WASHINGTON — The IRS is the agency people love to hate, and perhaps for good reason: It only exists to take our money.
Getting rid of the tax-collecting agency has been little more than a fantasy for many ever since 1913 when the 16th Amendment gave Congress the power to levy a national income tax.
But the tide seems to be shifting, now that the IRS has become the scandal-ridden butt of late-night jokes.
The agency’s targeting of conservative groups for extra scrutiny has outraged so many Americans on the the right as well as the left, the IRS is more unpopular than ever.
Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, thinks the IRS is now so vulnerable he is backing an online petition to abolish the agency.
The July issue of WND’s Whistleblower magazine is called “End the IRS” and is devoted entirely to the subject.
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Whistleblower documents how the nation learned in May the most disliked government agency has been secretly denying the civil rights of hundreds of conservative and Christian organizations and individuals.
Although both the IRS and the White House tried to blame the scandal on the poor judgment of a couple of rogue agents in Cincinnati, it became apparent the abuse was widespread and long known by officials at the highest levels of government – yet they had done nothing to stop it.
Indeed, IRS employees have testified there is no way such widespread abuses could have occurred without direction from above.
Now, many Americans just want to get rid of the IRS, and Congress is listening.
WND spoke with Reps. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, Steve King, R-Iowa, and Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., and and they all agree, it is time for the IRS to go.
"People have awakened. They see the danger here," observed Gohmert.
He described the IRS as "weaponized by this administration." It has "threatened and intimidated" tea party members and other conservatives and "prevented them from being able to raise money to have their voices heard," the congressman said.
However, Gohmert says even many of his liberal friends see the danger, because when political fortunes shift, the power of the IRS could be easily used against them.
King is already looking well past the current progressive income tax system and envisions its replacement with a flat tax or a "fair tax."
He says, "With a fair tax, a national sales tax and the elimination of the IRS, you've taken all the tax off of productivity and you put it on consumption."
King says a tax on what people buy rather than what they earn could help change the entire culture of the country by simply reminding people about taxes every time they spend money.
"It raises generations of conservatives who demand government do less and tax less, because every time Johnny buys Skittles he's reminded the federal government is expensive."
Bachmann, as usual, pulls no punches, saying, "It's a failed system and now it's a fraudulent, corrupt system, and I would love if it would go away."
She endorses King's vision.
"I would be happy to host a national debate on whether we should have a flat tax or a fair tax," she said.
Either way, she says the time has come to put the IRS "out of it's misery."
And, Bachmann maintains, now is the time to eradicate the agency
"President Obama is planning to expand the IRS to a greater level of power (by having it implement Obamacare)," she noted. "It's the worst thing that could happen at the worst possible time."