Jackie Gingrich Cushman

Thomas Sowell was right this past week when he wrote in the column "The Bullying Pulpit" that, "…the real danger to us all is when government not only exercises the powers that we have voted to give it, but exercises additional powers that we have never voted to give it. That is when 'public servants' become public masters. That is when government itself has stepped over the line."

"Government's power to bully people who have broken no law is dangerous to all of us," Sowell wrote, citing the IRS focus on conservative groups.

Imagine what would have happened if, under a Republican administration, the IRS had placed the same focus on other types of organization with certain attributes. For arguments sake, imagine targeting African American organizations, Hispanic organizations or gay and lesbian organizations. There would have been cries of discrimination from dozens of groups and individuals.

We need to keep in mind that, whichever party is in charge, if its representatives believe that they are smarter than the general populace; if they believe that it's not enough to follow the law, but more is required, then something is amiss. (The motto, "I must work harder," from "Animal Farm" comes to mind.) For example, it's not enough for Apple to follow the letter of the law -- it must do more or get bullied about by lawmakers.

While the motivation of liberals in setting up large government programs may be to help people, the reality is that those very programs can wind up perverting such good intentions.

The IRS is a case in point, as is the Justice Department's wide-ranging subpoena for reporters' email and phone records. It seems these days that, peering into the administration and its bureaucracies, the view is just as confusing as the final scene in "Animal Farm."

Jackie Gingrich Cushman

Jackie Gingrich Cushman is a speaker, syndicated columnist, socialpreneur, and author of "The Essential American: 25 Documents and Speeches Every American Should Own," and co-author of “The 5 Principles for a Successful Life: From Our Family to Yours”.