Skip to comments.Abolish the IRS (and the Income Tax With It)
Posted on 05/21/2013 3:53:35 PM PDT by neverdem
No dissenter can ever rest assured he is safe from the arbitrary power of the IRS.
The Internal Revenue Service has been caught engaging in political profiling while processing applications for tax-exempt status. In this case it was against organizations with tea-party or patriot in their names and other right-wing groups. Next time it could be libertarian or left-wing antiwar and pro-civil-liberties groups. No dissenter can ever rest assured he is safe from the arbitrary power of the IRS.
Nothing will have been learned from this scandal if all that happens is the firing of some IRS administrators and the issuance of new guidelines on 501(c)(4) applications. That is not nearly enough.
Obviously, tax exemptions exist only because individuals and some organizations are subject to income and other forms of taxation. Congress levies a tax on incomes, then in its wisdom chooses to exempt certain activities but not others. This is social engineering, with Congress seeking to encourage some kinds of organizations while not forgoing more revenue than necessary. The IRS then writes rules to carry out the directions of Congress.
Where possible, people will naturally strive to qualify for exemption by pushing the boundaries of the regulations. That incentive will always be strong because a nonprofit organization that is exempt from taxation will have more resources with which to pursue its mission. Since the language of statutes and regulations is inevitably vague, the IRS will have room to interpret when ruling on who qualifies and who doesnt qualify for exemption. The line between vigilance and harassment is not bright, and the potential for abuse is great.
It should be apparent that this power, which is inherently arbitrary, ill suits a society that sees itself as free.
Take the current controversy. The IRS says that to qualify for 501(c)(4) tax-exempt status, a nonprofit organization must be operated exclusively to promote social welfare. To do that the organization must operate primarily to further the common good and general welfare of the people of the community (such as by bringing about civic betterment and social improvements).
What exactly constitutes the common good and general welfare of the people of the community, or civic betterment and social improvements? The IRS will let you know. What does primarily mean and how does it relate to the seemingly contradictory exclusivity requirement? This is subject to a facts and circumstances test that is, the IRS will decide. Approved activities are generally regarded as educational, but how broadly or narrowly that term is interpreted is left to the IRS and, if challenged, to the courts. Lobbying for legislation germane to the organizations programs is a permissible means of attaining social welfare purposes. However, direct or indirect participation in political campaigns is not regarded as promotion of social welfare although an organization may engage in some political activities, so long as that is not its primary activity. However, any expenditure it makes for political activities may be subject to tax.
As this demonstrates, once government undertakes to tax income, it acquires even more power through its authority to define income, taxable income, subsidiary terms, and the rules of exemption. There is no escape from arbitrariness and caprice.
One might propose to remove the governments arbitrary power by ending tax exemption. But that would make the tax burden worse. And besides, politicians arent likely to agree, because they would be giving up the power to dispense favors that manipulation of todays tax code affords.
Theres a better way to go thats demanded by liberty and justice. Since taxation is nothing less than the confiscation, under threat of force, of what belongs to productive individuals, it has no place in a free society. In other words, everyone should be exempt from income and other taxation. (Americans lived without income taxation for more than 125 years except for ten years beginning during the Civil War.) If something cant be accomplished through consent, contract, and cooperation without aggressive force we should ask whether it is worth doing.
When the income tax was first proposed in America years ago, opponents always had the same word of warning: inquisitorial. How right they were.
This column originally appeared at the Future of Freedom Foundation.
Conservatives seem not to realize the the Federal Reserve Act and the 16th Amendment were the cornerstones of Progressive plans for Government.
The power to print and control fiat money says more about a society than how it feeds itself or what kind of army it has. We will be fighting a losing battle against intrusive Government and the erosion of Constitutional rights as long as long as the Fed and fiat money exist.
The 100 year experiment can now be ended.
If another man has first dibs on your wages, you are a slave to that man.
That is what must happen - but it will not. Prepare for tyranny, revolt and civil war.
Simple, repeal the 16th just as was prohibition.
One of the primary money-raisers for Congress is their ability to get tax advantages for contributors. (Adam Smith called it rent-seeking.) This power guarantees that the reelection coffers are always full. That is the reason that Congress will NEVER give up the IRS.
Freedom requires financial privacy. Our current system prohibits it.
We need a tax system that doesn’t require you to reveal your personal assets or where your money is parked. I have never in the past favored a national sales tax, but I’m moving in that direction now. Its the only system of taxation I can think of that allows the individual citizen to keep his private affairs private.
Its one thing for a company to open its books to the tax man. Its another for private individuals to be forced to reveal private information about themselves. We’ve tolerated IRS until now, but seeing the way it can be abused has convinced me that we have to replace it. Not reform it, but replace it altogether.
In the age of interlocking databases and out of control regulators, we need to reclaim our financial privacy.
Do I understand correctly that it is a crime to even suggest a tax revolt?
Will NEVER, NEVER, NEVER happen as long as we continue to waste our taxes on non-essential domestic and overseas projects.
Hell, the UN would never allow this to happen, and we still worship at their shrine.
"The IRS and our new friends, the DHS...can we come in for a few years."
Speak for yourself. I've 'realized' it for 50 years.
Speak for yourself. I’ve ‘realized’ it for 50 years.
Make that 40 years for me.
You are absoFReepinglutely correct, my FRiend!
This is a FReedom issue and the FairTax is the solution to America’s slavery problem!
Find out more at http://www.fairtax.org
1. 30,000 tax lobbyists--HALF the lobbyists in Washington, DC--fighting for every scrap of a tax loophole. And you get political corruption on a huge scale over this.
2. The result is a tax code over 70,000 pages long so complex that it makes James Joyce's Finnegans Wake almost easy to read in comparison. Even the IRS can't figure out much of the tax code!
3. The sheer complexity means exorbitant yearly compliance costs, estimated by some economists to exceed US$430 BILLION per year (and climbing fast in each subsequent year).
4. It also encourages the outsourcing of millions of jobs, thousands of factories, and hundreds of corporate headquarters for tax avoidance reasons.
5. It results in (by some estimates) around US$15 TRILLION in American-owned liquid assets sitting in "offshore financial centers" and other foreign banks for tax avoidance reasons (care to explain all those "banks" in the Cayman Islands, Bahamas, British Virgin Islands, and so on?).
6. Government uses the tax code as a political instrument to favor or punish political constituencies as little as ONE taxpaying entity.
7. Because the IRS needs to know intimate details of personal and business financial records in tax return filings, there are potentially serious issues with invasion of privacy.
8. The IRS assumes you're guilty of tax evasion, and you end up having less rights than most common criminals!
Small wonder why the current debacle with the IRS exists. It's time to replace the income tax with FairTax (H.R. 25/S. 122), which would end most of these shenanigans, save 95% of the yearly tax compliance cost, and start the next American economic boom.
Time to end the Fed and to abolish the IRS. Fair tax to tax the truly wealthy and the cash economy, reward savings, bring off-shore money back to the US, get rid of lobbyists, so many benefits.
I like it! Both the IRS and the FED along with some other Cabinet Agencies must go. K Street should also be gone too, no more revolving door from Congress to lobbyist.
To abolish the IRS thought you must repeal the entire Tax Code and Obamacare as well.
I like the ideas you have here ... though being a realist the Congress we have does not have the backbone or the guts or cajones, if you like, to enact such measures.
The votes need to make a paradigm change at the Ballot Box.