In light of the newest round of IRS hearings on Capital Hill, I asked myself a basic question: “Why are we even having these hearings”? And I answered myself almost immediately: “to look into why the IRS abused its power”.
….and then it hit me that we already know why the IRS abused its power: because it could.
This is the old “With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility” theory, but with one caveat: a Government Agency is not an individual. Therefore, it has no conscience, and thus can’t HAVE a sense of responsibility. No, the IRS is only as good as the shackles we use to chain it down, in order for it to do our bidding.
But based on both recent events and its own history, the IRS has proven to be incapable of remaining shackled. The tax collection agency has become King Kong, after he breaks out of the theater and starts terrorizing Manhattan. Both Kong and the IRS are gigantic, all-powerful entities, which wreck the lives of countless people with the flick of a wrist, while simultaneously terrifying millions more.
And just as Kong ultimately had to be brought down, so too should the IRS be toppled, …just without the bullets and biplanes, obviously.
Reason.com had a post a couple months ago, in which the author wrote the following:
“Keep in mind that the IRS isn’t dangerous and politicized because it’s wielded by the Obama administration. The tax agency has been abused and used against political enemies by presidents of both parties.
The IRS is dangerous because of its vast, almost unaccountable powers, and the temptations those pose for politicians.”
That’s the long and short of it, I’m afraid.
The IRS simply can’t be trusted with the ridiculous omnipotence which it currently possesses, and it certainly doesn’t deserve more. If we’re to have any hope of bringing it back in line (assuming we don’t end it altogether), the first step is to carve it down to a far more manageable scale.
What about, say, just a Curious George-sized agency?