GOP Rep. Steve King Relates to Anti-IRS Sentiments of Austin Suicide Attacker
February 23, 2010
(ChattahBox)—Extreme right-wing lawmaker Rep. Steve King (R-IA) made some provocative remarks at the recent CPAC conference during an interview with members of Think Progress, in which he suggested that he agrees with the anti-IRS sentiments of the disgruntled Austin man who crashed his small plane into a federal building. King denounced the IRS, as “unnecessary” and said that if the federal agency had been “abolished” Joe Stack would not have felt compelled to commit an act of terrorism, killing himself, an IRS worker and injuring many others.
Before crashing his plane into an Austin, Texas federal building housing nearly 200 IRS workers, the anti-government Stack burned down his own house and posted a suicide manifesto online, ranting against federal bailouts, the IRS and the “sleazy government.” “Well, Mr. Big Brother IRS man, let’s try something different; take my pound of flesh and sleep well,” said Stack at the end of his 3,000 word angry screed.
Rep. King, who during his speech at CPAC, ticked off an incoherent Republican enemies list, which included liberals, Trotskyites and Maoists, told Think Progress that it would be a great day in America when the IRS was destroyed:
TP: Do you think this attack, this terrorist attack, was motivated at all by a lot of the anti-tax rhetoric that’s popular in America right now?
KING: I think if we’d abolished the IRS back when I first advocated it, he wouldn’t have a target for his airplane. And I’m still for abolishing the IRS, I’ve been for it for thirty years and I’m for a national sales tax. [...] It’s sad the incident in Texas happened, but by the same token, it’s an agency that is unnecessary and when the day comes when that is over and we abolish the IRS, it’s going to be a happy day for America.
TP: So some of his grievances were legitimate?
KING: I don’t know if his grievances were legitimate, I’ve read part of the material. I can tell you I’ve been audited by the IRS and I’ve had the sense of ‘why is the IRS in my kitchen.’ Why do they have their thumb in the middle of my back. … It is intrusive and we can do a better job without them entirely.
Freshman Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA) also seemed to lend credence to Stack’s anti-IRS beliefs, saying that “no one likes to pay taxes” and “people are frustrated,” while appearing on Fox News. And he suggested that Stark’s suicide attack on a federal building may be related to the voter anger he came across during his campaign.
Rep. King didn’t directly respond to Think Progress’ question about right-wing anti-tax rhetoric, but domestic terrorism experts point out that the angry electorate incited by President Obama’s election, our country’s first black president, has sparked a rise in violent militia groups.
Mark Potok, director of the Southern Poverty Law Center, a watchdog organization which tracks hate groups, notes the dangerous growth of militia groups. “Extremist groups are already aligning behind [Joe Stack], beginning to talk about him as a hero,” said Potok. “The growth of those groups has been astounding.”
See Think Progress for more.