Government Power, Individual Rights, and the IRS

Michael Elgart

The IRS has jumped into the news recently as it has come to light that for 18 months, the agency decided to target political organizations based on name and ideology to delay their applications for tax exempt status.  This event provides a fascinating real life demonstration of how governmental power inherently comes at the cost of individual freedom.   As noted by the New York Times, the IRS is not an independent agency, but its function within the Treasury Department is about as untouched as it can be. This abuse of power was not the result of some large conspiracy; it occurred among simple government employees without outside help.

Which leads us to a more important truth; even government employees isolated from greater political influence can succumb to the urge to abuse their power simply because the opportunity exists.  The result here is a combination of attacks on both…

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