Former Congressman Ron Paul raised a good point in a recent piece talking about President Donald Trump’s 1980 and 1990s tax returns.
The New York Times published a leak of these returns which highlighted some of the difficulties that Trump experienced during his time working in the private sector. Indeed, this isn’t groundbreaking information.
However, Paul raises a good point about this tax return leak. He argues that the person who leaked the returns could be an IRS employee with an ax to grind. Specifically, someone who wants Trump out of office by any means necessary. One thing that Paul points out is that this isn’t the IRS’s first rodeo with regards to targeting political opponents.
In 2014, the IRS had to pay the National Organization for Marriage $50,000 after an IRS employee shared the names of the group’s donors to potential rivals.
From 2014-2017, Paul’s group, Campaign for Liberty faced constant threats from the IRS because it refused to give the agency the names and other information related to its top donors. Thankfully, they were able to escape further pressure from the IRS.
However, the IRS’s threats have persisted with the House of Representatives recently passing legislation to resume collecting this information. Further, we are already seeing the New York Attorney General investigate groups like the National Rifle Association for allegedly “financial improprieties.”
This has been part of a new strategy by the political class to silence pro-gun groups through campaign finance and expenditure technicalities. Paul highlights how the IRS was even used to investigate anti-Iraq War groups during the Bush years. So it’s clear that the IRS can serve as a blunt tool against groups on all sides of the political spectrum.
Apart from the economically destructive incentives it creates, the IRS’s use as a political weapon demonstrates why it should be abolished. When the government is given so much power over our financial affairs, it can find ways to sneak into other aspects of our lives.
For better or worse, politics runs on money. Those who want to restore freedom, will not only need to spend time and effort but also their hard-earned money. That same money is tracked by a massive government that has continued to grow in size and scope. If we remain complacent to these facts, not only will our financial freedoms gradually erode, but our free speech rights will be on the chopping block.
The former congressman’s account of these tax return leaks just shows why the IRS must be axed. Yes, it’s currently being used to attack President Trump, but it will likely be used against other political opponents as it has repeatedly in the past.
For that reason, the IRS’s continued existence poses a major threat to fundamental civil liberties.