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The Campaign Spot

Election-driven news and views . . . by Jim Geraghty.

Why Every American Can Understand the IRS Scandal



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On a podcast with Andrew Malcolm of Investor’s Business Daily and Melissa Clouthier, they asked which scandal will prove most damaging to the Obama administration. I think it will be the IRS, even though it probably ought to be Benghazi, considering how lives were lost in that event.

Almost every American deals with the IRS. Even those who pay no net federal income taxes still have to fill out all of their forms in April. Almost everyone has heard some story about getting audited, and what a nightmarish process that is. I suspect most taxpayers feel like they filled out their tax forms right, but they’re not entirely sure, considering how ludicrously complicated the U.S. tax code is. I suspect everyone fears that someday there will be a knock at your door, and some guy who looks like Agent Smith from The Matrix will be there, demanding your financial records for the past ten years, and if anything is out of order, you’ll go to jail for the rest of your life.

So unlike Benghazi or the Department of Justice looking through the phone records of Associated Press reporters, everybody feels in their guts what the IRS scandal is about: a person with enormous power over you having an unjustified, arbitrary grudge against you, and abusing that authority.

The Internal Revenue Service has been a cultural villain for quite some time. Just ask Rockwell, back in the 1980s.


Tags: IRS , Barack Obama


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