Guilty Pleasures

I was folding laundry. Melissa was watching TV. I heard bits and pieces of this week’s “CSI: Miami,” and got so interested I sat down and watched the end of it.

Short version.

The IRS screws up a decimal or three, and tries to screw a guy out of 33 million dollars in taxes he never owed. (Of course, you know how Tax Court works. You have to pay what they claim you owe until you prove you don’t have to. They’ll forfeit any taxes and penalties you unjustly paid, but the IRS never gets penalized.) So when they guy can’t make his monthly vig, the IRS starts seizing his stuff, and puts him out of business. Then, in a made-for-TV confrontation, the guy’s two young sons shoot and kill the IRS agent. There was something about an even more-evil IRS agent, but I didn’t catch all of it.

In the end, our hero CSI chief humiliates the IRS and sets everything right. Except, of course, for the nice kids who never meant to become killers. Lesson learned: Rapacious government is bad.

But how often do we see a government agent as the bad guy? An IRS screw-up is one example, but there are countless others that would make for good TV drama. How about a man who loses everything to asset forfeiture, even though he never committed (or was even charged with) a crime? Distraught, he kills somebody. Or what about a nice couple who put everything into some nice beach propery, then go broke when the EPA declares their property a wetland? Distraught, they, uh, kill somebody. I’m sure you can think of your own examples