Thursday, May 16, 2013


FOR THOSE OF OUR READERS TOO YOUNG TO REMEMBER, the title of this post is taken from the old "Snuffy Smith" comic strip.  Snuffy was a stereotypical hillbilly moonshiner, and when the IRS (which was in charge of collecting the Federal whiskey tax before BATFE took over) came after his still, he'd yell "INFERNAL REVENOOERS!" as he blasted away at them with his cap-and-ball rifle.
Lots of folks these days would like to blast away at the IRS; and for good reason. This agency has powers not held by any other law enforcement agency in this nation. You don't have to tell the cops where you work or how much money you make, even if they ask you. But you have to tell this and much more to the Internal Revenue Service.

The Infernal Revenuers can haul you in for an audit on a whim. They have an expedited lien system so they can slap liens on any property you have  so fast it would make your head swim. And in one notable case during the 1980s, the IRS took over and operated a homosexual strip joint right across from the FBI on 9th Street NW in D.C. to satisfy a tax debt owed by the owner of the club. No, really. They did.

The Infernal Revenuers are the folks who approve tax exenptions for non-profit groups and political and other associations. And as has been discovered they are not above dragging their feet on these exemptions and using their other unique powers against those deemed by an Administration to be politically or socially undesireable.

In the scrum resulting from the current IRS scandal, the agency's main defense has been that they don't know what they are doing. This is entirely believable, as the Infernal Revenuers maintain a "hot line" one can call for an explanation of the Internal Revenue Code. But if some Infernal Revenuer on that line gives you advice and you follow it; and if some other Infernal Revenuer looks at your return and has a differing opinion (or if the first guy was wrong); YOU get hauled in and get told it is YOUR fault (for being stupid enough to follow the advice of an Infernal Revenuer, we suppose).

We believe it was Hustler magazine that, back in the late 70s ran an article calling the IRS the "American Gestapo".  If I were a former member of the Gestapo, I'd have sued Hustler for defamation.

Against all of the anger directed at the IRS and in response to those who object to their ability to demand answers to fresh questions about one's finances, the Infernal Revenuers have usually trottted out the fact that the IRS was the agency that got Al Capone - for tax evasion.

But Al Capone got his money by exploiting he fact that the Federal government had decided to try to insert itself into the affairs of private citizens by enacting Prohibition. Had not the Federal government pushed for and enacted the 19th Amendment and the Volstead Act, Al Capone would have been nothing more than a Corsican pimp, easily handled by the Chicago Police vice squad.

The Infernal Revenuers have no place in a free Republic. It is high time the 16th Amendment was repealed, and taxes be "apportioned among the Several States" as mandated in the main body of the Constitution, with perhaps a flat tax of no more than 10 percent in the event of war.

As it stands, these Infernal Revenuers - who defend themselves against charges of harrassing conservative personages and groups by saying that they are nincompoops - are poised to take over managing this republic's health care system.

No government agency ought to have this much power over the citizenry. The IRS and the 16th Amendment ought to be abolished ASAP,  and taxation carried out by the (much more localized and responsive) means dictated by the Founders in the first place. 

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