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The scandal of the IRS, continued

“Why would you trust the bureaucracy with your health if you can’t trust the bureaucracy with your politics?”

Newt Gringrich, as reported at The Fiscal Times. Never mind what one thinks of the source of the quote – I don’t care for Gringrich one iota – that’s a good quotation.

Here is a reminder of my argument, a few days back, that this whole affair requires developments such as a flat tax, and the abolition of this wretched institution. 

 Timothy Carney says something similar:

The story is instead one of government power so great that, even in the hands of nonpolitical career civil servants, politically motivated abuse is inevitable. And the ultimate problem is that our tax code and campaign finance laws put the IRS in the business of policing political speech. Politics inevitably comes into play.

And this:

Many dedicated and professional civil servants serve the IRS. But the recent revelations still aren’t surprising. If you give people the terrifying power to tax and the right to police political speech, some partisans will abuse that power.

The list of scandals that this administration is building up is really quite impressive.

19 comments to The scandal of the IRS, continued

  • Mike James

    “No taxation without representation”, said the colonists, and now we have taxation with representation. That feels better, doesn’t it?

  • Paul Marks

    On American health care the government has already (by its subsidy programs and endless regulations) VASTLY inflated the costs of healthcare. Now the same government that can not secure the border or deliver the mail is to micro manage the health care of a nation with a population of over 300 million people.

    “We have failed – give us wider powers” (and more money). The failure of previous government interventions has been used as excuse for even more interventionism – which will complete the process of making real private health cover totally unafordable for most people, who will be forced into the government backed “exchages” firstly under crony capitalist “private providers”, later (as with student loans) with open collectivism.

    As for tax.

    When the “Tides Foundation” (the major, non government, source of finance for far left political activity in the United States) loses its tax status – then antsocialist organisations should have to justify their tax status.

    Even “Media Matters” (the Soros funded group whose mission statement is “destroy Fox News”) is allowed tax relief by the IRS – but “Tea Party Patriots” (which avoids backing candidates for election), oh no they are tired up in knots.

    Although Tea Party Patriots may well be about to sue the IRS.

  • Dom

    Julian Bond, of NAACP fame, has already declared that the IRS was right to target the Tea Party, because they are “admittedly racist”


  • Paul

    The list of scandals that this administration is building up is really quite impressive.

    I believe that the proper wording is, “The list of sideshows that this administration is building up is really quite impressive.

  • I’m puzzled by the timing of all this.

    Can an American explain to me why this has become big news, all of a sudden? What precise spark lit the fuse? What exact leak broke the damn? I, from the other side of the Atlantic, have known all this stuff about the President scaring people with tax audits literally for years. How come the Old School Media are suddenly paying attention?

    Is it that the Obama regime has attacked Media people? But surely they have been doing that for years too?

    Or is it just that the Old School Media reckon they have got as much from Obama as they are going to get, so time to start printing the truth about the guy, to re-establish themselves as truth-tellers, so that their next huge pack of lies will be believed, about the next messiah-wrecker they try to foist on America, or about the next President whom they decide they do NOT like? Is that it? Is it that simple?

  • PersonFromPorlock

    A word in defense of Newt Gingrich: he writes pretty good alternative history novels. One iota is, I think, justified.

  • Diomedes

    I’m puzzled by the timing of all this.

    The proximate cause of this seems to be the leaking of the Inspector General’s report last week.

  • john.s.allison

    The IRS is the agency that everyone, *every*one loves to hate. This was starting to get traction just before the revelation about the AP. It’s been 15 years or so since the last time they were raked over the coals in Congreffional kabuki theater by the very people that benefit from their activity, the spenders of the taxes collected.

    Why is this happening now? I suspect there are at least some Democrats out there smart enough not to believe their own BS when it’s blown back in their faces. This administration has been playing fast and loose on so much for so long that their comeuppance was inevitable. They’re nowhere near as clever and capable as they think they are.

  • lucklucky

    Wait for the time that Obamacare start to care for democrats and kill by omission republicans.
    With the current technology it is perfectly possible the statists start to behave as a culture, a pack, a flock that way.

  • Mike, I’m afraid that in the current context the word ‘representation’ is being used rather loosely.

  • Brian Micklethwait (London)

    It’s worth adding that in a very basic sense, the American Pro-Democrat Media caused this scandal. They gave the Obama team the idea that there is absolutely nothing they can’t do, as in: nothing bad they can do that would get them a bad press.

    I imagine President Obama is just as surprised as I am that this is now, suddenly, blowing up into a big scandal. Come on guys, you’ve known all this for years and been fine with it. Why all the fuss now?

