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Friday, May 17, 2013

IRS Scandal Could Empower Government Radicals Even More

The IRS-Tea Party scandal is evidence that the government cannot be trusted to apply the laws evenly and fairly.  But anyone viewing this as a partisan event is totally missing both the point and the danger to the nation.

This is not a crisis of minor importance; it strikes at the very legitimacy of the government's authority.  For the scandal will give credence to many opinions and theories, including those from the uninformed, unintelligent or unhinged.  The fringe opinions will cry that "law abiding" citizens need not obey a tyrannical regime, and so on. The danger of these sentiments is their propensity to encourage civil disobedience, general unrest and a decline in respect for legitimate authority.  Hence, the IRS scandal moves the nation towards disrespect for the law and lends credence to those who would encourage lawlessness if not outright anarchy.  

The shame, of course, is that such conditions may create a society most ripe for the expansion of government power and centralized government control as the people cry for order and safety in the face of disorder and growing chaos.  That outcome, my friends, may be precisely the result intended by radical elements both within and outside the Administration, and on all segments of the political / ideological spectrum.

Beware of those who seek to profit from the chaos. Beware of the false prophets.  The profiteers will be in all shapes, sizes and stripes. As bad as the specters of a politicized Internal Revenue Service and of political bias causing some to have health care delayed, denied or insufficiently reimbursed under ObamaCare, let us not forget that the dangers of government overreach have been with us for decades.  Overregulation, overcriminalization and overzealous government employees have routinely been the handmaidens for government's improper power, authority and discretion.

The solution will not be more laws, more regulations or more internal compliance.  (Expect all to be suggested to fix the problem.)  The problem with government is the mindset of the people whom it employs.  

Fixing the mindset may take decades.  But the risk to the people and nation, being as it emanates from people within government, can most efficiently be reduced by reducing the number of people within government from whom the risk originates.  A solution -- imperfect as it may ultimately prove -- involves shrinking the size of government and the scope of its authority and control.  Once the responsibilities and mandates of government have been reduced, the number of people required to accomplish a smaller mission may then be reduced accordingly. 

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