I’d say it’s official; President Obama’s Watergate has arrived. And the witty question originally formed for Nixon’s big scandal can now be re-applied to President Plausible Deniability, “What did he not know and when did he not know it?” While I do think that IRS-Gate spells the end of this President’s ability to effectively advance the liberal agenda, I do not see an impeachment on the horizon; at least not for Barack Obama – but perhaps for the Sixteenth Amendment.
The recent parade of citizen witnesses to congressional hearings has laid bare the raw suffering that inevitably comes from tolerating the existence of a despotic government agency. To gain an appreciation for the IRS scandal, one need only hear the eight minute statement from citizen Becky Gerritson before the House Ways and Means Committee. Gerritson’s elocution should be required viewing for every citizen and immigrant over the age of 16, perhaps set to an inspirational John Williams soundtrack. Juxtaposed to Ms. Gerritson are the strained testimonies from IRS employees where I keep expecting to hear that fast paced Benny Hill music welling up in the background.
The righteous momentum against IRS arrogance creates an opportunity for righting a 100–year-old wrong. This past February 3rd marked exactly one century since the Sixteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified, giving Congress the “power to lay and collect taxes on incomes.” This disastrous decision ultimately reversed the positions of servant and master between America’s citizens and their federal government.
The accounting nightmare created by today’s 50,000 pages of tax law and regulations has produced a natural hostility between citizens and government, acted out on annual and quarterly cycles. Misinterpretations and non-compliance result in fines, property seizure, and criminal prosecution. The enforcement power given to the agency strikes fear in taxpayers, businesses, charities, and churches, and the temptation has proven to be too much. Politicians and bureaucrats have leveraged this position to influence desired behaviors.