    Perhaps another key thing is that lots of Democrat voters, who are not part of the great big dirty machine that Obama’s Presidency actually consists of, are finally realising what a very ordinary sort of politician Obama is. He is not the Messiah, he’s a …

  • M. Thompson

    Newt is one of those political types who always has an idea about the situation, good or bad, but either way it’s a good sound bite.

    And the dam breaking in this case is the IG report coming out, alongside notice the Department of “Justice” (under Eric Holder, it hasn’t been too just) was tapping the AP’s phone lines.

    He’s becoming Barack H. Nixon rather quickly.

  • Wow, I have only watched it myself now after posting, and it is good.

  • veryretired

    I think these various scandals, as well as the looming disaster of the medical takeover, and the ongoing attempts to subvert citizens’ 2nd amendment rights, are very clear signs that the political system in the US has collapsed.

    The previous system of party politics has not operated effectively for many years and, as the state grew ever larger and more intrusive, has been completely replaced by an ongoing authoritarian oligarchy, in which various factions of the ruling elites maneuver endlessly for advantage in controlling the levers of power, and controlling the flow of the money spigot that the state has become at all levels.

    Everything that happened to form the meat and bones of these improper incidents is rooted in the feverish attempts of the now ascendent progressive faction to maintain and enhance its control of the organs of state. Anything which might have had a negative impact on the progressive candidate in the recent election was suppressed, with the willing complicity of a totally compliant and complicit media, in order to prevent the other faction of big government candidates from dethroning the incumbent.

    I have long believed that the default organizational structure of human groups is a form of feudal oligarchy, based on the pre-historical council of elders that held sway in so many cultures based on clans and/or tribal groupings.

    The founders were well aware of the threat posed by factionalism, and several of the elements of the constitution were designed to minimize this danger by strictly limiting the powers of the state to be used as a club by one group against the others. The Bill of Rights makes this point expressly and succinctly by protecting speech, beliefs, arms, redress, and property, among other matters, by the demand for due process of law in all these areas.

    But, it is now painfully clear, the relentless efforts of the collectivist factions, often aligned with other statist factions in the shifting alliances that are the hallmark of a feudal oligarchy, have so eroded those protections over the last century and more that only stunted fragments of those safeguards remain, and the attitudes of the cadres of the state are clearly that anything they can use to attack and weaken other factions is not only acceptable, but a positive good.

    The media is a relic of a past age, but, like an aging dragon at the end of its time of rule over the earth, still powerful and dangerous, even in its death throes.

    The political parties, fragmented and in constant internal turmoil, are still “identity vehicles” of tremendous allure and complex organization, which a great many of the citizenry turn to out of the belief, and hope, that they will be truly represented by the party and candidates they support.

    It is long past time to accept the fact that such representation is an illusion, and to seriously consider what form of re-alignment holds the best possibility of returning some elements of true political control to the populace, and which course of action would increase that power over the long term. If that meant that one, or both, of the current parties had to be replaced, or superceded, so be it.

    There will be no tears flowing down my cheeks to see the end of these corrupt and utterly self-serving factions, and the thought of their various power brokers suddenly on the outside looking in would be very gratifying indeed.

    Whether you are an American or not, take the time to read the Gettysburg Address, whether for the first time, or simply to refresh yourself at a well that never goes dry, but is always flowing with the sweetest, purest water.

    If we allow the state to finally, and irrevocably, usurp those powers which should only belong to the people, then something very precious, the pearl of great price for which so many laid down their lives over the centuries, truly will have perished from the earth.

  • Pardone

    This went on under Bush as well. The Bush Admin targeted opponents aggressively:


    Its simply the fact that politicians and bureaucrats are, without exception, narcissistic sociopaths. That is all. Trying to make out that some of the scum are better than others is an attempt by people with childlike minds to define “goodies” and “baddies” where there are in fact simply politicians. The thing about politicians is the only reason they enter politics is to get rich via the revolving door. As Jack Abramoff showed, politicians are the cheapest prostitutes money can buy and exist purely to serve the interests of those who have purchased them. No exceptions.

  • Laird

    Pardone, Bush is hardly alone in that. Known abuse of the IRS goes back at least to FDR, if not earlier, and includes just about every administration since the income tax was adopted. See James Bovard’s recent Wall Street Journal artcle on the topic (sorry if it’s behind a pay wall, but I don’t think the editorial pieces are).

  • Chris

    Flat tax? The problem of the IRS is due not to the progressive part of the income tax, but to the income tax itself. Most of the law and regulations are about what does and does not constitute income. That will not go away with a flat tax.

    The income tax itself must be banished. I’d put the FISA and Medicare taxes in that rubbish bin too, or they will become a backdoor path to reinstating the entire income tax code.

  • Laird

    “I’d put the FISA and Medicare taxes in that rubbish bin too, . . . “

    While I agree with you aboud FISA, Chris, in this context I think you actually meant FICA.

    Can we agree to scrap both?