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I KNEW A commentary by Bob Barney

Opinion Abolish the IRS

Recent news that the Internal Revenue Service has been enforcing its already inscrutable doctrine with caprice and venom — directed at conservative groups, Republican donors, and supporters of Israel, among others — confirms the worst suspicions of many Americans, of all political affiliations.

There is a lot of talk in Washington, and across the country, of a desire to reach bipartisan accord and accomplish great things. Here is an opportunity for just that.

Over the course of several election cycles, what was once a fringe notion advanced by long-shot candidates (Mike Huckabee and Ron Paul, please call your offices — or call each other, or call me, as you wish) has crept closer to the mainstream. To wit, it is time to abolish the IRS.

The very title “Internal Revenue Service” contains multiple falsehoods. First off, the IRS is not solely concerned with revenues that are “internal.” Anomalous among the nations of the world, America’s tax authority assumes for itself power over citizens, their families, and “U.S. persons” living abroad, requiring them to file and pay taxes at U.S. rates, even if they have not set foot on American soil in decades — or ever. “Taxation without representation,” indeed.

Wherever in the world your eyes find these words, the IRS very likely believes it has business with you. If you are married or related to an American, or in business with one, or if you have held U.S. residency or even a visa at some time, the IRS can compel your financial institution to provide information on your assets and activities, threatening overwhelming sanctions for non-compliance.



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