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OPINION

The IRS' power to tax is also the power to destroy

In the last few weeks we’ve learned that the IRS has been reading private email, monitoring private phone records, using audits to harass conservatives, and will soon be policing our health care. 

U.S. citizens have testified before Congress that their conservative organization's confidential donor list was leaked to its “principal political opponent,” which could be a felony. 

A few days after the news hit headlines, IRS executive Lois Lerner pled the Fifth Amendment, exercising her constitutional right under the fifth amendment, not to incriminate herself. Ironically, while on her watch, the IRS blatantly violated the civil rights of countless Americans.

The IRS has proven itself unworthy of our trust, and it must be kept in check.

Acting IRS Director Steven Miller, speaking under oath, told a congressional committee that he didn’t know his low-level operatives were targeting more than 300 organizations—all conservative, many faith-based—and denied or delayed their applications for non-profit status. Our organization, Family Talk Action, was among them. 

The IRS took 19 months to grant approval of our 501(c)(4) tax status. 

The agent said she doubted that Family Talk Action’s application would be approved because it sounded like a “partisan, right-wing group.” She elaborated, “You’re political because you criticized President Obama when he was a candidate.” 

Our attorney told her that was entirely untrue and said we would just have to litigate. Nine days later, our application was magically approved.  

How many other organizations would have closed their doors because they lacked the financial resources with which to fight for their free speech? 

The arrogant power grab is leading us down a path toward a nanny state. We don’t believe the government should have the power to control our speech, our religious liberties and now our health care. No wonder they also want to control our guns.

Conservatives vigorously defend the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution as the right to keep and bear arms.  Let's also defend the first and most sacred amendment which has not just been threatened, but has been thoroughly violated:

Amendment I
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Protecting our rights is not for the faint of heart. 

Naturally, when an individual or organization has an issue with the overbearing IRS, they tend to deal with it quietly and privately. The IRS relies on fear and intimidation to maintain its power. 

Not until our organization began to converse with others did we realize that many conservative businesses and ministries, such as the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, Concerned Women for America and various Tea Party groups, were also being targeted and subjected to discrimination. 

We all need to work together to protect and defend our fundamental rights.  

The IRS has proven itself unworthy of our trust, and it must be kept in check. 

Chief Justice John Marshall said in 1819, “The power to tax involves the power to destroy.” 

I don’t want the government in my boardroom, my bedroom and certainly not in my hospital room.  

Do you?   

Dr. James Dobson is founder and president of Family Talk, a radio ministry heard on 1,300 stations nationwide. He was one of the founders of Focus on the Family and the Family Research Council. He is the author of more than 80 books, including the current trilogy of dystopian novels, Fatherless, Childless and Godless, exploring the future effects of current cultural trends and government policies.