In light of the recent IRS scandal, some politicians are calling for the agency to be scaled back. They say the IRS has entirely too much power, and we’re now seeing the chilling result of an organization that’s out of control.
And I say, “Yahoo!”
Not that I'm exactly hopeful that significant change will happen, but I’d be happy if it did.
As I've mentioned before, I can’t stand doing taxes. I see no downside to instituting a flat tax (a real one), consolidating the IRS, and eliminating annual filings. Just take my money already and leave me alone.
That said, I think the talk about how this scandal has caused some to lose confidence in the agency is interesting. Were there people who actually has trust in the IRS? I surely wasn’t one of those. The only trust I’d put in a large bureaucracy is in its inability to organize itself well enough to do actual harm, and shucks, I was wrong about that.
Now make no mistake, what the IRS did is shocking. A lot of the media characterizes the abuse of power as “targeting conservative groups,” but it was more than that. These officials focused on groups seeking 501(c)(4) status, a designation for nonprofit groups promoting social welfare causes. One would be hard pressed to NOT infer that, by scrutinizing these applications and making it difficult for certain organizations to function, the IRS was attempting to unduly influence the political arena. Since the scandal broke, a few agencies have gone on record as stating that their attempts to qualify for 501(c)(4) status became so burdensome, they just stopped trying. Not good.
So, perhaps I’m being shortsighted, but I could see benefit in a smaller IRS, and I’d enthusiastically welcome a real public dialogue on the topic.
What about you? Do you think the IRS should be downsized?