A Washington Examiner article asks “Can the IRS be fixed, or should it just be abolished?” The answer is clear to anybody who has followed the IRS scandal or filed a federal tax return.

Washington’s individual income tax and its enforcement agency, the IRS, cannot be fixed, repaired, reformed or rehabilitated. They are a cancer eating away at this nation, her taxpayers and our economic engine.

Congress created the income tax in 1913, and for 100 years the IRS has operated exactly as intended, as an agent of control with total impunity, even down to the political targeting of individuals and groups.

After all, Congress and Washington’s finest lobbyists — many of whom previously served as members of Congress or congressional support staff — made it possible for IRS bureaucrats to write all 73,954 pages of the tax code.

In combination with IRS enforcement, the income tax is the perfect mechanism for Congress to exact control, fund hidden political agendas, stuff campaign coffers and gain entree into an elite millionaires club.

Wall Street Journal columnist and former Reagan presidential speechwriter Peggy Noonan wrote in January:

“Someday history will write of our era, and the biggest scandal will be the thing we accepted in our leaders; chronic and endemic selfishness. History will be hard on us for that.”

That said, the American people clearly are fed up. They are tired, demoralized and collapsing from a tax code and enforcement agency that does Congress’ bidding while plundering earnings and destroying individual lives and businesses.

Neither the income tax nor its oppressive bureaucratic collector can be fixed. It cannot be reformed. It must be thrown into history’s dust heap of failed legislative experiments and replaced with the Fair Tax Act of 2013, or HR 25/S 122.

The Fair Tax is a simple, fair and transparent national consumption tax that treats everyone the same — no loopholes, exemptions or exclusions — not even for Congress.

As such, this legislation represents the largest transfer of power back to the people since the writing of the Constitution.

And the Fair Tax is the only tax replacement plan with 85 cosponsors committed to disbanding, defunding and forever eliminating the IRS.

Benjamin Franklin once said, “the ordaining of laws in favor of one part of the nation, to the prejudice and oppression of another, is certainly the most erroneous and mistaken policy.”

It’s time to end the most prejudicial, oppressive, erroneous and mistaken policy ever forced upon the American people. It’s time for the Fair Tax.

Steven L. Hayes is chairman and president of Americans For Fair Taxation.