How right Thomas Paine was! We also know that liberty is not compatible with taxes and war. At last year's Brooklyn Peace Fair investigative journalist and peace activist Jeremy Scahill talked about his concern with Internal Revenue Service (IRS) oppression. (The video starts playing at the point where he talks about the IRS threat. You only need to watch about 30 seconds of it.)War is the common harvest of all those who participate in the division and expenditure of public money, in all countries. It is the art of conquering at home; [emphasis added] the object of it is an increase of revenue; and as revenue cannot be increased without taxes, a pretence must be made for expenditure. In reviewing the history of the English Government, its wars and its taxes, a bystander, not blinded by prejudice nor warped by interest, would declare that taxes were not raised to carry on wars, but that wars were raised to carry on taxes.
--Thomas Paine, TheRights of Man
The recent IRS scandal, in which they targeted conservative groups, gives new urgency to Mr. Scahill's words. Regardless of your political views we all need to come together to stand up for liberty and oppose this abuse of power.