In 2009 a segment of our society had decided they were taxed enough already, that government had expanded beyond its constitutional boundaries, and that their tax dollars were being squandered by out of control spending. They attracted people from all walks of life. People who were tired of being political pawns for an elected body who no longer put the interest of the nation and people ahead a personal gain. Out of the toxic environment the Tea Party movement was born. Within a year and a half they went from Astro Turf to grassroots to political powerhouse. They became a threat to the establishment and the business as usual crowd in Washington D.C. They wanted to organize. They wanted to educate the public. They wanted to reacquaint citizens with the constitution. They wanted to make a difference.
Then from 2010 to 2012 rumors were circulating that Tea Party organizations as well as a number of other conservative organizations that applied for 501(c)(4) tax-exempt status were facing an excessive amount of scrutiny from the IRS, leading to an IG investigation of the IRS. In early May we learned via a planted question that the IRS did indeed target conservative and Tea Party groups. When questioned by congress, IRS official Lois Lerner decide to plead the fifth. Now we have learned that targeting of conservative and Tea Party groups by the IRS was routinely practiced and appears to be systemic.
Yesterday congress heard testimony from a variety of conservative groups about their ordeal with the IRS. I must say some of the testimonies moved me. These are people who love America and believe it’s slipping away. And who can can blame them after all they’ve been through. The institutions of government have been unleashed on them and all they want to do is be part of the solution. Democratic Rep. Jim McDermott believes that most of the blame for the intense IRS scrutiny rest with the conservative groups.
Rep. McDermott said;
“As I listen to this discussion, I’d like to remind everyone what we’re talking about here. None of your organizations were kept from organizing, or silenced. We’re talking about whether or not the American taxpayers will subsidize your work. We’re talking about a tax break. If you didn’t come in and ask for this tax break, we would have never had a question to ask of you. You could go out there and say anything in the world. I get the feeling that many of you, and my Republican colleagues, just don’t believe — or believe you should be free not just from political targeting, but from any scrutiny at all.”
You can watch his full statement in the below clip.
So if you want to advance the timeless traditions and values that made America great you are viewed as politically driven and should be scrutinized. If you want to educate the public about the constitution and the founding fathers, well according to Rep. McDermott your being too political and should be scrutinized by the IRS. Basically you’re damned if you do and you’re damned if you don’t.
William Knox, a British Loyalist during colonial times, used the same strategy in 1769 when addressing the taxation without representation debate. He said the following;
“Whilst [the radical colonists] exclaim against Parliament for taxing them when they are not represented, they candidly declare they will not have representatives [in Parliament] lest they should be taxed…The truth…is that they are determined to get rid of the jurisdiction of Parliament…and they therefore refuse to send members to that assembly lest they should preclude themselves of [the] plea [that Parliament’s] legislative acts…are done without their consent; which, it must be confessed, holds equally good against all laws, as against taxes…The colony advocates…tell us, that by refusing to accept our offer of representatives they…mean to avoid giving Parliament a pretence for taxing them.”
He basically blamed the colonists for the tyrannical acts England levied on them. The same train of thought Rep McDermott followed yesterday. Most of the colonists wanted some type of representation in Parliament. They wanted a say in how the affairs of the colonies were managed. England was having none of this talk of colonial representation. They felt the colonies already had their share of sympathizers in Parliament to represent their views. There was no need for the colonies to have a voice in Parliament. The colonies felt betrayed and decided they could not make the case for representation if the decision had already been made on the issue. Knox used this against the colonists to blame them and justify the tyrannical acts of England. Much like Rep McDermott blamed the conservative groups for the excessive scrutiny they received, justifying the tyrannical acts of the IRS.
Tyranny is tyranny whether it’s 2013 or 1769.
Liberty forever, freedom for all!