There has been a lot of news of late with regard the the IRS using it’s authority to intimidate and delay conservative political groups during the 2012 political election cycle. Setting aside the fact that there were accusations made, requests for enquiry, and multiple reports of this happening, the mass media simply labeled this as “right wing paranoia” up until this same media found that the Obama administration was violating their first amendment right of free press. Once this was done, the IRS scandal picked up full steam and investigations were called, with many stating that this scandal (among many others) would be the downfall of the Obama Presidency. It is this last statement that I want to address. Will the fact that the IRS, under Obama, used it’s political might to silence opposition be final thread to unravel Obama’s presidency?
Make no mistake, this scandal has wide reaching implications and is a severe breech of trust of government authority that should result in jobs being lost and prison terms, but should it land on Obama’s shoulders alone? My response to you is no, it shouldn’t. Was there a failure of leadership? Absolutely and as this happened under the Obama administration, when it comes to brass tack, the buck stops with him. However, this scandal goes far beyond party lines and the purview of one man and points to a much larger, more dangerous problem.
Obama henchman David Axlerod stated it best in an interview with MSNBC when he said:
“If you look at the inspector general’s report, some folks down in the bureaucracy, you know we have a large government, took it upon themselves to short hand these applications for tax exempt status, uh, in a way that was, as I said, idiotic and dangerous because of the political implications. [sic] Part of being president is there’s so much underneath you that you can’t know because government is so vast”
Mr. Axlerod summed it better than I ever could. Now while he was making these statements as a way to defend, or shield, Obama from the negative coverage, he outright stated something that I, and many like me, have been saying for a long time. Government has simply grown too large, too powerful, to be effectively managed and policed for abuses of power and tyranny. David, and other leftist apologists, attempt to pass the blame on this to lower level employees, ala Richard Nixon, but the truth still rings true, our government has simply outgrown our ability to control it and that is the real problem.
This is not the first time that a wing of the government, specifically the IRS, has been used in a manner to intimidate opposition. Most notably was Richard Nixon, in which this was used as one of his articles of impeachment, but there are instances that the same has happened under the Coolidge, FDR, JFK, Clinton, and Bush administrations. The problem is that we have a large government agency that is made up of people, people of unprecedented power and reach. As history shows, when power is granted, there is a risk of corruption by those that wield it. No, this is not an implication of party, but an implication on allowing the size of government to grow to such a level that it cannot be controlled.
Consider this, why do you pay taxes? It’s not necessarily because you have a desire or will to see better roads, improved infrastructure, or enacted social programs, it’s because you fear the consequences should you not. You pay them out of fear. You know that if you do not, armed guards can break down your door, confiscate your house and/or property, garnish your wages, even place you in prison for failure to give that to government for which it feels entitled. It is not for country or a common good, it is driven by fear and fear alone. So, the question I have to ask is, why did the people allowed the creation and continued existence of a government agency that controls them by fear?
This was not the intention of our founding fathers. They did not wage a revolution against the crown so that their future countrymen would live in fear of government, but so government would live in fear of the people. Their intent is well known and documented in our constitution and that intent was to keep a necessary evil, a centralized government, constrained, restricted, and beholden to those that it serves. However, we have allowed government to create an agency(s) that does not serve the people but serves itself and we did so with our consent.
The IRS has unprecedented access and involvement into an area of our lives which allows for manipulation and control: personal finance. The IRS knows how much we make, how much we save, where and how we invest, and how we spend our wages. These are details that we do not share with our closest family members, yet we somehow find it prudent that thousands of government agents be allowed that level of access to our private lives. It was an agency built on the very premise of depriving us of our natural rights to property and the fruits of our labor. Within the creation of the income tax and the IRS, we do not willingly consent to payments to the federal government, we are forced to do so at the point of a spear and threat of violence. Do you think I exaggerate? When have you ever seen a letter stamped IRS that did not give you a feeling of dread? When have you ever received a call from the IRS that did not immediately cause a upset feeling in your core and your mouth to go dry? These are not the feelings of a consenting person , but of a fearful one.
I am not saying that we should not fund government, we should. There are 17 enumerated powers that are owned and are the responsibility of the federal government. To exercise these powers, some level of funding is required, but there are many alternative ways to provide this that do not involve allowing government insight into the minutia of our lives. There are vat, flat and fair, and consumption taxes that remove any need for the fed to know our financial details. Each removes them from knowing what/how much we have and provides privacy, taxing only on what we consume or which reduces the tax code to the size of postcard, thus reducing the need for invasion into our most intimate financial details. There are ways to remove the fear associated with the IRS by removing the level of information they are allowed to access. When you remove this access, your remove the ability to coerce and intimidate thru the use of that information.
No, the IRS scandal is not about party, it’s about the fact that we now have a federal leviathan that has grown beyond our control. As the beast grows, the more it consumes, the more power that it has. We cannot stop the abuses of the IRS by any other means than via reform. Our only option is to defund and eliminate the office of the IRS and to reform our tax code. Liberty is not achieved thru fear, it is achieved in the absence of fear. As long as government has an agency with the power to invade, regulate, and confiscate our natural right of property, we can have no liberty. we can have no freedom. Look beyond party, as that is just a symptom, look at the cause, a bloated federal ruling class with too much influence and control of our lives. The answer, the only answer, to preventing future reoccurrences of tyranny and abuse is to restrain the size of government back to it’s original, constitutionally prescribe size. Remember the next time you see an IRS letter or answer a call from them and your heart drops, free men should not live in fear of that which they should control. If we ever wish to be free again, the abolishment of the IRS and the federal income tax is our first step.