Well, this would explain my $25,000 tax bill. Looks like I picked the wrong year to start up a right-wing militia group.
I called it “Tim’s Teas,” and well, who knew? I swear, we were simply a “social welfare” organization — a strictly nonpartisan 501 something-something, which should have qualified us for tax-exempt status. Sure, we marched on Washington a few times with posters of Obama in a Hitler mustache, but hey, who didn’t?
Now, it turns out the IRS was flagging any group with conservative-sounding buzzwords like “tea,” or “patriot,” or “9/12” or “Rove,” and making their lives a living nightmare. I guess Lipton executives are finally figuring out why their tax bill went up 400 percent last year.
(By the way, “9/12?” What’s that? I’m scared to even Google it, because I’m afraid that, being a journalist, the Obama administration is charting my Web searches and I’ll land on a subversives list.)
Of course, the IRS told us, this was just the action of a few rogue employees in a “Cincinnati field office.” Right. Cincinnati, that known bastion of liberal, commie-pinko plotting. Why do you think they call them the Cincinnati Reds?
But it always starts out that way, doesn’t it? “Some loose cannon in the mailroom named Earl was responsible, and we are shocked and appalled, and this in no way reflects the position of …”
And then pretty soon it turns out it might have been a couple of mailroom employees, and then, well, maybe some middle manager was in on it too, and before long they’re hauling a cabinet secretary away in cuffs.
It’s rich that the IRS, with a straight face, is asking us to believe that it never, ever targets anyone. Of course it doesn’t. If they truly didn’t, they would be better people than I, because I know I sure would if I had that kind of power.
And doesn’t this just go to confirm every IRS conspiracy in David Foster Wallace’s novel “The Pale King?” Bunch of wigglers in the taproom after work all agreeing, “It will be a keyword type-of-thing.”
And the cherry on the top of this scandal is the three or four tanker trucks they’ll need in Congress to sop up all of the Republican mouth-foam that’s going to be saturating both chambers over the next six months. Republicans are so much fun to watch when they’re mad.
And since it’s the IRS, it’s a lather we can all appreciate. Even the agency’s defense of itself is an outrage. The IRS, see, now expects us to be sympathetic to it: These were events beyond its control, and all; could happen to anyone. Good luck with that. This is the same agency that is famous for not having a heart, an image it has expressively cultivated over the years in order to scare people into coughing up every last cent.
They do not care how many bypass surgeries you had this year. They do not care that your wife got cancer and that you lost your job and your home and your possessions. You will pay us and you will pay us first and you will pay us now, or we will reach into your abdominal cavity and rip out your spleen.
And now they are asking us for a little kindness and understanding.
I’m going to remember that on my tax form next year. Sure, it looks like I wrote off a San Carlos vacation as a business trip, but come on, I deserve the benefit of the doubt.
And since we’re on the subject, may I have my $25k back?
Tim Rowland is a Herald-Mail columnist. He can be reached at 301-733-5131, ext. 6997, or via email at email@example.com.