We are all familiar with the expression that "the road to hell is paved with good intentions." But, what we assume this means is that things don't always turn out as planned or even that good intentions are not enough.
What I'd like to suggest is that, as often as not, when injury results, "good intentions" are an excuse or distraction designed to hide that intentions are misleading, at best, and never good. In other words, "good intentions" is a euphemism to disguise the antagonism which propels any number of humans to abuse their own kind, as well as the tools we have created to shape our environment.
Abuse, as in the misuse of things for purposes other than they were designed for, is rampant in the U.S. I've previously suggested that perhaps our fixation with death is to blame for lesser evils (abuse and torture) being overlooked. But, whatever the cause, there is no question that abuse is rampant and addressing it piecemeal by offering special protection in the law for "protected populations" is having little positive effect. Child abuse, spousal abuse, elder abuse, sexual abuse, as well as the contamination of air, land and water with toxins, are all increasing. And much of it is legal.
Some of us consider the exploitation and abuse of our fellow man evil. But that's because we subscribe to the liberal premise that all men are not just created equal, but good; that bad behavior is the exception, not the rule. Not so our neighbors who call themselves "conservatives." When they consider their fellow man, they rely on the preconceived notion that all men are created evil (originally sinful) to arrive at the conclusion that we set up governments to make them good. In other words, people need to be coerced. The only remaining question is how that is best (most efficiently) achieved. Which works best, punishment or reward?
Since punishment tends to generate resistance, our "conservative" friends have opted for a judicious mixture of both--rewards or benefits for their friends and punishment or deprivation for enemies and inconsequential people. Inconsequentials are useful to the extent they can be relied on not to fight back and to serve as an exemplar and thereby avoid having to target some people directly. In other words, indirection and misdirection are critical to an agenda of deprivation. Good intentions, as noted above, are a convenient excuse.
But where, you ask, does the IRS come in? We're all familiar with the expression that "nothing is certain but death and taxes," so we might just as well leave it at that. But, in fact, while death is certain and so is change, taxes are not only not certain, but routinely avoided and exempted as a component of the web of rewards and punishments our conservative friends employ to coerce compliance. And, while it may seem ironic, the realization that taxes are neither certain, nor inevitable, leads to the realization that the power to tax is perhaps being abused.
Not immediately. In order to perceive that, at least on the federal level, where the agency which issues the dollars then aims to collect them as revenue, we have to consider whether there is a useful purpose to collecting taxes that is being or liable to being abused. We have to consider, or should, that, since the Treasury can issue currency in unlimited amounts, it isn't necessary to first collect what is being spent for public purposes--that the common wisdom about which comes first and which comes second (taxes or spending) is wrong. But, if so, then what purpose is there in the IRS collecting revenues. If the dollars aren't needed and taxes aren't designed to reward and punish, though using them as such is abusive, what's the point of revenue collection?
Oddly enough, the answer is in the word "revenue." The object of federal tax collection is to bring the currency back where it started from, to "give unto Caesar that which is Caesar's," because that is the proper function of currency; it needs to move, to cycle through the economy and be properly accounted for, instead of having to keep issuing new--a practical impossibility as long as the currency was fashioned out of relatively scarce minerals. Hoarding was obviously always a problem, abusive of the economy as a whole, much as restricting access to other measuring and communications tools would be, but it is a problem much exacerbated, now that the potential supply of currency is virtually unlimited, by the impulse to save/hoard turning into an obsession on the part of people determined to retain the ability to reward and punish and exercise control.
If the object of taxes on the federal level were merely to recycle the currency through the Treasury and take an accurate measure of the economy, no income or transaction would be exempt. Moreover, the rate or percentage of any transaction to be sent back would be irrelevant--just enough to provide an accurate measure and keep the dollars moving at a good pace. That they're currently not is evidenced by this graph from the St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank (which I have now use some two dozen times, despite my reluctance to be repetitive).
To conclude, if the purpose of federal taxation is to recycle the currency back through the Treasury, then the prevalence of exemptions and preferential treatment is, on its face, evidence of abuse. Equal treatment is an obligation that's imposed by the Constitution on our agents of government, first and foremost of which are our representatives in Congress. So, if those elected public servants are employing the revenue collection process or regimen to advantage some populations and disadvantage others in the interest of securing their own tenure in office, then those representatives have to be removed. We, the voters, might even ask ourselves whether the "recipients" of the Congressional munificence, the banksters, whom many of us would like to see in prison, are more guilty of malfeasance than members of Congress, who subscribe to the dictum that there shall be no free lunch and even propose to starve the children of parents, who aren't sufficiently compliant to work for next to nothing and refuse to expire (like the inconsequential workers in Bangladesh) in the prime of life from injuries on the job.
The Cons do not mean well. Generous people need to stop assuming that they do.