Clear and blatant abuses of power aside, Nick Gillespie of Reason.com reminds us of why the IRS should scare the bejeezus out of all of us.
(Video: approx. 1-1/2 minutes long)
And in case you are unable to load video or are unable to listen to said video... a recap:
So the IRS has admitted to sitting on applications for tax-exempt status by Tea Party groups for political reasons.
According to the government’s own investigation, applications containing terms such as Tea Party and Patriot were singled out for delays and holds even as groups with liberal-sounding names like "Bus for Progress" and "Progress Florida" sailed through the process.
President Obama said “the report's findings are intolerable and inexcusable” and even fired the acting head of the Internal Revenue Service.
Regardless of how this particular scandal shakes out, there’s still going to be at least three good reasons to be scared as hell of the IRS.
1. It’s always been a political weapon.
John F Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, and Richard Nixon all sicced the IRS on enemies and dissenters. And they were just following in the footsteps of Franklin Roosevelt, whose son said his father was “the originator of the concept of employing the IRS as a weapon of political retribution.”
2. Its rulings are super-complicated and capricious.
The federal tax code is longer than Atlas Shrugged, Ulysses, and the Old Testament put together. It’s so complicated that even former IRS commissioners need help preparing their returns.
3. It's Obamacare's enforcement mechanism.
Starting next year, the IRS will be the cop patrolling the Affordable Care Act’s mandates, with the agency overseeing some 47 tax provisions related to Obamacare. You won’t just be reporting income anymore. You’ll be explaining when, where, and how you bought health care as well.
The first two are ones that people have been aware of, hence, the IRS's generally despised reputation but #3 is new to the party and folks that harbor a basic mistrust of the agency that is extracting scratch from their paycheck need to be aware of this fact.
And what better way than a near-throw away cut'n'paste post is there to shill for our favorite tax idea: a national sales tax to replace the current income tax.
Yes, yes, the devil is in the details but in case you've been living under a rock, like, forever, it's clearly an idea who's time has come.
For righties, you are not taxing one's wealth or production. For lefties, you are taxing (over)-consumption and for everybody... you are gutting the IRS.
With only 47% of the nation's elgible population paying in, this gives everybody skin in the game for how it is our federal government is funded. No more disinterested or un-vested parties. Everybody now will force themselves to be that much more informed as to who and where their money is going and how is a more fully informed electorate with respect to the goings of their federal government a bad thing?
Recent events almost demand it.