When I was an editorial page editor in the 1990s, the head of the IRS came to visit one day.
She swept into our conference room grandly with the usual retinue of about a dozen yes men.
During the conversation, I asked her how many people she employed. I don't remember her answer but my next comment was:
"I'm looking forward to the day when we can put the entire IRS in a room this size."
The jaws of her yes men dropped as if on cue.
But she answered smugly, "I don't think that's going to happen."
I explained my hope that passage of the Fair Tax would make it happen and we moved on to other things.
Since then, the IRS has only grown and with Obamacare it will grow even more. So, maybe she was right.
But it remains an arm of the government that is available, to any president unscrupulous enough to employ it, as a vehicle to punish political opponents.
Saint Franklin of Roosevelt was one of the first to use it for such purposes, as he and his New Deal gang waged a war on capitalism.
It was also FDR who began withholding income tax from paychecks, another disaster for good government. Imagine writing a check to the government each month for your taxes and how that would affect public policy for the better.
In light of recent events, an independent counsel, the likes of Ken Starr, clearly is needed to determine who unleashed the IRS on conservatives this time. It is highly unlikely that the scapegoat who was fired is the instigator.
Only the low-information voter would put any stock in Obama's assurances that "We're going to fix it."