Tags: IRS Scandal | IRS | Scandal | Tax | Reform

IRS Scandal Fuels Calls for Tax Reform

Saturday, 18 May 2013 03:15 PM

By Sandy Fitzgerald

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The IRS admission that the agency has given extra scrutiny to conservative groups has led to renewed cries for tax reform — or the elimination of the agency altogether.

"The problem is not the redundancy that is the ‘politicized IRS," writes Forbes columnist John Tamny in an opinion piece. "Rather the problem is that the IRS exists to begin with. It’s time that we abolish our tax authority with a view toward re-asserting our individual liberty."

Tamny argues that the IRS' misdeeds are "offensive," but denies that they in themselves rise to the level of a scandal.

He noted that the IRS has been politicized since the 1930s — at least — and "it seems the better answer is to acknowledge what's more of a certainty, that the IRS itself is the scandal."

The IRS, he said, "has allowed for the rise of an entity that allots for itself an obnoxious portion of our paychecks. The bigger scandal is that once a year we do our taxes fearful that an accounting error could have us in serious trouble with our nation’s tax authority, and more broadly, with the law."

Tamny said he believes the government "must scrap the income tax code altogether and institute a national sales tax," which "would mean we no longer need to act as subjects cowering in fear of a tax authority."

And while there are some who claim a flat tax is the answer to the nation's problems, "a flat tax by its very nature means we’ll have to continue bowing before our federal minders once a year as we prove our income to them," Tamny writes. "The flat tax would arguably be too successful as a source of federal revenue, and because it would be, it’s not consistent with limiting the size of government. And it doesn’t presume the abolition of the IRS."

Many Republicans on Capitol Hill agree that reforms are urgently needed for the nation's tax agency, and the IRS' current woes only underscore that need.

Among those calling for reform is Michigan Rep. Dave Camp, chairman of the Republican-led House Ways and Means Committee, which held a hearing on the scandal five days after the targeting was made public.

“This systemic abuse cannot be fixed with just one resignation,” said Camp two days after the resignation of acting IRS Commissioner Steven Miller.

Camp said drastic reforms are needed, reported Fox News.

"Our entire tax system — it is rotten at the core, and it must be ripped out so we can start fresh."

Mitt Romney, during his 2012 campaign, proposed a flatter tax rate, with fewer deductions, and both Texas Gov. Rick Perry and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich had proposed a simplification of the code.

Utah Republican Sen. Mike Lee, earlier this week branded the entire federal government as "inherently dysfunctional, corrupt, and intolerant, regardless of who is in charge," and he called on the American people to demand that "government be less involved, less intrusive and therefore less able to carry out these kinds of abuses."

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