The true reason behind the IRS scandal was control of political activity by grass roots populist conservative organizations.
The other morning on a local talk AM drive time talk show I encountered a caller who suggested that there should be no tax exempt organizations and that eliminating tax exempt status would be an improvement. It soon became obvious that the caller wasn’t thinking. He had failed to recognize the connection between the tax exemptions and the Constitution.
People with even a passing familiarity with the Bill of Rights know that freedom of speech and religion are two of the fundamental rights recognized and guaranteed by the Constitution. Until the institution of the income tax in 1913 there was no need to identify organizations as tax exempt. However, the income tax was considered an impediment to religious organizations and to groups organized for political issues advocacy, which led to the creation of the Section 501(c) exemptions. Section 501(c)(3) organizations were also recognized as charities so that donations to them were deducted from the donor’s income when computing their tax liability. This complication should have been unnecessary, and would have been except for the government’s desire to get on the income tax bandwagon a century ago. It was a bad idea then and is still a bad idea now.
With the system in place as it is today, we must have the exempt filing process to allow citizen groups to organize and operate without having the inconvenience of having to pay income taxes on donations, which are intended as an exercise of constitutional rights. There is nothing wrong with this IF we, the government, and its employees are dedicated to protecting the rights of the citizens and the best interests of the nation first, last and always. But that isn’t always the case.
If we study Woodrow Wilson we discover that he considered the constitutionally mandated checks and balances between government branches to be “mischievous.” He was a staunch advocate of the idea that a strong central government running society was a better idea than free people governing their own affairs. Herbert Hoover, an engineer, was also an advocate of government as a tool of social engineering. It was his interventions after the Crash of 1929 that began the Great Depression. They were continued by Franklin Roosevelt, making it longer and worse than would otherwise have been the case. Roosevelt was not averse to using government power against opposition interests. Tax audits were a favorite method. He was also not above criticizing wealthy people for the fact of their wealth. The tradition continued up until the Nixon administration when it temporarily fell out of favor and became part of the articles of impeachment filed against him.
IRS harassment as a political tool returned to the stage under Bill Clinton, who was best known for going after Joseph Farah and World Net Daily, but he wasn’t a major abuser of IRS power. The abuses under Obama are only the current variation on an old theme.
Virtually all of the past abuses were in furtherance of political agendas, consolidation of power and restriction of the opposition. The current scandal is no exception excepting that the surrounding circumstances illustrate an administration hell bent on achieving absolute power if possible, and destroying the social and cultural foundations of American society. That’s what “change” was all about.
Obama loves to portray himself as a force for good and right in the world, all the while maintaining an under the radar interest in transforming our nation into a third world, banana republic style country which the could govern in the tradition of Juan Peron, Hugo Chavez, or better still, Fidel Castro. Obama also portrays himself as disengaged from the political process, all the while, pulling the levers behind the scenes, and then pretending to have no information when trouble erupts. When the IRS scandal hit the fan Obama wasn’t angry with the IRS; he was angry that they got caught. To him and his fellow travelers the Tea Party type organizations had to be stopped because they were an effective opposition. The Democrat insiders were scared.
What has characterized the US government ever since the turn of the 20th century has been its growth in size and power. The IRS abuses, no matter who directed by, are examples of Gestapo style tactics being employed against the ordinary citizens to the benefit of powerful individuals. People generally fail to recognize the loss of liberty because the creep of government power has been too slow to put them on edge. But Obama is the best example of an absolutist that the US has ever seen. Perhaps, the reason why the scandals developed was because of overreaching on his part. But if it didn’t happen now, it would have happened later. The massive present agenda has simply made it that much more obvious.
The biggest problem that the American people face today is the corruption that is inevitably connected with an oversized government. The larger and more powerful government becomes the greater the opportunity for corrupt practice. It is Lord Acton’s maxim that power corrupts operating before our eyes. Thus, the current generation of politicians and their henchmen are in it, not to benefit the people, but to benefit themselves. And the job of many people in the present administration is to run interference. Eric Holder’s primary responsibility isn’t to enforce the laws; it is to prevent enforcement of the law against Obama and his supporters. And his primary weapons are to claim ignorance, blame others, and then delay while faking an investigation until no one is paying attention and the matter can be dropped. Unless, of course, the House of Representatives investigates and then he simply refuses to turn over the evidence.
The IRS “investigation” of the conservative 501(c )(4) filers was designed to put a stranglehold on the ability of such groups to raise money and engage in informational activities. This was and is official oppression and a denial of civil rights. It is a criminal offense. But the modern liberal doesn’t believe in equal rights for people they disagree with. Instead, they believe that the opposition should and must be silenced. Only their own view should be heard in public discourse. Thus, criminal activity is acceptable to them. Obama’s false promise to fix the problems at the IRS really means making such violations more difficult to detect in the future or finding some other, more insidious approach to “punishing his enemies.”
The sad fact is that in this information age the statists want access to as much information as possible and control of it for their own benefit. The IRS employees provided a means of accessing and controlling information regarding the opposition, and using it against them. This is the main reason for setting up a national medical database; to have access to private information that is confidential between a doctor and patient. Imagine what would happen if medical care is rationed out based on one’s political persuasion. As I recall from a book I read over 40 years ago, in the USSR it didn’t matter how much money you had if you lacked the political pull to get access to buying things you wanted. Do we want to entrust control of the Doctor/Patient relationship and its related information to the IRS, or for that matter, any branch of government?