It’s the whole point

There seems to be some surprise and indignation at the idea that the IRS would be used as a weapon against political opponents. I don’t understand.

First; what did you expect from a communist administration? Really. Can you say, “DUUUH!”? Second; the entire tax code is a weapon of political power. Always has been. It is designed to nudge you into behaviors you’d not be engaged in if you were left to your own devices, and to nudge you out of other behaviors. The very concept of a progressive tax is a political weapon, designed to substantially reduce wealth creation and accumulation. Raising revenue is far down the list, or it is only an ancillary function of the tax code and the IRS. I could on and on, but you should have gotten the point by the time you received your very first paycheck.

The specific targeting of individuals and groups is nothing new at all either. The Clintons were famous for it. Rush Limbaugh has been getting audited every year for many years. The list is longer than this whole blog since its beginning.

A “Gosh, we’re sorry” will change nothing. The only solution, assuming anyone wants one, is to abolish the tax code, abolish the IRS and go to a single digit flat tax. Otherwise quit your bitching– this is exactly what you’ve been asking for. Begging for, actually. Don’t bother pretending to be surprised– it makes you look even more stupid.

14 thoughts on “It’s the whole point

  1. And Boehner’s now trying to be all tough and saying that whoever’s responsible should go to jail.

    Look, Boner, we know who the responsible party is, and if you actually impeach him(let alone lock him up), I’ll donate my testicles to science. (And I’ll still have more than you.)

    Obummer and his cabal are going to skate on this just like every other treasonous, illegal, impeachable offense they’ve been committing since day one. Somebody prove me wrong.

    Please.

  2. There’s an op-ed in today’s WSJ (by James Bovard) about the long history of the IRS as a tool for use against political enemies. He mentions FDR, JFK (it actually had a name then, “Ideological Organizations Audit Project”), Nixon of course, Clinton, and now Obama.
    He also mentions that the IRS accepts audit demands from any congresscritter and expedites those (response within 15 days and the paperwork gets marked “expedite”). So maybe the reason nothing gets done is that Congress doesn’t want to close down its own private “enemies list”.

    • I don’t think that power is even given up willingly. So where does that leave us?

        • One of Milton Friedman’s great quotes was about assuming there were bastards in power, and you needed to make it politically profitable for them to do the right thing, in order to get the right thing done. Unfortunately, he was rather sketchy on how exactly you DO that.

          • There are always bastards in power. Bastards are attracted to power, and so its a given. “Politically profitable”– That’s something of a problem. “Politically profitable” means what? That the bastards get more power.

            No. If we have bastards in power (and we very much do) we’re screwed unless we can rip that power out of their hands and leave them wanting nothing to do with it afterwards. What ever it takes. I’d say we have to make it personally profitable for them to do the right thing, as in they get to keep their homes and their freedom. Seems like a damned good deal to me, considering the alternatives.

  3. Neil Smith speaks of “Bill of Rights enforcement”. That’s a good answer. So is enforcing 42 USC § 1985 – Conspiracy to interfere with civil rights. Or 18 USC § 242 – Deprivation of rights under color of law.
    It’s pretty clear that 2 of the 3 current Obamascandals can and should be prosecuted under either of those two laws.
    I suspect publicity would not hurt either. Given that even liberals are afraid of the IRS, the open line from Congress to the IRS audit department should make a nice subject for noise in the press.

  4. Not surprised. At least, I’m not. Been aware of this for… well, ever. Of course, living in Cincinnati and knowing employees of the IRS office (which is actually in Covington, Kentucky, but nobody’s ever heard of that), I’ve heard about these shenaningans for, as I say, ever.

    The reaction is not, “I’m shocked — SHOCKED — to find diddling the citizenry going on, here!” so much as it is “At LAST! Maybe a chance to get some traction on repealing the IRC.

    Early days. Baby steps. All of that. But the landslide starts with a single pebble.

    M

  5. One thing we need to keep in mind is being realistic.

    We are NEVER going to get rid of the IRS (by function). No matter what revenue scheme we use to fund the federal government (and there must be SOME scheme — and voluntary donations from the states won’t work; we TRIED that under teh Articles of Confederation, it’s one reason the Articles), SOME agency will be responsbile for double checking the numbers, auditing suspected tax cheats, and handling violations of the tax code.

    What we CAN do is minimize the size and scope of the IRS, by switching to a tax system that requires less compliance effort and less enforcement effort. Even a flat tax only gets you so far — as long as people can merely lie about income, the IRS will have to poke into their bloody lives when they suspect someone of cheating. (One of several reasons I like the FairTax — tax cheating requires you find someone willing to conspiure with you, AND pay your taxes for you. Nice self-enforcement scheme there — if you predict behavior by betting on greed and self interest, you’ll generally be correct.)

    • A flat inclusive sales tax with a pre-bate gets around most of the problems with our current tax structure, and severely limits government power. See http://www.FairTax.org. Of course, limiting government power is precisely why it’ll never be implemented.

      • Oh, I agree that implementing a flat tax (or better yet, the actual FairTax) would go a LONG way to rein in the IRS.

        Less need for bodies, less room for interpretation, fewer loopholes to litigate over.

  6. How the heck did that happen?

    RE: “it’s one reason the Articles”; change to “it’s one of the reasons the Articles failed”

  7. I’m not so sure that the popular narrative about what was wrong with the Articles is actually accurate. Keep in mind that it was written by Federalists, who wanted to institute a strong central government, so they had to discredit the Articles as a first step. (Take a look at Hamilton’s proposal to the Convention some day — you’ll never think of him as a good guy again, no matter how slick a marketing do-over he did for himself in the Federalist Papers.)
    In any case, even if it is accurate that contributions from the states are not workable, that doesn’t mean the IRS is the only alternative. The IRS didn’t exist, and nothing like it was needed, until the 16th amendment. Not until the government started taking large sums of money from many people did it need a tax army. Limit the Federal government to what the Constitution authorizes, and the problem goes away immediately, just as it did before the 20th century takeover by big government anti-constitutionalists like Woodrow, Teddy, and Franklin.

    • No, there was ALWAYS a group of revenue enforcement agents, who made sure the people directly liable for submitting the taxes to government actually paid up.

      Yes, once that pool of tax submitters was expanded to “everyone”, it required a massive expansion of that function, and thus, the IRS in its current incarnation was born.

      But as long as there are taxes to collect, there will be tax collectors and enforcement agents. The trick is to eliminate the need for as many of them as possible.

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