What is the background for the current astounding example of Congressional investigations of the IRS?
Ever since Congress pushed through legislation to enact an income tax and the 16th Amendment in 1913, the income tax system has been a never-ending source of abuse, corruption, fraud, malfeasance and class-warfare.
Name any president or Congress and you'll find the IRS was being used as a social and political weapon.
Exactly what the signers of the Constitution did not want, Congress in their own arrogance of power did — and are still doing.
The self-righteous outrage by Congress, and the typical "Gee, I didn't know what was going on" response by the president is just their usual kabuki dance.
This strikes me as nothing more than the king and his nobles being surprised that the Royal Torturer is mistreating the peasants.
This same scenario played out rather dramatically under President Clinton in 1997. A rather long history of tax abuse by the government against its taxpayers finally came to a head.
As reported by CNN in September of that year, accusations of "gestapo-like tactics employed by the tax agency" abounded.
IRS historian Shelley Davis, who wrote about the IRS in "Unbridled Power," described the IRS activities that are as true today as they were then.
"Davis described the IRS as 'the best secret-keeping agency in our government to day. They are better than the CIA, better than the FBI,'" CNN reported.
What were some of the discoveries about the IRS that she relayed to the Senate Finance Committee?
"I discovered that the IRS does keep list of American citizens for no other reason than their political activities might have offended someone in the IRS; about how the IRS believes that anyone who offers even legitimate criticism of the tax collector is a tax protestor; about how the IRS shreds its paper trail, which means that there is no history, no evidence and, ultimately, no accountability."
David Burham, author of "A Law Unto Itself: The IRS and the Abuse of Power," told the Committee that audits motivated by politics can occur; however, there doesn't need to be direct pressure from the administration to get one started, according to CNN.
CNN reported Burnham as saying, "It is not as simple as the White House calling the commissioner and saying, 'Go get these guys,' because if there is a perception inside the IRS that the administration wants to protect itself from this kind of scrutiny, the IRS may very well do it on their own. It doesn't take direction from the White House; the IRS has the power on their own to do it — there's nothing to stop them from doing it."
Out of the hearings came new legislation. In 1998, the Senate and the House passed the Internal Revenue Service Restructuring and Reform Act.
Among other provisions, it created the Internal Revenue Service Oversight Board. However, since the date of inception, this board has never found any abuse of power by the IRS.
Then-Senate Finance Committee Chairman William Roth, Jr., R-Del., published a book titled "The Power to Destroy: How the IRS Became America" in 1999 where he explained the IRS' power to destroy the taxpayers, but how Congress is taking back control.
Be prepared for new cries by Congress to really reform the IRS this time. That is, of course, with a generous campaign contribution from you.
Ultimately, the only answer to the abuse of the taxing power inherent in an income tax system is to repeal income tax (flat or progressive) and repeal the 16th Amendment.
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