Skip to comments.Easy fix for IRS corruption
Posted on 07/14/2013 10:54:34 AM PDT by Taxman
Sir John Dalberg-Acton famously observed, Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. No federal agency enjoys more power than the absolute power wielded by the Internal Revenue Service. Its little wonder, then, that under this power-drunk Obama regime, the IRS has become corrupted absolutely. Its become the hammer to this presidents favorite nail: political dissent.
The bureaucratic cats out of the bag, and the evidence is undeniable. The Obama IRS has been illegally targeting conservative, Christian and Jewish groups and individuals for political retaliation, intimidation and, ultimately, destruction. These revelations have spurred calls for criminal prosecution and even impeachment. Still, little has been said about how to prevent such Stalinist abuses of power in the future. Advertisement
Weve been over-thinking the problem. Sometimes complicated questions come with easy answers. I wish I could take credit for it, but while I was participating in a recent meeting in Washington, D.C., Judson Phillips, founder of Tea Party Nation, hit on the simple solution. The Constitution is a great place to go in order to rein in the rampant and repeated abuses at the IRS, he suggested. Namely, the Fourth Amendment, which guarantees the following:
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
No individual and especially no federal agency is above the law. Regrettably, and largely through both citizen and government acquiescence, the IRS has been brandishing arbitrary and extra-constitutional authority, unchecked, for well over a century.
Imagine if the Department of Homeland Security, the FBI, or the ATF suddenly began searching and seizing the persons, houses, papers, and effects, of millions of U.S. citizens every year without a warrant without probable cause or even reasonable suspicion that any criminal or civil violation had occurred. People would be outraged, and for good reason. Such actions would rightly and universally be decried as unconstitutional. The lawsuits would fly, heads would roll and the courts would immediately shut down such unreasonable searches and seizures. This is exactly the kind of government tyranny our founders endeavored to thwart.
So why has the IRS been allowed to do just that to violate, systemically and systematically, the Fourth Amendment? How is it that this one federal agency, with neither probable cause nor a warrant, is permitted to invade your privacy and confiscate your houses, papers and effects on a whim? How is it that if you fail to comply with their warrantless searches and seizures, they have the authority to ruin you financially and even throw you in prison?
No warrant? No problem. When the IRS arbitrarily and capriciously says jump, America opens its doors wide and says, how high? Is this the IRS or the ISS? Either way, its time that we the people put an end to this unconstitutional abuse of power.
At least some good has come from Mr. Obamas IRS-gate scandal. Its exposed the unprecedented depths to which corruption has burrowed its way from the top down. Its also underscored the autocratic nature of the contemporary IRS beast. Its unified many Republicans, Democrats and independents around this fundamental reality: America must de-politicize the IRS.
Politicians on both sides of the aisle love to pay lip service to a need for tax reform. Well, honorable sirs and madams, put up or shut up. Its time for a new federal Taxpayer Bill of Rights. A centerpiece to such legislation must be the simple codification of that which the Fourth Amendment already mandates; namely, that, when conducting searches and seizures (aka, audits), the IRS must adhere to the same U.S. Constitution that restricts every other federal agency.
Such a bill, notes Phillips, would codify as federal law that no IRS audit (or any other agency audit) of a person, organization or business could be conducted without first having the IRS agent (or agent of the agency conducting the audit) to prepare an affidavit that is sworn to in front of a federal judge, federal magistrate or a tax court judge that states with specificity why there is probable cause to believe the audit will result in either the discovery of criminal activities or the discovery of civil wrong doing. It will be the functional equivalent of a search warrant.
Phillips is on to something big here. Especially when you consider this last minor factoid: The IRS is also the OEA: the Obamacare Enforcement Agency.
If that doesnt send a chill down your spine, then nothing will.
What do you get when you cross one tyrannical, hyper-politicized bureaucratic beast with another?
You get tyranny on steroids. You also get one happy Barack Hussein Obama.
Contact your legislators and A) respectfully request that they re-constitutionalize the IRS; B) that the IRS be required to observe the Fourth Amendment; and C) that they hold this president accountable for his unprecedented and despicable abuse of executive authority.
Finally, request that Congress pass a new Taxpayer Bill of Rights that covers all of the above.
Matt Barber (@jmattbarber on Twitter) is an attorney concentrating in constitutional law. He serves as Vice President of Liberty Counsel Action.
Have at this one, FReepers!
A most excellent article!
The fairtax would also solve these problems. By taxing consumption and not income, it would give us the chance to actually control the amount of taxes we pay.
But the “entitled” folks I’ve talked to don’t like the fairtax—they seem to be able to sniff out the fact that Congress has helped to make them entitled by manipulating the tax code through legislation and the IRS.
The IRS does not obey the existing Bill of Rights. We are idiots if we think they would obey new laws. They are fundamentally corrupt.
"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated..."
This is why we cannot have a federal agency like the IRS that is devoted to searches and seizure. There should be NO direct federal taxation. Let the federal government collect from the States, as a percentage of whatever each state collects. The CATO Institute calls this Reverse Revenue Sharing(pdf).
Thanks for the response, Guns.
I posted this article because I thought it a thoughtful place to initiate a discussion.
As you say, the FairTax would solve the problem, but as I see it, we have to start dismantling the machinery somewhere, somehow.
I’d prefer to use one large explosion and replace the income tax with the FairTax and abolosh the IRS in one fell swoop.
But, we may have to do it incrementally, say start with this, and then move on, piece by piece.
HSAT, if, in this toxic environment, we cannot stir up enough Americans to, metaphorically, march on WDC and thrrow out the bad guys and the bad laws and the bad agencies, America is done!
