After recounting the “scale of depravity [in the IRS] hitherto unknown to the tax authorities of the United States,” neoconservative Mark Steyn concludes predictably and in error, that the IRS “should be disarmed and disbanded — and rebuilt from scratch with far more circumscribed powers.”
Suppose that disbanding and rebuilding this den of iniquity and vice, the Internal Revenue Service, were the solution here—which it most certainly is not—how does Steyn propose to get it right this time around? We live in an age unparalleled for moral relativism, plain immorality, lack of religiosity, debauchery, corruption and general decadence—all parading as normalcy. One thing we know for sure: As bad as they might have been, IRS bureaucrats at the agency’s inception would have been more virtuous than the degenerates that run it now and in the future.
Jack Kerwick follows the natural law and nails it: “The IRS … is inimical to liberty. Its very existence is a scandal to a liberty-loving people.” In other words, “The IRS Is the Scandal”:
The money a person legally earns is his. There is no morally conceivable justification, none whatsoever, for anyone else to touch one cent of his earnings without his consent. And there is certainly no justification for allotting anyone, like the IRS, the authority and power, to confiscate a person’s wages before he sees one dime of them.
There is no liberty unless property is dispersed wide and far. And it is only under a set of arrangements in which individuals are permitted to acquire as much property as their talents and good fortune enable that this situation can be secured.
In short, liberty presupposes the old Lockean notion of “self-ownership.”
But the income tax, to a far greater extent than any other kind of tax—for that matter, to a far greater extent than anything else the government does—undermines both the concept and practice of self-ownership. It undermines liberty. Indeed, matters can’t be otherwise, for as Walter E. Williams once said, the only thing that “fundamentally distinguishes” a free man from a slave is that the latter labors under coercion so that the fruits of his labor can be used to gratify someone else’s desires.
Whether the slave labors to satisfy the needs of one master or those of 300 million, and whether he lives on his master’s estate or thousands of miles away from it do nothing to change the fact that as long as portions of his property are confiscated to subsidize the desires of others, he remains a slave.
This isn’t hyperbole. When a person’s material assets are forcefully taken from him, it isn’t just his material assets that he loses. Taken from him as well are his resources in time and labor. Put another way, man does not live by bread alone. Work is as much of a psychological, and even spiritual, necessity as it is an economic and physical one. When a person is deprived of his bread, his sense of wholeness, his integrity, is assaulted as well. …
Or, as yours truly put it in “SIXTEEN, THE NUMBER OF THE BEAST,” “However you slice it, there is no moral difference between a lone burglar who steals stuff he doesn’t own and an ‘organized society’ that does the same. In a just society, the moral rules that apply to the individual must also apply to the collective. A society founded on natural rights must not finesse theft.”