May 30, 2013 by Anders Ingemarson
The IRS has systematically delayed 501(c)(3) and 501(c)(4) applications for organizations with a supposedly anti current administration bent. The only surprise here is that anybody is surprised.
Several commentators have correctly pointed out that this is nothing new, that past presidents from both parties have with various degrees of success used the IRS to clamp down on their political opposition. The phenomenon is obviously not limited to the United States. Throughout history, around the world, the tax collector has been the henchman of dictators, despots, and democratically elected politicians alike. The publican is probably competing with the prostitute for the title of oldest profession.
But isn’t the latest example worse than the cited abuses of previous administrations, at least by American standards? If yes, it would be consistent with our slide down the slippery slope of collectivism. As individual rights become less respected, the statists in power become bolder. Like high-school bullies they continue to push the envelope until such time that the victims decide to strike back.
The problem is that the victims are not retorting. They are only asking the bullies to bully a little less, in this case to stop discriminating against certain 501(c)(3) and (4) applications.
Real striking back at the IRS bullies and their masters requires a principled vision of the role of government. In case you’re new to SEPARATE!, here’s my government 1, 2, 3:
A government’s one legitimate function is to protect our individual rights from two potential sources of rights violations, foreign enemies and our fellow men at home, using three institutions: the military, the police and the courts.
A government with the sole function to protect our individual rights has to be funded by voluntary means. Taxation and other compulsory government revenue sources (customs, tariffs, licensing fees, etc.) constitute violations of the very rights the government is charged with protecting.
How to voluntarily finance the three valid institutions of a limited government is one of the last steps in the process towards full protection of our individual rights. Far more important is to reach a critical mass of Americans that support a morality of rational self-interest and reject the ABC of Old World Morality so we can start dismantling government programs and roll back regulations. Once this has been achieved figuring out the voluntary financing of the remainder is small potatoes. But to give you a taste, here are a few potential options:
- Individual contributions (without rights violating strings attached)
- Lottery revenue (nobody is forced to buy a ticket)
- A voluntary insurance payment on contractual transactions to make them legally valid and enforceable in court (given the amount of transactions in an advanced economy the percentage would most likely be miniscule)
Our vision of a limited government should guide us in the fight against taxation. Taxes are theft and we must not be afraid of voicing this fact. The real issue is not that the IRS selectively abuse individuals and organzations. The real issue is the existence of taxation as such. Without it, there would be no IRS and nothing to abuse.