Sunday, January 20, 2013

Small business wins one against the IRS

In another example of the Obama administration's unprecedented regulatory overreach, the IRS unilaterally imposed regulation on mom-and-pop tax preparers, finding the authority in a statute that went back to 1884. Apparently 128 years was not long enough for the Service to decide that it could do this.

Fortunately, a federal court did not agree, and required actual, rather than conjured, statutory authority.

Whether right, center, or left in their political orientation, Americans who care about popular sovereignty should loudly object to the Obama administration's attitude that in the writing of regulation it should push statutory authority to its most creative limits. Any government that actually respected our system would take the opposite view, and err on the side of asking for legislation before, say, destroying the livelihoods of thousands of people.

Regulation of business is not a game to be won or lost by government lawyers. Not only does it destroy prosperity far more often than it increases it, but it stomps on the most frequently expressed form of human creativity: Commercial enterprise.

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