As all 45 GOP senators united Wednesday in a letter to President Obama demanding cooperation with congressional investigations into the IRS scandal, outspoken conservative Sen. Mike Lee said that the combined IRS and Benghazi affairs and the seizure of Associated Press source files prove the government is abusive and unresponsive.

"When an agency like the IRS can single out Tea Party groups; or the Department of Justice can monitor reporters' conversations; or HHS regulators can openly extort the regulated; and there are no consequences — we are no longer citizens but subjects," said Lee, the first Tea Party-backed senator to come to Washington.

And Lee said that the government is bad no matter who is in charge.

"It would be a mistake for Republicans to view the latest IRS scandal as a typical partisan squabble between political parties. The real lesson is that our massive federal government bureaucracy is inherently dysfunctional, corrupt and intolerant regardless of who is in charge," he said.

The trio of scandals has helped to rally small-government proponents who are eager to use them to trim the size of the federal bureaucracy. And Lee said the time to begin is now.

"The long-term solution is for the American people to demand that government be less involved, less intrusive, and therefore less able to carry out these kinds of abuses," he said.