Easy fix to IRS corruption

By: Matt Barber

Sir John Dalberg-Acton famously observed, “Power tends to corrupt, and  absolute power corrupts absolutely.” No federal agency enjoys more power than  the “absolute power” wielded by the Internal Revenue Service. It’s little  wonder, then, that under this power-drunk Obama regime, the IRS has become  “corrupted absolutely.” It’s become the hammer to this president’s favorite  nail: political dissent.

The bureaucratic cat’s out of the bag, and the evidence is undeniable. The  Obama IRS has been illegally targeting conservative, Christian and Jewish groups  and individuals for political retaliation, intimidation and, ultimately,  destruction. These revelations have spurred calls for criminal prosecution and  even impeachment. Still, little has been said about how to prevent such  Stalinist abuses of power in the future.

We’ve been over-thinking the problem. Sometimes complicated questions come  with easy answers. I wish I could take credit for it, but while I was  participating in a recent meeting in Washington, D.C., Judson Phillips, founder  of Tea Party Nation, hit on the simple solution. “The Constitution is a great  place to go in order to rein in the rampant and repeated abuses at the IRS,” he  suggested. Namely, the Fourth Amendment, which guarantees the following:

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers,  and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated,  and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or  affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the  persons or things to be seized.

No individual – and especially no federal agency – is above the law.  Regrettably, and largely through both citizen and government acquiescence, the  IRS has been brandishing arbitrary and extra-constitutional authority,  unchecked, for well over a century.

Imagine if the Department of Homeland Security, the FBI, or the ATF suddenly  began “searching” and “seizing” the “persons, houses, papers, and effects,” of  millions of U.S. citizens every year without a warrant – without probable cause  or even reasonable suspicion that any criminal or civil violation had occurred.  People would be outraged, and for good reason. Such actions would rightly and  universally be decried as unconstitutional. The lawsuits would fly, heads would  roll and the courts would immediately shut down such “unreasonable searches and  seizures.” This is exactly the kind of government tyranny our founders  endeavored to thwart.

So why has the IRS been allowed to do just that – to violate, systemically  and systematically, the Fourth Amendment? How is it that this one federal  agency, with neither probable cause nor a warrant, is permitted to invade your  privacy and confiscate your “houses, papers and effects” on a whim? How is it  that if you fail to comply with their warrantless searches and seizures, they  have the authority to ruin you financially and even throw you in prison?

No warrant? No problem. When the IRS arbitrarily and capriciously says  “jump,” America opens its doors wide and says, “how high?” Is this the IRS or  the ISS? Either way, it’s time that “we the people” put an end to this  unconstitutional abuse of power.

At least some good has come from Mr. Obama’s IRS-gate scandal. It’s exposed  the unprecedented depths to which corruption has weaseled its way from the top  down. It’s also underscored the autocratic nature of the contemporary IRS beast.  It’s unified many Republicans, Democrats and independents around this  fundamental reality: America must de-politicize the IRS.

Politicians on both sides of the aisle love to pay lip service to a need for  “tax reform.” Well, honorable sirs and madams, put up or shut up. It’s time for  a new federal “Taxpayer Bill of Rights.” A centerpiece to such legislation must  be the simple codification of that which the Fourth Amendment already mandates;  namely, that, when conducting “searches and seizures” (aka, audits), the IRS  must adhere to the same U.S. Constitution that restricts every other federal  agency.

Such a bill, notes Phillips, “would codify as federal law that no IRS audit  (or any other agency audit) of a person, organization or business could be  conducted without first having the IRS agent (or agent of the agency conducting  the audit) to prepare an affidavit that is sworn to in front of a federal judge,  federal magistrate or a tax court judge that states with specificity why there  is probable cause to believe the audit will result in either the discovery of  criminal activities or the discovery of civil wrong doing. It will be the  functional equivalent of a search warrant.”

Phillips is on to something big here. Especially when you consider this last  minor factoid: The IRS is also the OEA: the “Obamacare enforcement agency.”

If that doesn’t send a chill down your spine, then nothing will.

What do you get when you cross one tyrannical, hyper-politicized bureaucratic  beast with another?

You get tyranny on steroids. You also get one happy Barack Hussein Obama.

Contact your legislators and A) respectfully request that they  re-constitutionalize the IRS; B) that the IRS be required to observe the Fourth  Amendment; and C) that they hold this president accountable for his  unprecedented and despicable abuse of executive authority.

Finally, request that Congress pass a new Taxpayer Bill of Rights that covers  “all of the above.”

About The Author Matt Barber:
Matt Barber (@jmattbarber on Twitter) is an attorney concentrating in constitutional law. He serves as vice president of Liberty Counsel Action. (This information is provided for identification purposes only.)

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