- (Courtesy, The Heritage Foundation)
A petition seeking to abolish the Internal Revenue Service recently started by the American Center for Law and Justice has gained over 14,000 signatures, with the law group denouncing the government agency for being "out of control."
"The time has come to abolish the IRS as we know it. It has proven that it is incapable of governing itself," said ACLJ Chief Counsel Jay Sekulow.
The IRS has been under great scrutiny in the last number of weeks after a series of scandals came to the surface.
In May, the agency admitted that some of its agents had specifically targeted conservative groups between 2010 and 2012 for further investigation, with critics questioning how much President Barack Obama's administration knew about what was going on before the allegations were made public.
And just last week, lawmakers blasted the government agency at a hearing for spending nearly $50 million in taxpayer money between 2010 and 2012 on lavish conferences, hotel rooms, spoof videos and trinkets like squirting fish toys.
"Not only does the IRS take your money, not give you proper answers, but then when it comes to tens of millions of dollars, use it in a way that is, at best, maliciously self-indulgent," said Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.
In an interview with Fox News, Sekulow said that the best thing to do right now is to shut down the IRS, and start with a system that is manageable – "because this one, is not."
The ACLJ reminded readers that allegations against the IRS include reports by pro-life groups that say that they have been warned not to picket against Planned Parenthood, the nation's largest abortion and women's health services provider, while adoptive families have gone through mass-scale audits – 100,000 in 2011, simply because they adopted a child.
"And that's just what we've learned in the last three weeks. We've sued the IRS to stop its abuse of conservative groups, but that's just a start. The ACLJ is joining key conservative leaders with a simple demand: end the IRS," the law group said.
A second petition from the ACLJ urging Obama and members of Congress to end abuse by the IRS has reached over 117,000 signatures.
"The Internal Revenue Service cannot be used as a weapon against political enemies," the law group argued. "There must be a thorough investigation of IRS abuse, and those responsible must be punished. There is no excuse for turning the full power of the IRS on American citizens."