Another brutal, devastating natural disaster wiped out an entire city and left thousands of people homeless, helpless and heartbroken. It was difficult and painful to watch television. Either one viewed the devastation of the heartland of America, Oklahoma, or heard the hearings in the heart of government, Congress, about the IRS targeting certain people inappropriately and illegally. During a very restless night, I kept having recurring thoughts about how these two tragic news stories are connected. I think they are in a metaphoric way.
Our federal government has created a disastrous climate and is at an impasse for working an agenda. One area that needs attention now is the complexities of the current tax code. This invasion of the privacy to select groups of people presents the opportunity to reform the income tax code. Currently it is some 62,000 pages of rules and regulations. That’s ridiculous and unmanageable. We should insist as citizens and taxpayers that the IRS be abolished and replaced with a streamlined system that could be implemented quickly with today’s technology and understood by a fifth-grader who actually knows how to read.
The IRS debacle is not a natural disaster in the same way as the leveling of Moore, Okla., but the IRS has spent years creating fear in the American people. It can and does eradicate people’s homes and savings as quickly as a tornado. It might be a good incentive for all the questionable, illegal, crony-in-charge cabinet members and Congress at large to be challenged to eliminate the Internal Revenue “Service” before Moore recovers and rebuilds from the horrific tornado.
It could be a contest between WE, THE PEOPLE demanding that currently dysfunctional government act now. A timeline of progress comparing the progress of the government and Moore could be scored on a weekly basis. Something has to motivate our elected officials. We have gone far beyond “Enough is Enough.”
The greatest waste and manipulation of funds with loopholes and tricky maneuvering of regulations happens, in my opinion, within the very government we fund with our taxes. It seems reasonable that a good place to start fixing things is the source of the income to operate the government. Moore will remove debris before it rebuilds; let’s do the same thing with the administration and Congress. Will it be easier for Moore to remove debris than for the legislative and executive branches of our government to clean up the fraud and mismanagement that wastes taxpayer dollars? Conceivably, it should be easier for our government because all parties already know where there is fraud and exorbitant waste; they choose, immorally and unscrupulously, to ignore the facts and legalities; and they apparently have no problem throwing underlings under the bus.
I watched small part of the Senate hearing wherein the IRS person being questioned simply refused to answer any questions. This is not acceptable. All taxpayers should be enraged enough to contact our lawmakers. Rep. Mark Amodei: 775-686-5760; Sen. Dean Heller: 775-885-9111 or 775-686-5770; Sen. Harry Reid: 775-882-7343 or 775-686-5750.
As Americans, we cannot stand by and watch our country fall after fighting for our freedom 200-plus years ago and turning our United States of America into the most powerful country in the world. Isn’t that a worthy reason to get involved? You are free to choose. Apathy breeds tyranny. Consider natural disasters and abuse of power; only one of them is man-made.
Ann Bednarski of Carson City is a career educator and journalist.