If not for the fact that there are very serious abuses of power involved, the congressional outrage we are seeing about the Obama Administration’s IRS targeting of certain groups for scrutiny and harassment would almost be comical. The same goes for the congressional indignation we are seeing over the Department of Justice’s secret spying on members of the news media.
Don’t get me wrong. Asking non-profit organizations what they pray for and secretly obtaining and reading journalists’ personal emails are, by any reasonable measure, truly disturbing acts. But watching, day after day, as congressional committees drag bureaucrats into hearings and Senators and Representatives take to the airwaves to express their shock over such abuses, someone needs to ask the obvious question: Why is it even remotely surprising, much less shocking, that, when given power, the government will use it to the greatest extent possible?
That’s what government does.
Everyday, hard-working Americans are harassed by the IRS. That is not new. People in Congress can express outrage when that harassment ends up on the front page or happens to organizations they care about, but who is holding Congress itself accountable for a tax code they have concocted over the decades that is designed to punish some and reward others?? The legal weapons the IRS is leveling at specific groups were handed to the IRS by Congress.
And the “spying” on journalists? Well, Congress, YOU enacted and renewed the Patriot Act and other laws that say it’s OK for the government to read private citizens’ emails, secretly obtain phone records and track our movements. And now you are shocked that the Obama Administration would use that authority against Fox News?
How about admitting that the Patriot Act is a mistake, and repealing it? That would be a lot more helpful than pretending as though you can’t understand why government abuses the power you gave it.
And if you truly don’t want the IRS to single out certain groups for special “treatment” — good or bad, then remove the thousands of loopholes, subsidies and other manipulative provisions in the tax code that make the IRS so powerful in the first place.
With the abuses of government power that are coming to light in recent days — abuses that ordinary Americans deal with all the time, we must not let Congress off the hook. With the encouragement of Republican and Democrat administrations alike, the politicians on Capitol Hill created the opportunities for those abuses. We can complain about government exercising the force of agencies like the IRS and the FBI, but it is foolish to believe that, when given power, government won’t use it — or abuse it. The real answer is to reduce the size and power of that government.
The Our America Initiative is committed to doing just that: Reducing government’s size, cost, and power over our daily lives. Your support is the key.
Please go toOur America Initiative
today and contribute what you can so that we can hold the politicians accountable for the abuses they have created.
Thanks, as always, for your friendship and support of liberty!
Governor Gary Johnson
Honorary Chairman, Our America Initiative