A happy consequence of the IRS mess would be if conservatives took the opportunity, in between the high dudgeon and special investigations, to explain to the public the true purposes of government. A government whose primary object is to secure the natural rights of its citizenry would not be so invested in regulating political speech and association. A government whose elected representatives met to promote the general welfare through simple laws, equally binding on all, would not write gigantic bills, such as the tax code, Affordable Care Act, and the current omnibus immigration reform, which grant massive discretionary power to largely autonomous administrators. A government with a system that taxed all forms of income equally, and perhaps derived much of its revenue from sources other than income tax, would have less need of an imperious IRS.

This is also a moment for conservatives to reintroduce the concept of exit into policy debates. Exit is a conservative principle. There may be no escaping the IRS, but initiatives to allow the states room for experiment would grant Americans the ability, through the power of opting-out, to hold declining institutions to account. Taxpayers already migrate from high-tax, high-expenditure states to low-tax, low-expenditure ones.

But why stop there? Deny the IRS further power over American lives by repealing Obamacare. Welcome homeschooling, Internet-friendly deregulation, and school choice, increase health care competition through price transparency and point-of-service payment, privatize government services where appropriate, create the option of shielding income from tax through universal savings accounts—all of these measures would enhance the freedom and prosperity of America.