As Rahm Emanuel likes to say, never let a a good crisis go to waste. Unless you live under a rock or work in upper management at the IRS – that’s a joke – you have no doubt heard that the Internal Revenue Service has been targeting conservative groups and individuals for extra scrutiny when filing for tax-exempt status. Many of these groups have never been granted status seriously impeding their ability to exercise their First Amendment rights on a level playing field with other groups expressing other view points. Ah, isn’t big government grand?
I’m not going to hash out the whys and wherefores or try to explain how this activity threatens everyone’s liberty and freedoms. I mean if you can’t figure that out, you’re either stupid or you voted for Obama (sorry, couldn’t resist). But this situation goes to show what big government and punitive tax law can do. It can be used to hurt, to ruin or to silence individuals. The tax code is full of loopholes that benefit all manner of different constituencies and is so complex it is difficult not to file incorrectly. The tax code is used to coerce individuals and businesses into acting certain ways, engaging in certain activities or avoiding others. It’s a freaking mess and not the kind of tax system that should be used in a free and open society.
So, you are no doubt about to ask, what can we do that is more fair, more equitable and makes this kind of scandal less likely to occur? Well here’s a few ideas to ponder: (more…)