On the Other Hand...

I Work for the I.R.S.

by Jim Davies

It's true!

If someone asks me, in conversation at a party, what I do between weekends, and I reply "I work for the IRS", what happens next is a wholly fascinating study in human nature.

If others overhear, as at the dinner table, there falls a sudden and deathly hush. I might just as well have said that my name is Dr Hannibal Lector, and that I am looking for someone to have over for a meal next Tuesday.

It's a classic case of cognitive dissonance. Something unexpected and unexplainable has occurred; an otherwise reasonably sociable human being has just calmly announced he works for the world's largest terrorist organization! So for an awful moment, nobody knows what to say.

As with many cases of cognitive dissonance, someone - the hostess, like as not - will break the chilled silence with an inane joke, such as "Oh, well, it's a terrible job, but someone has to do it!"

Ha, ha; says everyone else with relief, and they all rapidly turn their attention to the fine antique table across the room, in the (entirely vain) hope that I'm not on duty, and so will not mark any of them for an Audit.

It's a lonely job, working for the IRS.

Ordinary People

There's a fact: IRS employees are plain and simple people, like you perhaps, just doing their jobs. Many earnestly believe that they are making a positive contribution to America: that without the necessary collection of taxes, government could not function and therefore, harmonious and prosperous society would collapse. They can't see how America worked, for its first 137 years.

I recall one Agent, who had a drawing framed on the wall of her office, where she did all her audits; it was the famous picture of the Founding Fathers, signing the Declaration of Independence.

She is as patriotic as they come, and saw nothing anomalous about having that picture in that place - just as if she had never read those words about King George having "sent hither swarms of officers, to eat out our substance."

Now, it may be that the percentage of sadists is a little higher in the IRS than in the population at large. One office rumor did place that lady, for example, in a certain exotic-lingerie store, buying leather whips and all; but it was never verified. And anyway, who joins the police unless they like making people squirm, and who becomes a politician, unless they love telling people what to do? It takes all sorts to make a world. One must be tolerant.

Punching Clocks

Just occasionally, after I've announced for whom I work, the listener may be bold enough to pursue the question and ask "How come? - you don't look like a government employee?"

Well, he may be right, though of course I wouldn't be able to distinguish a government employee across the room anyway. But I reward these brave people with an explanation of why I gave the answer I did.

So I 'fess up that no, I never have drawn a government salary or punched a government clock or taken my place on a government personnel file, and have certainly never evicted anyone from their home without a jury trial.

Fact is, I do work for the IRS, but only in the sense that you do too, dear Reader; that every single day, for one quarter of every day, I toil unwillingly for our slavemasters in the Infernal Robbery Syndicate.

Yes, a quarter; check the figures. The Feds spend (and therefore collect from us) $1.5 trillion a year, out of a $6 trillion economy, which you and I alone produce; therefore, we work for the IRS one hour out of every four. Plus another hour, nearly, for the Big Spenders in Town and State.

I'd love to be able to resign from the IRS; to hand in my SS# and say, You Can Take This Job, and Shove It. But presently, this plantation has no exit.

Meet The Boss

Who are these slavemasters? Who's the Boss? - Ah, there's the rub; take a look in the mirror. Last time you went to the voting booth to pull a lever for ANY politician who had not solemnly sworn to do away with the IRS and all its works, you consented to your own enslavement. You, yourself, are The Boss.

"But," you may well protest, "which politician has ever sworn to do a thing like that?"

I have news for you: last year, at least TWO candidates for President swore to do exactly that; though both were kept as well hidden from view as their opponents (who live well at our expense, thanks to the IRS) could manage.

One was Bo Gritz, who made it to the ballot in about half the States, and ran on a platform of making the government obey the Constitution. And the other was the Libertarian Andre Marrou, who was on the ballot in all 50 States. The first plank on his well-balanced and credible platform was to repeal the income tax and abolish the IRS.

So, you and I did have a choice, you see; a chance to start to end our own enslavement. And if we failed to take it, we have no-one else to blame.

© Copyright Jim Davies 1999

Jim Davies lives in New Hampshire,
and enjoys contemplating which way is up.

The above is Edition # 23

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