Back in 2009, James O'Keefe and Hannah Giles secretly taped multiple ACORN employees supplying free tax advice on how to hide income from a brothel staffed by underage girls smuggled in from El Salvador. The ACORN workers told them that the brothel could be characterized as a "school" on the tax forms and, because the sex slaves would be underage, that they could also be claimed as "dependents."
After the scandal broke, Andrew Breitbart referred to it as "the Abu Ghraib of The Great Society." He argued that the scandal exposed the dark underbelly of the Progressive movement: that Progressivism itself was more important than the liberal ideals it supposedly espoused. The entire episode is outlined in some detail in my new film Hating Breitbart which was released digitally nationwide last month.
But if ACORN was the Abu Ghraib of The Great Society, then the current and ever-growing IRS scandal is its 9/11 -- at least if yesterday's dramatic testimony by IRS victims is any indication. Unlike 9/11, however, this wound is self-inflicted. It's almost as if the IRS has flown planes into its own building.
Who knew that the 16th Amendment, which made the income tax constitutional, would ultimately lead to government bureaucrats asking American citizens about their mentors' politics, with whom they freely associate, or the content of their political speeches? It begs the question: did the authors of the 16th Amendment intend for it to subvert the 4th, or did it just turn out that way? The 4th Amendment protects us from unreasonable searches and seizures, including our papers, and yet every year we Americans are required to tell our government how much money we made, how we made it, when we made it, from whom we made it, to whom we gave it, what we bought with it, where we invested it, et cetera ad nauseum -- how is this in any way reasonable?
Oh, but there are deductions! In order to get them, the only thing we need to do is tell the government how much money we gave to charity, how much money we spent on saline solution, how many miles we drove to see doctors, how much money we spent on private health insurance, whether or not we bought a government-endorsed furnace or window, and a thousand other private details from our private lives. That's all! It's so easy most people just hire a professional to manage all the private questions for them, or they purchase computer software to navigate the tangled mess otherwise known as the tax code.
Andrew Marcus is a writer and director based in Chicago. His newest project is HATING BREITBART, a feature-length documentary releasing in theaters October 19. A graduate of the film school at the Art Institute of Chicago, Andrew began his career documenting protests. Why protests? "Any time you get more than a handful of people together in a space, you get human drama," he says. "I find the human behavior that occurs at protests to be fascinating."