Fearmongering politicians claim the IRS is hiring 87,000 agents, arming them, and ordering them to kick down the door at Meemaw’s trailer home to scare the grits out of her if she’s behind on her taxes.

That’s a terrifying scenario or would be if it were true. Which it’s not. To these folks, “fact” is a four-letter word.

While it’s true the agency needs an additional 87,000 workers by 2031—it’s famously understaffed– only about 2,100 would be elite, highly trained criminal investigators whose cases are dangerous enough to require carrying a gun for protection.

Think of it as the difference between the precinct file clerk and Olivia Benson on “Law & Order: SVU.”

The handwringing about arming IRS agents is coming from some of the same politicians who think it’s a great idea for kindergarten teachers to have guns in their classrooms. Hypocrisy much?

    Lying politicians aren’t new but the depths of shamelessness might be. Maybe they learned from Putin, who ran a sham election last month, announced the fake results and even threw a parade to celebrate the vote everyone knew wasn’t real.

Truth is becoming a quaint relic of the past like your great grandma’s crocheted tea kettle cozy. Even worse, truth is becoming…irrelevant.

We always had the crazies out there saying Elvis was alive and JFK Jr. runs a saltwater taffy booth on a Jersey boardwalk, but we KNEW that was nuts. Sensible folk used to LOL at supermarket tabloid headlines before there was even such a thing as LOLing. Now we believe anything and everything. The Queen Ate Her Beloved Corgis Rather Than Leave Them Behind? Sure. Why not?

I hear you. ALL politicians lie. Maybe. But when it comes to fantastical whoppers that can be fact-checked faster than you can say, “Wait; she didn’t really eat her Corgis did she?” the far-right candidates will always win the gold.

They, you recall, stoked The Big Lie claiming the 2020 election was rigged. That one lurched out of the deep and heaved itself onto the sand like a fetid sea monster before spawning millions of smaller lies that can’t be killed, maybe ever. When asked, “But what proof do you have?” the answer often quotes a debunked conspiracy website. Just as often they will say: “I just know it in my gut.”

I get that. When I’m faced with matters of historic global importance, I often consult my digestive tract. You can’t hardly find a “fortuneteller fish” anymore so it’s pretty much all we got, right?

They used to say, “You believe what you want to believe” but why would anyone want to believe the nauseating mantra from the far right that liberal politicians are pedophiles?

And not just politicians. A few weeks back, a reader emailed me to say that since I wasn’t “with” the former president, it was obvious I was a pedophile. Makes me miss the 90s when the worst thing I got called was “probably a vegetarian.”

The more bizarre the lie, the more eagerly it is lapped up and dispersed by ruthless politicians. In the case of the IRS, the truth is a snooze. Hampered by decades of Congressional budget cuts (don’t want to tax those major donors now do we?) ancient technology and staff shortages, the agency hasn’t had the resources to aggressively round up the bad guys or even handle some of the most routine requests in a timely way.

Nobody loves paying taxes but it’s our very own contract with America. Paying taxes is how we fund roads and schools and airports and courts and the military and environmental protection and clean water and safe food. Boring stuff like that.

One thing’s for sure: The politics of fear is here to stay and that’s, unfortunately, the truth.