Are you fed up with your tax money being misspent while the government that collects them tramples on citizens’ rights? When the IRS scandal broke, one man decided enough was enough — and he hasn’t paid taxes since.
Daily Caller reporter Patrick Howley has refused to pay taxes since the public learned about the IRS targeting conservatives. On the 500th day after the news hit, he reviewed what we’ve learned about what happened in the IRS (precious little) and what has happened in our country in the meantime. Here’s just a sampling:
The government shut down because of Obamacare and Republicans got blamed.… ISIS beheaded three Western journalists.… Vladimir Putin seized Crimea. Guatemalan children poured across the border. John Kerry let Iran keep having nuclear power plants. War raged between Israel and Hamas. Armed federal agents stole a rancher’s cattle and then it was all okay because the rancher said something racist. Ebola broke out. A Malaysian plane got lost. Racial tensions spilled over in Ferguson.
In short, the IRS scandal is just one among other events that have ruined the morale of our country. But it’s not nothing. In fact, it’s one of the worst scandals of our time. The IRS has been caught red-handed, admitting at the highest levels to targeting, harassing, and intimidating tea party, Christian, pro-Israel, and other conservative groups. Their intimidation has undermined the ability of ordinary Americans to freely participate in the democratic process and must be stopped. Howley explains:
500 days ago, we learned that the most powerful tax-collecting agency in the United States has been turned into a political weapon and their enemy is average hardworking American citizens. When people find out such a thing, it tends to lead to feelings of hopelessness. It makes people cynical. Important institutions have been corrupted and there’s nothing we can do about it because they claim that the computers crashed and that’s the end of it? And 500 days later, we still don’t have the emails?
Though I obviously can’t endorse people withholding taxes, it is refreshing to see someone stand up and point out the unfairness of the tax system. I agree with him that 500 days is quite long enough for Americans to wait for answers. Howley says it’s time to get louder and demand “basic information out of our government so we can have just one tiny fragment of justice and decency and common sense back in our lives.” Of course, I don’t see this happening anytime soon.
As time passes, people are more inclined to shrug off the frustration and accept that they may never get answers. The government’s corruption, evidenced chiefly by the IRS, is one of the more demoralizing acts of the federal government, because it “cast a hopeless pall over this great but troubled country and its great but jaded people.”
But we must not let that happen. As Edmund Burke said, “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” If justice is to be served, if the truth is to be uncovered, it will clearly have to come from the citizens. Federal investigations are taking their time and getting nowhere.
Over 500 days later, we are not letting up.
(Mr. Meckler is the head of the Sue the IRS Project, the only class action lawsuit on file against the federal government.)