Profiling is great. Profiling is awesome. Except when it happens to Tea Partiers. Then, it’s tyrannical and irrational and morally wrong.
So here’s the story. Apparently, the IRS has admitted to focusing on Tea Party groups when looking for tax evaders. This has a lot of conservatives really mad, because they say it is “unfairly profiling” Tea Party groups.
It is important to point out that Tea Partiers are no stranger to profiling. Tea Party politician Jan Brewer loves profiling. The Republican Party of Wisconsin loves profiling. Generally speaking, all well-known conservative spokes-people love profiling.
But profiling has to be logical. It has to make sense. Like this: “I hear people talk about Muslim terrorists a lot. Therefore, anybody who is Muslim is probably a terrorist.”
If you are a good conservative, you recognize that this is the kind of profiling that just makes sense.
I mean, sure: they tend to say that taxes are too high.
Many of them also say that they are morally opposed to taxation.
Some of them even say that all taxation is unconstitutional and tantamount to theft by the government.
But that doesn’t mean anything! That’s all just anecdotal! And heresay! And other words! If you say “Tea Partiers therefore might be more likely to avoid paying taxes” …. well, that just goes too dang far.
But there is a problem.
Unfortunately, as usual, scientific studies create a problem for this argument.
Some studies show that having a positive view of taxes as a “civic duty” tends to reduce the propensity for tax evasion, while not believing that taxes are a “civic duty” is positively related to tax evasion (Orvisha & Hudson, 2003).
Other studies show that trust in government, trust in the legal system, and trust in the courts are all be positively related to tax compliance, while having a lack of trust in the government is related to tax evasion (Torgler, 2007).
…..but as we all know, things like “science” and “data” traditionally have a liberal bias. And therefore can be ignored.
Please make sure you spend this week yelling and screaming about the IRS unfairly profiling Tea Partiers for possible tax evasion.
Then, next week, you can go back to yelling and screaming about how all taxes are theft, and all Muslims should be deported.
If anyone accuses you of hypocrisy, then … well, they must just have a liberal bias!!!!
Orvisha, M. and J. Hudson. (2003). Tax evasion, civic duty and the law abiding citizen. European Journal of Political Economy, 19:1. pp 83-102.
Torgler, B. (2007). Tax Compliance and Tax Morale: A Theoretical and Empirical Analysis. Edward Elgar Publishing.
For a good summary, read: Tax Morale and Fiscal Policy (PDF)
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