It seems as if Congress is always trying to pass some bill that that’s so big, we won’t know what’s in it until it’s the law. And that always works out swell…for the government, not for us.
For instance, in 2015, Congress voted on an 864-page highway funding bill. The Wall Street Journal, which was one of the few media outlets that actually took the time to slog through the whole thing, discovered that buried deep inside it was yet another new power for the Internal Revenue Service (I don’t know how the IRS relates to highways, unless it’s because they treat us like speed bumps, or maybe because some tax rates are highway robbery.)
For some inexplicable reason, the proposed “highway funding bill” gave the State Department the right to revoke or deny your passport if you owed the IRS more than $50,000. Once it was spotted, its backers assured us this would “usually” only apply to Americans with IRS liens on their property, and “likely” wouldn’t hit those who’d made payment arrangements. I don’t know about you, but I’m “usually” not comfortable with giving broad new powers to the IRS on the promise that they “usually” wouldn’t expand them and “likely” wouldn’t abuse them.
This is why I never understood why I remain the only major Presidential candidate who’s run on a platform of replacing the income tax with the consumption-based Fair Tax. Any other proposal to flatten rates or simplify the tax code still keeps the IRS in place in some form. And from their targeting of taxpayers for their political beliefs to taking the Fifth and destroying evidence; from unconstitutionally acting as prosecutor, judge and jury; to their unlawful seizing of property and jailing of Americans, the IRS has proven that it is unworthy of the powers it already has.
As of 2015, we already had 85,000 IRS agents. That was over twice as many IRS agents as FBI agents, and over 14 times more IRS agents than CIA agents. During the hearings into the targeting of conservative nonprofits, IRS officials displayed undisguised contempt both for the rules they’re supposed to obey and the people’s representatives who are supposed to be their watchdogs. To add even more insult to injury, they later begged that their testimony - which was on the record and the property of the American people -- not be publicly released because they feared retribution if the American people found out what they said. This out-of-control agency certainly didn’t need new powers to curtail our right to move about freely.
The day the IRS was created, the fundamental relationship between the American people (the boss) and the government (their servant) was turned upside down. The government has no business demanding to know your income or controlling how you spend your own money. It certainly has no right to seize your property without due process of law, or to assume you're guilty until you prove yourself innocent. It’s time not only to stop punishing productivity, but to restore the proper relationship of government as the servant of the people, not the people as servants of the government. That can begin only when the Fair Tax replaces the income tax, and the IRS is no more.