Cliven Bundy and me: His treatment by the BLM reminds me of my experience with the IRS
Published by: Herman Cain
I’m sure you’ve heard about this dispute in Nevada, where a rancher named Cliven Bundy was confronted by a virtual army of armed agents from the U.S. Bureau of Land Management. The whole thing is a dispute over very complicated laws concerning grazing rights, and the laws are too confusing for me to sit here and tell you who is right and who is wrong.
But the complicated nature of the law is a huge problem here, as it is when we deal with things like tax law. That’s why I have sympathy for Mr. Bundy. His issue with the BLM reminds me of one I had 20 years ago with the IRS. In both cases, an out-of-control federal agency uses intimidation tactics to accuse you of a violation of laws so complicated no one can even really understand them.
Harry Reid is playing a role here too, and as you might expect, it’s not on behalf of the private citizen who is crosshairs with the federal government. In his usual matter, Reid recently declared, “This is not over. We can’t have an American people that just violate the law and just walk away from it, so it’s not over.”
I love what a Bundy family member said about Reid:
“He doesn’t have enough moral fiber in his bones at all to see what happened, but we the people got together to make something right, and he needs to be kicked out of office even if he is the Senate Majority Leader. It doesn’t matter.”
Oh yes, sir, I could give you lots of other reasons Harry Reid needs to be gone.
I’ve heard conflicting reports that say the Bundys were encouraged by the government over 100 years ago to use that land for cattle grazing, and now the government is coming out saying, oh no, you owe some grazing fees. I don’t know what to believe, but I see that the Bundys are standing up against the federal government, and some of their neighbors came to their rescue.
Cliven Bundy described the day when he saw a massive platoon of BLM agents coming over a hill toward him. It was like a war zone.
“I’m not in Afghanistan,” he said. “I think I’m in Nevada.”
The BLM had decided to be heavy handed and use the Bundys to set an example. But some of their neighbors showed up, and they showed up with guns. The cited the Second Amendment’s statement that we need to maintain a well-regulated militia – and these folks were acting as a militia in the defense of their neighbor against government thuggery. Good for them.
So now the BLM say it is going to back off and use judicial and administrative procedures. That’s what they should have done in the first place! You don’t converge on a citizen of the country armed with firepower because of a dispute over a very complicated law.
This is the same problem we have with the tax code. The IRS can come at you and demand all kinds of information, and you never know if someone is out of bounds when they’re making these demands.
The IRS has 80,000 ways to intimidate people. The IRS can ask you for more and more and more information in order to intimidate people ad infinitum. You have no idea whether or not they are overstepping their bounds. If you decide to challenge the IRS, you’re going to have to pay for that legal challenge. And do you know how they’re going to fight that legal challenge? With our money. And they can drag it out over years, assuming you will just say “uncle” and give in.
Their audit of me, after I challenged Bill Clinton at a town hall meeting, lasted from 1996 through 1998. It started with them auditing 1994. Then they came back and said they needed to audit me for 1993, as well as 1995. All the while the meter is running on my tax attorney.
Finally they came back and said I owed $1.8 million! I had to make a decision as to whether I would fight this, which I did, and ultimately they dropped the claim, but demanded a “penalty” for the wrongdoing of which they accused me.
This is not right. People need to follow the law, but when the federal government is using intimidation tactics, all justified by extremely complex laws no one understands, this needs to be reined in. Our representatives in Congress – both the House and the Senate – should be standing up for citizens when stuff like this happens. If you live in Nevada, I guess you don’t have much hope of getting help from Harry Reid.
And from the way these government agencies have been acting lately, it doesn’t sound like they’re too intimidated by anyone, nor do they care much about the rights of American citizens.
No wonder people feel they have to come against them with guns. When the government gets like this, what else can you do?