At CFIF, the issue of improving taxpayer privacy and protection against persistent abuse by the Internal…
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Quote of the Day: Taxpayer Privacy and IRS Abuse

At CFIF, the issue of improving taxpayer privacy and protection against persistent abuse by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) remains among our most important missions.  Among the abuses that we've chronicled is the case of convicted criminal Charles Littlejohn, who rejoined the IRS in 2017 with the specific purpose of illegally breaching and leaking the private tax returns of Donald Trump and other Americans to radical left-wing organizations like ProPublica.

In The Wall Street Journal this week, one of those victims speaks out on his own experience and the need for greater taxpayer protection against this recurring problem that should terrify all Americans of every political persuasion.  Ira Stoll, whose tax information was passed to ProPublica, even helpfully details how…[more]

May 29, 2024 • 11:28 AM

Liberty Update

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Debt Crisis Reveals America’s Quarter-Life Crisis Print
By Troy Senik
Wednesday, August 10 2011
Big government has passed the experimental stage. With a run of 80 years, it has now been the dominant fact of 1/3 of the nation’s existence. And the time has come to admit that it does not work.

There was no shortage of disappointment in last week’s dénouement to the months-long fight over raising the nation’s debt limit. President Obama was predictably petulant. The news media was issuing apocalyptic pronouncements, but for all the wrong reasons. And the final resolution staved off immediate dangers, but ignored the long-term crisis, punting the issue of paring down spending to yet another commission.
 
What was perhaps most depressing, however, was the reaction of the American people to the standoff’s end. They were relieved. On first blush, this seems justifiable. The fight lasted for months and the prolonged drama took an emotional toll on a nation already saddled with a surplus of bad economic news. But that sense of relief did not owe itself to the fact that there was a resolution, however middling in impact. Rather, it was authored by a sentiment that was heard in every man-on-the-street interview conducted about the crisis – “I’m just sick of hearing about it.”
 
This is the mentality that has been bred by the very welfare state now threatening to erode the nation’s capacity for prosperity. A major issue, with ramifications for generations yet unborn, is processed by the body politic primarily in relation to their emotional well-being. It’s one thing to live in a nation where citizens are irritated because President Obama’s primetime address is listless and tone deaf. It’s another entirely to live in one where they’re irritated because it interrupted America’s Got Talent.
 
Yet the latter is where we are. In a moment that calls for sobriety and maturity, huge swaths of the American people are reacting with adolescent denial, hands clasped against their ears, shouting over the din of impending crisis. They know the ominous facts about where we’re headed, but steadfastly oppose entitlement cuts or tax increases with equal fervor. They acknowledge the inevitable pain as an academic reality, but show through their actions that they are content to let the axe fall upon their offspring. Theirs is the cowardice of pampered passivity.
 
All is not lost, however. The Tea Party remains a vital force in American politics, and an utterly unique one. Never in American history have grassroots activists rallied so dramatically around a counterintuitive, but completely accurate notion: that there is no more expensive proposition than state charity.
 
Perhaps there is comfort too in the sloth of American entitlement. As the great city of London burns, America is currently and relatively free of such civic unrest. Our supplicants will take to the streets for iPhones and Harry Potter movies, but not yet for imagined bastilles.
 
Righting our course, however, is not a matter of patient fatalism. This is a crisis that cannot be waited out. It requires bold, deep reform. And it requires transcending yet another adolescent vice: the refusal to accept when one has been proven wrong.
 
America’s experiment with big government has run its course. Over the expanse of 80 years, it has taken the form of Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal, Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society and now Barack Obama’s Great Conflagration – liberalism’s Parthian Shot. And along the way both Democrats and Republicans of lesser timber have abetted it. Indeed, Ronald Reagan is the only president since FDR who has seriously attempted to stand athwart the leviathan.
 
Big government has passed the experimental stage. With a run of 80 years, it has now been the dominant fact of 1/3 of the nation’s existence. And the time has come to admit that it does not work.
 
In the months and years ahead, it will be the task of conservatives to make that message clear. They will have to convince the American people that Social Security and Medicaid – no matter their virtues – must be repurposed as vehicles for individual savings instead of collective redistribution, lest they become insolvent. They must make the case that in a world where the private sector relentlessly produces higher quality products at lower prices, only industries touched by the heavy hand of government – health care, energy, education – have seen the opposite trajectory. And they must press the American people to adopt the mindset that is the hallmark of maturity: that life is marked by trade-offs and that none of us can have everything he or she wants.
 
That last point is key, for it informs the choice we must make at our current crossroads. We can choose liberty, which brings with it the inevitable failure of some. Or we can choose a false security, which brings with it the inevitable failure of all. Put in those terms, it’s an easy choice – which is why the time has come to put it in those terms.

Notable Quote   
 
"Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger says Democrats have tipped their hand to their desire to unleash noncitizen voting by opposing his state's citizenship verification in court and he is urging elections chiefs in other states to fight such lawsuits.Georgia's citizenship verification system has prevented noncitizens from getting on state voter rolls, but the state had to defend it in court…[more]
 
 
— Natalia Mittelstadt, Just the News
 
Liberty Poll   

Which would be the most useful for voters: a televised presidential debate that only includes Trump and Biden or one that adds Kennedy?