Today’s the annual deadline for complying with the government’s demand that you tell it everything about your financial dealings so that it may take whatever pounds of flesh it deems appropriate. We are frequently reminded that taxes are a supposedly necessary part of civilized society. And while it’s true that having a government means having some way to fund it, far too few people question whether we are going about it in the right way. After all, this annual April drill didn’t exist until about a century ago. How on earth, then, did we fund ‘civilization’ before that?
Rather than subsidizing government in general, the way cable companies “bundle” channels nobody has any interest in buying individually, what if most of government were funded via user fees? Such a structure would allow for ‘economic voting,’ and would reveal quickly just how much government Americans are actually willing to pay for. It would also eliminate the ridiculously burdensome drill by which Americans hand far too much personal information to the government.
Remember: long before the IRS scandal came to light, our current president “joked” about auditing his political enemies. Doesn’t seem so funny now, does it?
We shouldn’t be handing the government so much information, and we don’t need to be handing it so many powers and resources, either. There have been too many instances of questionable judgment or outright corruption and cronyism to believe it’s wise to vest so much in an institution that is difficult to hold accountable. Plenty of us are getting tired of Congress passing legislation without any thought as to what’s in it, or whether it’s really within their Constitutional purview. We’re also tired of executive agencies run amok, with Congress too timid to fully confront and reign them in.
Fortunately, some Americans seem to be asking the right questions now. Why, for instance, does it seem every Federal agency now has an armed enforcement branch… and why are they all buying large quantities of ammunition in recent months? Why is the Defense Department handing out heavy weaponry to local law enforcement agencies like it’s Christmas all year long? Given the ridiculous number of “no-knock” raids in this country, and the needless violence they involve, is this really promotion of “establishing justice” and “ensuring domestic tranquility?”
In the current climate, where we now have every reason to question the true motives of federal agencies, it’s no wonder so many people came to the defense of Cliven Bundy. Whether he and his family were deserving of the support is no longer the point. The point is there is enough mistrust of our own government that many are not willing to give it the benefit of the doubt. When it comes to the war for public opinion, the Federals have squandered the reservoir of trust, and that is a serious tragedy.
If we are fortunate, those who are truly trying to serve the American people in a public capacity are now asking themselves hard questions about why their role is viewed with suspicion and contempt. Otherwise, we’re likely to see more scenes like these in the years ahead…