Peggy Noonan is getting there. A few days ago she was still talking about “restoring trust.”
But the IRS scandal is about facts not trust. She has apparently figured that out.
Now she says “If it isn’t forced back into its cage now, and definitively, it will prowl the land hungrily forever.”
But “forced back into its cage” is a metaphor. Peggy can’t bring herself to say what it must mean.
Let’s think out loud about what it must mean.
The IRS is staffed by unionized employees who are aligned with one political party. The IRS is about to be given sweeping new powers under the ACA. This entity cannot be forced into a cage. The incentives drive the conduct, and the incentives are destructive for the liberty of anyone who opposes the Democrats on anything. That is structural, it is not a matter of individual incompetence or malice.
The only solution is too radical for most people to consider: The existing IRS has to be shut down and replaced. The only way this limitless menace can be removed is if the existing IRS, the existing tax code, the existing storehouse of personal data on all Americans, and the capacity to destroy people’s lives at discretion are ended. A new simplified type of tax code and a new taxing authority to enforce it, staffed with a new workforce, is a massive proposal, but anything less won’t work.
The monster can’t be caged, it has to be eliminated.
BTW, this is Cook County on a galactic scale. We have seen the Black & White version of this movie in Chicago, the color version in Springfield and now this is the 3D IMAX version of the same horror story. Government power for partisan oppression is too normal to talk about here in Chicago. Fifty Democrat alderman and zero Republicans is too normal to mention. Democrat super-majorities in Springfield at the same time they are reducing the state to an international dunce is somehow the way things inevitably go.
We know where this is going. America is next.
But America is a big place, and the Chicago Way may not play well in the other 49 states.
I hope the rest of the country figures out what is happening.