Common Good: Servant government?

This entry is part 4 of 5 in the series The Common Good
The Internal Revenue Service speaks of balance and fairness. The question this spring is: Did the IRS lose its balance?

The Internal Revenue Service logo speaks of balance and fairness. The question this spring is: Did the IRS lose its balance?

What’s the purpose of government?

The purpose, says Jim Wallis in his new book On God’s Side is twofold: to protect its people and to promote the good of society. Good government, Wallis says, “needs to play the important and modest role of servant.”

Does the news about IRS targeting of conservative groups or the seizure of journalists’ telephone and email records make you wonder about the role that government is actually playing? Three-quarters (74%) of Americans say that IRS targeting of conservative groups is inappropriate, according to just-released poll results. Over half (56%) say it was a deliberate attempt to harass conservative organizations. The ABC News/Washington Post poll was conducted by Langer Research Associates on May 16-19.

A majority (54%) also says that the government is doing more to threaten individual rights than to protect these rights. Democrats and Republicans sharply disagree on this point, however with only 31% of Democrats saying that the government is doing more to threaten individual rights, while 71% of Republicans say the same.

Wallis argues that, ultimately, preserving and promoting the common good comes down to the personal decisions we make. What does he recommend in the political sphere?

Here is his recommendation: “Get to know who your political representatives are at both the local and national level. Study their policy decisions and examine their moral compass and public leadership. Make your public convictions and commitments known to them and choose to hold them accountable.”

What’s your opinion of the IRS targeting of conservative groups or the seizure of journalists’ telephone and email records?

Do you know your local and national political representatives?

Is “servant government” just an ideal—or can it be realized?

Please leave a comment below:

Series Navigation<< Common Good: Is Little League baseball the answer?Common Good: What breaks your heart? >>
Print Friendly
Comments: (1)
Categories: Critical Patriotism

Comments

  1. The Supreme Curt’s decision to declare corporations the same category as individuals is a major cause of the IRS’ goof because these individuals or groups with big money can now legally contribute to PACs, because the PACs are not required to publically identify all their contributors. The IRS’s targeting of Tea Party groups was badly mismanaged and should not have happened. The suspicion that unknown contributors – who may have openly stated their main objective is to get the President out of office – could be involved in starting up a 501-C (?) tax-exempt group that could, through loopholes or badly written law, use their funds for political purposes is a real possibility and is not in the purview of the IRS. A liberally leaning IRS employee could easily begin seeking out an applicant fitting an opposition position for extra scrutiny. Of course this should not occur at all. Political preference is not the business of the IRS.
    But the Common Good is not served if badly written laws allow this to happoen