According to a recent report, Democratic Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia, renowned for pushing an $80 billion increase in the Internal Revenue Service’s budget last year, frequently defaulted on tax payments.
The NBC News report, released on Thursday, reveals that Manchin occasionally paid taxes on real estate and personal properties, such as cars and boats, several years behind schedule.
For instance, in 2020, Manchin made about $630 in retroactive tax payments dating back to 2016, 2017, and 2018 for his cars, boats, and trailers, as per the report.
Interestingly, less than two years after, Manchin became a pivotal figure behind the Inflation Reduction Act, which allocated an additional $80 billion to the IRS, over half of which was purposed for enforcement.
This move to strengthen the IRS sparked outrage among Republicans, who critiqued the funding as a component of the more comprehensive Biden administration strategy to tax and audit a more significant proportion of Americans, specifically targeting those with annual earnings less than $25,000, as opposed to wealthy individuals like Manchin.
Given a potentially challenging reelection year, this disclosure surfaces as Manchin deliberates his next political move.
As Manchin considers running for Senate reelection in 2024, the Democrat has sought to portray himself as a firm adversary of President Joe Biden’s expenditure plans.
This stance has led him to criticize the Inflation Reduction Act—despite having personally orchestrated its provisions.
In April, Manchin admonished Biden for his efforts to “liberalize” the bill and even asserted he would “vote to overturn [his] own bill.”
This statement starkly contrasts with his position just a few months earlier when Manchin had lauded the legislation, expressing no regrets about his vote in its favor.
Despite being a Democrat in a state that former president Donald Trump won twice with an average margin of 41 points, Manchin is being challenged by West Virginia’s popular Republican governor, Jim Justice.
However, Manchin hasn’t confirmed whether he will compete against Justice. He is entertaining the idea of a third-party presidential run against President Joe Biden, a possibility that fellow Senate Democrats are advising him to dismiss.