Of the recent scandals perturbing the Obama administration, the one garnering the most public consternation involves the IRS’s aggressive attempts to ferret out tax-exempt status cheats. First and foremost, let us state the facts:
1) No laws were broken.
2) No one was ultimately denied tax-exempt status.
3) Tea Party groups, though unfairly targeted, are ridiculous.
So, how big of a scandal is this really? (Worse than Watergate? I’m sure someone somewhere has said just that. They always do.) On a scale of Nuisance to Treason, I’d say it rates a solid Morass, not easy to fix but not particularly troubling. Why then are people so upset over this scandal?
If you ask me–and why wouldn’t you?– it is because it resembles everyone’s favorite nightmare scenario: an IRS audit. People oft times seem terrified that their mistakes in accounting of income and other various taxform-related goobledegook will be seen as a criminal offense. This scandal conjures images of the Taxman as enforcer of a vast Police State we helplessly cower in. Or at least a bully of sorts.
Bottomline: We humble citizens do not like to fill out paperwork and pay money to an overbearing entity in exchange for freedom. (Ironically, this is a verbatim Tea Party rallying cry…er, paraphrase.) But hey, as the saying goes, “Freedom isn’t free.” Just be glad that of the two certainties in life, Death and Taxes, the IRS aren’t demanding the former instead of the latter.