And, that would be a sad day, because what America stands for is FReedom, and if that goes away, FReedom in the world may not reappear for hundreds, if not thousands, of years.
I commend to you a book: “The 5,000 Year Leap” by W. Cleon Skousen.
Ultimately, FairTax is about FReedom, as America used to be.
It still can be!
Only one way, get rid of it...
Make corruption a capital offense. Off a few of these assholes and attitudes would change.
I like that idea!
You have got exactly the right idea!
But let us start somewhere.
The apparatchiks have been emboldened by this communist arch criminal in the WH like never before.
The corrupt political class from both parties and the federal workers will NEVER voluntarily give up their ability to extort money from us chumps that work for a living outside the beltway.
Change must come from outside, led by a POTUS that comes to DC with one purpose.
To destroy the apparatus.
I don’t disagree with you. Wanted to start the conversation and raise the visibility of American anger at our government.
I advocate for the FairTax, and passing HR 25 would solve the problem.
Clinton used the IRS the same way.
> “Imagine if the Department of Homeland Security, the FBI, or the ATF suddenly began searching and seizing the persons, houses, papers, and effects, of millions of U.S. citizens every year without a warrant without probable cause ...”
> “So why has the IRS been allowed to do just that to violate, systemically and systematically, the Fourth Amendment? How is it that this one federal agency, with neither probable cause nor a warrant, is permitted to invade your privacy and confiscate your houses, papers and effects on a whim?”
You know that I am disciple, promoter and supporter of the FairTax.
But this 4th Amendment angle has already been tried and the result is that people go to prison.
The government has an implied warrant to check and search for financial records. We ‘volunteer’ to report our income but if we don’t report it or we do report it but there is evidence that we misreported it, then the IRS has reason to investigate. We can stall and not cooperate and they will then take it to tax court where we can found in contempt and go to prison.
The criminal investigation division of the IRS can also be called to a case but usually it is for high profile cases in order to send a message. Fear tactics are employed abundantly and they work.
Despite all the injustices that have occurred, despite all of the false flags and politically targeted intrusions, despite all of these things under the awful Income tax code, there has to be a means of enforcement.
The FairTax also has a means of enforcement. A tax court will still be employed to reign in abuse on both sides. But the FairTax enforcement provisions are so much more efficient and transparent, the means of paying tax is so easier to do and so easy to see in plain light, that the IRS looks like the dark ages, and it is indeed a relic of the dark ages.
The thing we have to do is to wake people up by education and activism. Here’s a list of what needs to be done:
* Develop and support on average 3000 FairTax activists in each Congressional district. 3000 is the magic number that will turn the Congress member around to support HR25.
* Gain control of both chambers of Congress with strong conservative principles. Then immediately draft a Consumer Act of Tax Transparency to comprise printing on every retail receipt an estimate of the percentage of the final retail price, less state and local sales taxes, that is due to federal embedded taxation. In other words, hammer the point home on what the price of RETAIL goods and services would be if no income tax existed by printing a short one sentence statement on the percentage of the price due to federal taxation.
* Organize a series grassroots caravan tours of the countryside that promotes the Fairtax at every imaginable event from urban holiday picnics to countryside rodeos; everything and everywhere. Use printed retail receipts to inform the public that the FairTax is simply going to replace the Income tax and the prices will be just about the same. Educate that the FairTax is not a spending reform, not a means of getting more tax revenue out of the existing economy, not in addition to income tax.
People simply are not yet educated on what the FairTax is. It took 51 years to make the income tax without apportionment constitutional. The FairTax is only about 11 to 12 years in existence. It takes time and energy to get the public onboard with it.
We can do it for sure. Because once a person commits to sit down and read about the FairTax, and they finally have a Eureka moment, they get it! And they never let it go.
The problem is it’s damn near impossible to get the public to sit down and study for a few days an alternative tax system that can make their lives so much better.
So we need tools to help get in their face about it. And the retail slip labeling law is one tool to get it done. Think about all the nutritional labeling that now goes on. It would be so easy to print on a receipt or to post on a placard “Federal law requires that you be informed that 22% of your purchase was due to federal level taxation including business income and payroll taxes”.
Then the educational tour needs to inform retirees and pensioners, and in fact every American citizen and permanent resident, that although they will pay a National Retail Sales Tax (NRST) of about 23% of the total RETAIL purchase, they will be refunded taxes in the form of a Rebate up to the level of the essentials of living. In other words, retirees and pensioners living at the poverty line will not be taxed, and in general
AMERICANS WILL BE FREE OF FEDERAL TAXATION UP TO A SPENDING LEVEL NECESSARY FOR ACQUIRING THE ESSENTIALS OF LIVING.
Taxman Bravo Zulu!
Bigun, can you get the essence of the post to AFFT HQ?
That is so true, and, as in Obongo Bozo’s case, the media covered for him, so the story became a non-issue.
I think Obongo Bozo stuck his stick into a bigger hornet’s nest than Slick Willy did.
Plus, Obongo Bozo is not nearly as popular as Slick was.
I am confident that this story will end differently than Slick’s.
It is up to us to make that happen!
You are so right!
And, it is up to US to make that happen!
I don’t like the “fair tax” because its imposition will lead to the “both taxes.” I cannot be convinced the income tax will be eliminated, even if we repeal the 16th.
The only fix will be a revolution. No one in power wants to remove the money machine. Not anyone.
Let us try it at the ballot box in November, 2014.
We’ll have a better sense of what comes next after that event.
the IRS cannot be re-constitutionalized, because it is in of itself unconstitutional. The country is supposed to run on tariffs, not income tax.
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