But no scandal seems to have captured the outrage of the American people as has the recent revelation that the IRS has been targeting the political enemies of Obama. Obama’s current defense is that he knew nothing about it until he heard about it in the news just like the rest of us. That is an interesting defense…”I am not so much a bully and a tyrant as I am just completely incompetent and unaware of what is going on within my own administration.”
Considering that both his Chief of Staff and White House Counsel have known about it for a while, that seems highly unlikely. It is far more likely that he simply followed in the footsteps of other Democrat icon presidents, JFK and FDR, in using the IRS to bludgeon his enemies into submission.
By any standard, the abuse inflicted by the IRS under Obama is not only unethical, but criminal in many cases. Consider the facts. The Obama IRS singled out for “extra scrutiny” groups applying for non-profit exemptions which contained the words “TEA Party” or “patriot”, groups which have the goal of educating people about the Constitution and Bill of Rights, groups which advocate for less spending and limited government, and even Jewish groups which advocate for a pro-Israel foreign policy.
Under former administrations, filing for tax exempt status usually consisted of filling out an application and answering a handful of questions.
Not so under Obama. Where groups have been made to provide copies of the reading materials used by the group (one TEA Party humorously sent a copy of the Constitution as an example), lists of donors, copies of Facebook postings, copies of meeting minutes, and in the case of one non-profit that educated students on conservative political philosophy, the IRS demanded a list of the students that had been taught and the names of anyone that they would teach in the future. A pro-life group was told they must submit an official letter promising not to protest Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion provider and the annual recipient of hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars. Most egregiously, one group was told they must disclose the content of their prayers!
That is political intimidation, pure and simple. Yet there are examples of criminal behavior as well, such as when the IRS leaked the confidential tax information for donors to the National Organization for Marriage (a pro-traditional marriage group) to the group’s arch-enemy, the Human Rights Campaign (a pro-homosexual marriage group). The HRC then made the list of donors’ public, thus allowing “gay rights” supporters to harass and bully the pro-marriage donors. This criminal behavior was duplicated many times, always targeting conservative or Republican groups. It was easy to see where the leaks originated because the internal IRS stamps were on the documents.
IRS officials want us to believe there was nothing nefarious about them singling out those groups, yet while not a single application for a group with “TEA Party” in the name has been approved in nearly two and a half years, liberal groups with words like “Civil Rights” in the name breezed through the process in just a few months. The Barack H. Obama foundation, run by Obama’s half-brother, obtained approval in a scant 34 days, while Organizing for America, Obama’s former campaign group, was reconfigured as a political advocacy group and received approval almost before the ink on the application had time to dry.
What is truly frightening is that the IRS is now in charge of enforcing compliance with the tens of thousands of ObamaCare regulations. In fact, that arm of the agency will be run by none other than Sarah Hall Ingram, the same woman in charge of the tax-exempt division of the IRS that has been harassing conservative groups. That should comfort all Americans. Need a life saving procedure performed? You better not have ever criticized Obama or voted Republican!
Despite the clear culture of corruption and intimidation we’ve seen in this scandal, it still misses the bigger picture. The bigger picture was painted for us, ironically, by none other than former Obama advisor David Axelrod who, in an effort to absolve Obama of blame, said that “Part of being president is there’s so much beneath you that you can’t really know because the government’s so vast.”
That is exactly right. The government has become so vast that it is nearly impossible to hold anyone accountable for misdeeds and corruption (especially if they work for a government employee union), yet that very vastness allows it to exercise enormous power over the lives of every citizen. With a federal tax code that weighs in at nearly 75,000 pages (almost fifty times larger than the King James Bible!), it is impossible for even CPA’s and tax professionals to comprehend the entirety of the tax code, which means the average citizen is hopelessly lost in their efforts to maintain full compliance. But that is exactly the point…with a tax code that large and that complex, if the government wants to come after you, it can easily find numerous sections of the tax code that you have inadvertently violated, and once discovered, there will be no mercy. How many thousands of stories of average Americans have we heard where an audit by the IRS meant disrupting their lives for months or years, tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines and penalties, driving many into bankruptcy, and ruining lives in the process.
The IRS is easily the most hated and feared agency in all of government. It has power to delve into the most intimate aspects of your life, looking for evidence of tax fraud or non-compliance. No one is spared from the reach of its malignant heart and cruel hands unless, of course, you pony up and make fat donations to the right politicians, which not only grants you a “Get Out of Jail Free” card with the IRS, but will get you preferential treatment and big fat tax breaks.
The income tax could only be enacted after the passage of the 16th Amendment because the Founding Fathers had expressly forbidden a direct tax on citizens under Article 1, Section 9, Clause 4 (”No Capitation or other direct tax shall be laid...”). The income tax was conceived in class warfare, a staple of Marxist ideology (indeed, a progressive income tax is one of the central planks of the Communist Manifesto) with politicians promising to make the rich pay their “fair share” (sound familiar?), and promising that the poor and middle class would remain untouched.
A hundred years later, the IRS now rules over American citizens like a brutal slave master that inflicts arbitrary punishment on all under its domain. Karma is a bear…a great big hairy beast with huge paws and gaping jaws, and when it comes around it devours those in its path.
Unfortunately, those that passed the 16th Amendment are long dead, and we are left as victims to their avarice.