16,500 : a “mistake” so egregious as to be a lie

Where did the rabid right get the figure of 16,500 new “IRS agents” that (they claim) will be required to enforce the individual mandate in the Affordable Care Act?

They made it up.

Really.  It came from nowhere.  In fact, the IRS will add few or no agents, and perhaps hardly any staff at all.  There’s a really nice dissection of this ludicrous claim over at factcheck.org.  Basically, the number was invented based on a bad estimate, inflated through dubious assumptions, and then just hand-waved into fact.

Just remember, the next time someone quotes to you some scary scary provision of the ACA: There’s a non-negligible chance that they are lying or repeating a lie.