Thursday, April 15, 2010

Thoguhts for Tax Day

Good article by E.J. Dionne in today's Washington Post. Dionne points out that, as much as we all dislike paying taxes, we should recognize that the IRS performs a vital function that provides the finances for our military troops, health and safety functions, and all the other positive things that government provides.

That's why it's particularly reprehensible that some politicians essentially condone or excuse terrorist attacks on the IRS, such as that of Joseph Stack, who flew an airplane into a building housing IRS offices. As Dionne observes, Representative Steve King said, "I think if we had abolished the IRS back when I first advocated it, he wouldn't have had a target for his airplane. . . . It's sad that the incident happened down in Texas, but by the same token, the IRS is an agency that's unnecessary."

Similarly, Senator Scott Brown's comments on the incident noted that it was tragic, but went on to say, "I don't know if it's related, but I can just sense not only in my election, but since being here in Washington, people are frustrated. They want transparency, they want their elected officials to be accountable and open and talk about the things that are affecting their daily lives. So I'm not sure that there's a connection, I certainly hope not. But we need to do things better."

You know, after 9/11, if anyone suggested that U.S. foreign policy or other U.S. actions might have played some role in motivating the attacks, they were blasted as terrorist sympathizers. Here we have a rather similar terrorist attack -- another suicide flight of a plane into a building(fortunately, on a smaller scale). It seems rather incredible that a politician's comment would be that "people are frustrated" and that "we need to do things better." How about, "that man was a horrible criminal and such actions can never be remotely justified"?


Anonymous said...

Representative King is a supporter of the Fair Tax - a general retail sales tax that would replace all income, gift, capital gains, estate, and payroll taxes. Thus his belief that the IRS is not necessary. The Fair Tax would be collected by the existing state sales tax bureaus, or new similar agencies where there is no state sales tax.

It is unfair to say he condones or excuses the attack simply because he believes there is a better tax system - one without an agency so generally disliked or feared as the IRS.

Anonymous said...

It's not at all unfair to say that King condoned the attack. King said that he could empathize with the attacker and could understand the guy's frustration. Whether or not he believes there could be a better tax system is beside the point.

Anonymous said...

Empathy and understanding of the hopeless frustration of a taxpayer caught within the intractable and destructive grip of the IRS is in no way whatever the same as condoning and excusing the attack.

From the report you link, the guy was clearly not a tax protestor, but one who lost it, or went insane when the IRS cleaned out what was left of his savings after a divorce.

All the congressman was saying was that he understood what the IRS does to a person when it uses its enforcement powers. Remember the Roth hearings? He advocates replacing the IRS, not the violent eradication of them as you suggest.

The jump you make is simply not rational. By saying 'condone', you are saying Rep. KIng advocates, accepts as OK, approves of, authorizes and allows the violent murder of IRS agents.

Do you honestly believe that is the mindset of Rep. King?


Anonymous said...

Since you seem to know so much about the federal income taxes, why don't you claim the $300,000 reward!