Tools of Tyranny – The IRS

Tools of Tyranny – The IRS

If we don’t want a future U.S. government to become tyrannical we must work every day to limit the creation of government powers, laws, regulations and departments with the potential to be used as tools of tyranny.  The tax collector has been an unfortunate but necessary fixture in society for thousands of years and will continue to be so.  The power to tax is necessary (but certainly not at the levels we’ve chosen the past few years) but is also ripe for abuse and is definitely a potential tool of tyranny.  Let’s not forget that one of the rallying cries that created our nation was tax related… “Taxation without representation is tyranny.”

I must admit that when the cries of unfair treatment from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) by conservative nonprofits was raised during the election I discounted them as oversensitivity encouraged by election year politics but as it turns out there was preferential treatment for non-profits which espoused views similar to President Obama’s.  It seems that organizations ‘friendly’ to the incumbent President weren’t selected for additional scrutiny but organizations with ‘patriot’ or ‘tea party’ in the title were.

TaxationBackground:

  • Not all non-profit organizations are barred from political activities
  • The IRS is charged with evaluating organizations seeking tax-exempt status
  • Hotly contested national elections lead to a tremendous increase in the number of organizations seeking tax-exempt status
  • The IRS centralized evaluations of these non-profit in Cincinnati

Media Misreporting:

Much of the news media has identified the problem as an issue with low level staffers in a single office…but these “low level” staffers seem to have worked in the only office charged with evaluating those new nonprofits allowed to pursue political activity.  In addition to singling out the administration’s political opponents for additional scrutiny, intimidating some groups into withdrawing their applications there were also some organizations that were asked to release their donor lists to the IRS.

Additional Examples of Interference in the Political Process:

Unfortunately, there’s been an increase in utilizing the instruments of government for partisan purposes in the election process in the last few years.  If this trend continues than the IRS isn’t the only potential tool of tyranny we’re developing…

Final Thoughts:

In addition to reading the apology at IRS apologizes for targeting conservative groups it’s worth considering that beginning next year the IRS will be greatly expanding the scope of their work and authority as they become the enforcement arm of the structure put in place by the Affordable Care Act AKA Obamacare.  That’s right, the IRS will be policing your health insurance policy…what could go wrong?

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