I’d somehow missed Peggy Noonan sucking up to the IRS the other day — not that I’m too surprised by it or anything. Read:
In all the day-to-day of the IRS scandals I don’t think it’s been fully noticed that the overall reputation of the agency has suffered a collapse, the kind from which it can take a generation to recover fully. In the long term this will prove damaging to the national morale—what happens to a great nation when its people come to lack even rudimentary confidence in the decisions made by the revenue-gathering arm of its federal government?
Oh. Dear. The people have lost faith in the Federal government’s arguably nastiest agency. However shall the Republic survive? Please — this is what happens to your perspective when you spend your entire professional life inside the Washington bubble.
I doubt the American people have ever held the IRS in much esteem. It’s even a part of the American zeitgeist that the IRS is thought of with a combination mocking laughter and flop-sweating fear. I’d go further, and argue that it’s healthy for a free people to distrust their own tax collectors.
That’s especially true of the modern IRS, which has its own courts, its own SWAT team, virtual dictatorial power to garnish your wages, and will soon be in possession of all our medical records.
The day an agency like improves our “national morale” is the day America is over.
AND ANOTHER THING: Is “national morale” in this context just the creepiest phrase ever? It made me flash on Chick Morrison, the “national morale conditioner” in Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged.