There’s a positive byproduct of the disgraces at a certain federal agency that has seized the imaginations of many in recent days.
“It’s the burgeoning IRS scandal that’s put tax reform back on the agenda,” says Michael Walsh, a New York Post columnist. “The century-old ‘progressive’ desire to punish the rich and redistribute income has grown into a terrifying governmental monster against which there is almost no redress — one that robs the American people of their income and, in the process, their liberties.”
Among lawmakers in agreement with Mr. Walsh: Republican Reps. Tom Price of Georgia, Dave Camp of Michigan, Tim Griffin of Arkansas and Peter J. Roskam of Illinois, who cuts to the chase: “You can’t reform the IRS without reforming the tax code,” he says.
The historically minded Mr. Walsh, meanwhile, traces tax ills to the passage of the 16th Amendment, which scuttled constitutional requirements that taxes be apportioned among the states, shifting the burden onto individuals. Congress fiddled with tax brackets, federal spending increased, more money was needed and voila, the monster was born. IRS ultimately assumed powers that would be “unconstitutional in any other sphere,” Mr. Walsh says.
“The only way to turn things around is drastic simplification of the tax code — the cleanest version of which is the flat tax,” Mr. Walsh suggests, adding, “The political health of our nation demands an equitable sharing of the burden; everyone should pay something.”
FOR THE LEXICON
“The China Dream.”
And so reads the official new slogan of China’s President Xi Jinping, who says the phrase signifies the “great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.” It has been promoted since March by state media and the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, among other official bureaus. Analysts have wrestled with the implications, and pondered parallels to the proverbial “American Dream” — along with a book that has been a best-seller in the nation since it was published in 2010: “China Dream: Great Power Thinking and Strategic Posture in the Post-America Era,” by retired People’s Liberation Army officer Liu Mingfu.
HOLDING THE LINE
One player in particular was missing when the Super Bowl champs Baltimore Ravens arrived this week at the White House to meet with President Obama.
“I wasn’t there. I would say that I have great respect for the office of the presidency but about five or six weeks ago, our president made a comment in a speech and he said, ‘God bless Planned Parenthood,’” said Matt Birk, who retired as the team’s center in February, during an interview with KFAN-FM in Minneapolis.
“Planned Parenthood performs about 330,000 abortions a year. I am Catholic, I am active in the pro-life movement, and I just felt like I couldn’t deal with that. I couldn’t endorse that in any way,” the athlete observed.
FREEDOM THROUGH DONUTS
Friday is National Donut Day, likely to prompt behaviors not condoned by the food police, nanny-minded bureaucrats or New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg. The Competitive Enterprise Institute, however, suggests all Americans eat not one but two donuts to celebrate — “one for themselves, and one for their liberty,” the nonprofit says. Fie on those alarmist warnings from the White House and elsewhere.
“It’s sweet revenge to eat sweets in protest of government attempts to stop us from living as we see fit,” declares Michelle Minton, the organization’s consumer policy analyst.