by Ilana Mercer
House Republicans are waging a symbolic and futile battle to slash the Internal Revenue Service’s budget by $3 billion. Republicans,according to reports,want the tax-collectors to pay for “unfairly scrutinizing conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status.”
As usual, the GOP finesses the matter, as does the press.
The Washington Post’s Michael Gerson understated the IRS’s abuse of “police power” as a mere “intrusion”; an ideological targeting by federal investigation of a political movement. To its credit, the Post’s Editorial Board stepped it up, conceding, at the time of the scandal that, “Any unequal application of the law based on ideological viewpoint is unpardonable—toxic to the legitimacy of the government’s vast law-enforcement authority.”
More to the point—and likely with White-House imprimatur—the IRS persecuted American patriots for promoting the constitutional principles upon which America was founded, but which are no longer a lodestar for the country’s government. These groups were hounded for their principles—and for asking to keep more of what is rightfully theirs in the service of these values.
How perverse is that?
And how perverse is the sight of the sameIRS bureaucrats getting their freak-on (as in groove-on) at your expense? Watch this YouTube clip of a representative cross-section, no doubt, of the IRS workforce at a “training conference.”Look at these off-putting officials having a jolly good time on your dime. Chins and butts wiggling obscenely all over the show; these people belong in a Federico Fellini film.
You could not fan away the smell in that hall if you tried.
You don’t imagine that such a grotesque group—physically and morally—could add value to a private company that must vie for the consumer’s voluntary vote, do you? One reason the Internal Revenue Service’s menageries of freaks and slobs are going places—but the proposed legislation to curb them is going nowhere; the agency will continue to accrete in size and scope—is the nature of the thugs that man the IRS.
In “Liberty, Order, And Justice: An Introduction to the Constitutional Principles of American Government,” constitutional scholar James McClellan made an interesting point about the “theory of representation embodied by the Constitution”: “A legislator does not represent just people as such, but people in a broader cultural sense, including their localities and their way of life.” (page 99)
Granted, bureaucrats are not legislators. However, in the modern Managerial State that is America, citizens live and labor under bureaucracies that have been imbued with enormous discretionary powers.
So I ask you this: These repulsive IRS agents, stomping about with abandon in carnival-like conferences and getaways: Do they represent you? Do they reflect your habits, manners, demeanor, priorities or worldview? We are trapped in the deforming, deadly clutches of institutionalized freaks.
Alas, Mark Steyn gets the remedy wrong. After recounting the “scale of depravity [in the IRS] hitherto unknown to the tax authorities of the United States,” the neoconservative Steyn concluded predictably and in error, that the IRS “should be disarmed and disbanded—and rebuilt from scratch with far more circumscribed powers.”
Suppose that disbanding and rebuilding this den of iniquity and vice were the solution here—which it most certainly is not—how does Steyn propose to get it right this time around? We live in an age unparalleled for its immorality, decadence, debauchery, lack of traditional religiosity, and corruption—all parading as normalcy. As bad as they might have been at the agency’s inception, IRS bureaucrats would have been more virtuous than the degenerates who run the agency now and will run it in the future.
If not illegal, let us remember that the IRS’s activities are immoral. The IRS’s business is legalized theft. Theft is wrong, whether it is committed by an individual or a group. In a just society, the moral strictures that apply to the individual must also extend to the collective.
Immoral acts that are forbidden severally cannot be sanctioned collectively. The citizen must not steal. Neither should The State.
House Republicans are aiming ostensibly to make an agency of thugs practice theft and intimidation with greater fairness, when they should demolish the den of iniquity and vice that is the IRS.