by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
The latest issue of Forbes magazine features Steve Forbes‘ proposal for addressing the scandal-plagued Internal Revenue Service.
The current IRS scandals are now bigger than those of Watergate in the 1970s and Teapot Dome in the 1920s. The most powerful and feared government agency was turned loose on groups of citizens who the White House and congressional Democrats felt threatened their power. President Franklin Roosevelt used the IRS against opponents, as did Presidents John Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon. Conservative think tanks were rightfully suspicious they were being singled out for tax audits during the Clinton Administration. But none of those abuses was of the sweeping nature of the ones that began in 2010 and have taken place against ordinary citizens who have spontaneously come together in countless organizations to fight the current regime’s egregious policies and threats to liberty.
IRS wrongdoing is symptomatic of the Obama Administration. Changing the law by executive fiat, creating law by executive decree, and abusing the law by employing police powers in federal agencies all fundamentally pervert and threaten the foundation of this Republic.
Defenders of liberty, especially Republicans, must now think and act strategically. This means concerted campaigns must be launched to educate the public on what’s taking place. It means attacking smartly and with focus.
The educating must begin now. The Supreme Court smackdown of the President’s illegal recess appointments to the National Labor Relations Board provides an excellent news peg. This should be closely followed by attacks that culminate in defunding almost all of the IRS after the midterm elections, which the Democrats will lose badly. There can be no more continuing resolutions that allow the tax-collection agency to operate business as usual, even though Congress hasn’t passed an appropriations bill. If a continuing resolution is necessary to avoid a government shutdown, then by all means pass one–but specifically do a near-zeroing-out of the IRS (the only exception would be a handful of clerks to process refunds) until these scandals are fully and credibly investigated.