Treasury, accessed October 18, 2021

Nancy Pelosi’s tripping if she honestly thinks monitoring bank accounts with $600 in annual cash flow will solve our revenue problem. I get it. The US has a tax gap, which means that some people are not paying what they owe. Folks want to know where she’ll get the money for the massive spending bill. Logically, you beef up the IRS and tell them to start collecting the estimated $600 billion in unpaid taxes owed every year. Unfortunately, that’s where logic climbs on the crazy train and doesn’t get off.

Because a $600 annual cash flow is peanuts. A Medium writer averaging $50.01 per month will meet this threshold, so will a part-time babysitter and an Uber driver in tiny Blairsville, Georgia. This is barely profitable side gig territory, which by definition is a second job.

In the US, people holding multiple jobs earn less money. These are the 30% of American workers who earn less than $15 an hour. For them, side gigs are often the difference between making the rent and being homeless. They also…

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Kristle Chester
Politically Speaking

Freelancer. Data geek. Gardener. Baker. Spaniel lover. Georgian. MA International Commerce and Policy.