Yes, the IRS targeted a group of people with a conservative leaning. Yes, the IRS tax exemption to social welfare groups that are political in nature is an abhorrent practice (liberal or conservative).
Yes, the IRS has been used against an administration's "enemies" by both sides. Yes, the IRS has assumed power beyond its intended assignment.
But that's not what this scandal is about. It's about an overgrown Federal government and bureaucracy that has become a monolith of its own power.
Our country was set up to be a union of states with the federal government assigned to the tasks handled best by the central authority: national defense, borders, settling differences between states, and patroling interstate commerce (so one state couldn't tax another on its goods). This scandal shows that our federal government has become a monster that needs constant feeding to live. Power has been centralized in Washington, D.C., and it must keep growing to survive.
Let's look at the IRS as an example. The employees of the IRS keep their jobs by collecting money. If they do their job properly, they will keep growing.
The tea party is about making the government smaller, and that puts it in direct conflict with the people who run the IRS. IRS employees gave $67,000 to their union's PAC which, in turn, donated 96 percent of its money to Democrats. It's only natural. After all, Democrats are for the expansion of government. (Republicans talk about shrinking government, but never do that when they are in power.)
There is a clear conflict of interest with this. The IRS is all-powerful, even over other agencies.
A large federal government is tyranny -- not unlike when America was under the thumb of the king. There are many good and honest people who work in Washington; the problem is that there are more who are concerned about themselves and their jobs than what's best for Americans.
Who really wants to say, "It's OK, you can end my job?" That's why it is critical that people take back their power at the state and local levels. If you want to change a senator or congressman on the federal level, it is almost impossible. Changing our representatives on a state level is easier. Changing our representatives on a local level is easier still.
That's what the tea party is about. Bringing the power back to the people by limiting the power of the federal monolith.
Let's not make this an argument against President Barack Obama; let's make it about our rights as citizens of the United States to have the freedoms enshrined by our Constitution.
Our federal government is not for the people, but against the people. Their interests are not ours.
Gregg Juster is vice president of the Chattanooga Tea Party.
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