There are many taxpaying citizens, and even a handful of lawmakers, who are fed up with the IRS’ mistakes and scandals and would like to see the 100-year-old agency simply disappear. One such lawmaker is Senator Rand Paul. He and the group Citizens United are hoping to completely and immediately abolish the IRS.
You can read their petition here.
They believe that a “streamlined and easy to understand tax code” would eliminate the need for the IRS. That sounds great. Who doesn’t want to simplify the tax laws these days? But I don’t know that there is too much substance to the position of Citizens United, at least none that I can find on their website. It just seems way too radical and hasty the way they propose to make this transition. The problem is that they don’t really propose any kind of transition at all; they just want to be done with the IRS immediately. In their words:
Be it now therefore resolved that we, the undersigned, demand the immediate abolishment of the Internal Revenue Service . . . [t]hat the Internal Revenue Service be abolished in its entirety by Congress without delay, excuses, or prevarication.
“Prevarication” basically means lies. But Senator Paul is lying to himself if he thinks we can really just abolish the IRS right away without a plan in place for the aftermath. Our nation has contemplated comprehensive tax reform for years now, but nothing has really been done about it. I’m not sure total abolishment of the IRS is a good idea, but even if it were, it would not be something we could realistically do overnight. This kind of change would be much like turning a giant ocean liner; it’s a slow, incremental change.