One of the most hideous ways the IRS usurps power and control over Americans is through its oppression over nonprofits and especially religious groups. Threatening to withdraw tax exempt status or to levy penalties are just a couple ways it exercises its tyranny.
For example, on April 3, 2009, Catholic Answers, one of the nation’s largest lay-run apologetic (or defense) ministries for the Catholic movement, filed suit in federal court against the Internal Revenue Service for violating its rights to free speech.
What spurred on the lawsuit is that the IRS imposed fines on Catholic Answers because President Karl Keating wrote in one of his e-letters that 2004 presidential candidate John Kerry shouldn’t be allowed to receive the Eucharist (communion) because of his pro-abortion stand, advocacy and voting record. Whether you agree or not, Keating was voicing his conviction and opinion, which is his First Amendment right to do. At no point did Catholic Answers even tell people for whom to vote or not to vote.
Does that letter-writing act sound like something that deserves IRS fines and further taxes?
You can imagine the long, uphill battle that will ensue for Catholic Answers as it attempts to sue the IRS. It confesses that it’s doing so “not just for ourselves, but on behalf of non-profit organizations and churches all across the country that are constantly harassed, threatened, intimidated, and persecuted by the IRS.” That is the reason it is also appealing to the public for donations.
Everything is wrong and ludicrous about these types of governmental actions, from the tyrannical power of the IRS to the violations against American rights and freedoms. And two major historical inconsistencies emerge from these situations as well: First, early in our country’s formation, the pulpits used to be the conscience of this nation. Preachers were never restricted in their political voice in any way per the First Amendment. In fact, clergy and politicians used the pulpits to rally support, without threat of governmental intrusion or penalty.
Second, the Internal Revenue Service wasn’t started until nearly 100 years after the Revolutionary War in 1862 as the Bureau of Internal Revenue. Its creation coincided with the creation of the income tax, which it was designed to collect (though it would be later ruled as unconstitutional until 1913 via congressional law). Both were the initial work of President Lincoln and Congress, which saw them as necessary to pay for civil war expenses.
But could Lincoln even have imagined how the IRS would have become the most bloated federal bureaucracy on the planet?
Today, the IRS is the No. 1 enemy of your pocketbook. It is the government’s financial mafia, the thug collection agency for government’s intimidation, control, extravagant spending, corporate bailouts and national debt. It can’t be overhauled or even reformed. (Congress’ attempts have failed.) Who doesn’t fear an IRS audit? It’s the only federal agency before which you are considered guilty until proven innocent. I have a better definition for the acronym I.R.S.: Internal Rip-off Service.
The best answer is to abolish the IRS, sweep away the present tax code and implement a Fair Tax that lives up to its name. The Fair Tax does away with all taxes and puts in their place a single consumptive (fair) tax, which is the closest, practical, modern proposal to the taxation system favored by the founders.
With the Fair Tax, the harder you work and the more money you make, the better off you and our economy will be. You pay taxes only when you buy something, which means you can control how much you’re taxed, and you’re never penalized for working hard. It’s time we had a system through which people didn’t have to figure out ways to cheat to save their money. It’s the biggest economic stimulation package there is. Again, as the Fair Tax website says, “Think of it as the world’s biggest economic jumper cables!”
Of all the present fallacies in the American system, the IRS must be the one that causes America’s founders to roll most in their graves. Its control and power is not only unconstitutional, but its outrageous taxations strike at the core of the very reason for America’s secession from England. The founders would be horrified by the power of the IRS and its plethora of taxes we now have to pay: income taxes, employment taxes, capital gains taxes, estate taxes, corporate taxes, property taxes, Social Security taxes, gas taxes, etc.
The founders opposed domestic taxes. They regarded high taxes and aggressive tax collectors as tyrannical, and always to be guarded against. Patrick Henry warned: “Excisemen may come in multitudes; for the limitation of their numbers no man knows. They may, unless the general government be restrained by a bill of rights, or some similar restriction, go into your cellars and rooms, and search, ransack, and measure, everything you eat, drink, and wear.”
That is one of many reasons I encourage everyone to join a T.E.A. (Taxed Enough Already) party this Independence Day. You may not think your participation contributes much, but it was dozens, then hundreds, of small resistances that eventually led a revolution in the beginning.
You might not be in solidarity with everything Catholic Answers believes, but you must commend its courage to stand up and fight the Goliath of government agencies. We already know its odds of losing. Yet we also must remember how the story ends: It just takes the right man with the right stone to bring Goliath down.