When you place the phrase “feeding frenzy” into Google you get over 28,000,000 references. The first several references apply to an online game in which you play a fish and you eat other fish to become the “big fish”. Once you scroll past the games, you come to a video in which a diver is caught in the middle of a shark feeding frenzy. This is kind of what we watched on Friday. The IRS was caught in the middle of a conservative feeding frenzy. When you think about it, there are few things that conservatives love more than beating up the IRS. If you can’t actually cut taxes, the next best thing has to be pummeling the IRS.
Representative Dave Camp, chairman of the Ways and Means Committee and a Republican from Michigan, is in conservative nirvana. He had a relatively long set-up in which he talked about the Constitution and the Bill of Rights and then he got to his main point, “Mr. Miller, with all due respect, this systemic abuse cannot be fixed with just one resignation, or two. And as much as I expect more people need to go, the reality is this is not a personnel problem. This is a problem that the IRS being too large, too powerful, too intrusive, and too abusive of honest, hard-working taxpayers.” He continues, “There isn’t a person I come into contact with at home or anyone in this country, frankly, who does not fear the IRS. They fear getting something wrong in their tax filings. And they fear the IRS’ ability to audit them and wreak havoc in their lives, especially when all they are trying to do is improve their lives, let alone, God forbid, try to make America a better place to live, which is what the IRS targeted them for.”
Just like sharks in the middle of a feeding frenzy, once you’ve started it’s hard to stop. It is hard for you to show personal restraint when you are enjoying yourself so much. Chairman Camp goes on to say, “This will not stand. Trimming a few branches will not solve the problem when the roots of the tree have got rotten and that is exactly what has happened with our entire tax system. It is rotten at the core and it must be ripped out so we can start fresh. Only then will the American people get a tax system that treats them fairly and honestly as they deserve.” There it is. Eliminate the tax code. Just stop taxing people. If we can stop taxing people, we don’t have to worry about the IRS. We don’t have to worry about unfair treatment from the IRS. All of this stuff can be eliminated. Nirvana.
Of course, I think the IRS did overstep its bounds, but at the same time, we really need some thoughtful balance. This isn’t the worst thing since Watergate. This isn’t Iran-Contra. This is simply some low-level guys in the middle of the IRS who overstepped their bounds.