March 10, 2014

Has the IRS become politicized?

Bradley A. Smith: Connecting the Dots in the IRS Scandal 

The ‘smoking gun’ in the targeting of conservative groups has been hiding in plain sight….. The political pressure on the IRS to delay or deny tax-exempt status for conservative groups has been obvious to anyone who cares to open his eyes. It did not come from a direct order from the White House, but it didn't have to….

In 1170, King Henry II is said to have cried out, on hearing of the latest actions of the Archbishop of Canterbury, "Will no one rid me of this turbulent priest?" Four knights then murdered the archbishop. Many in the U.S. media still willfully refuse to see anything connecting the murder of the archbishop to any actions or abuse of power by the king.

Strassel: All the President's IRS Agents  The targeting of groups opposed to the Democratic agenda has not ended—it's gotten worse.

At a Senate Judiciary Committee markup Thursday morning, Texas's Ted Cruz offered an amendment to prohibit IRS employees from deliberately targeting individuals or groups based on political views. It was unanimously rejected by every member of the Democratic majority.

Obama IRS Hires Al-Qaida Spy

Mohammad Weiss Rasool, whom the FBI busted last decade for tipping off an al-Qaida terrorist suspect, reportedly now works for the deputy IRS chief financial officer as a financial management analyst, drawing a lucrative salary at taxpayer expense.

According to investigative reporter Patrick Poole, who broke the explosive story in PJ Media, the Obama administration has let a Muslim man convicted of abusing sensitive government data have access to the sensitive financial data of millions of Americans at an agency known for abusing such information.  Astonishingly, the dangerous felon is still at the IRS, where he goes by the name "Weiss Russell."

George Will, The IRS has a one-sided interest in politics

The most intrusive and potentially most punitive federal agency has been politicized; the IRS has become an appendage of Barack Obama’s party. Furthermore, congruent with exhortations from some congressional Democrats, it is intensifying its efforts to suffocate groups critical of progressives, by delaying what once was the swift, routine granting of tax-exempt status.

So, the IRS, far from repenting of its abusive behavior, is trying to codify the abuses.

Daniel Henninger speculates on Lois Lerner's taking the fifth again

I think what is going on here is that the Obama people understand they are on very thin ice with this IRS investigation because abuse of power is not merely a political expression. It's a federal felony. You start pulling on that string and finding other people who conspired to impede a federal investigation, a lot of individuals are going to have very significant legal and political exposure. Lois Lerner is the one they are all hanging on to.

As Peggy Noonan wrote in America and the Aggressive Left.    "We are suffering in great part from the politicization of everything and the spread of government not in a useful way but a destructive one……People feel beset because they are. All these things are pieces of a larger, bullying ineptitude. And people know, they are aware."

If the IRS becomes a political tool to punish so-called enemies, it loses both authority and credibility.  More and more people and I am one of them are beginning to entertain and  support the idea of scrapping the whole IRS Code and instituting instead a flat tax along the lines Steve Forbes proposes

The federal tax code is beyond redemption. We should kill it and institute a flat tax. My flat-tax proposal calls for a 17% tax rate for all, with generous deductions for individuals and families ( a family of four would owe no federal income tax on their first $46,000). And that’s it—no tax on savings and no death tax. The federal corporate tax rate would be dropped to 17%, and capital investments would be expensed immediately. There are other worthy variations of the flat tax.
Posted by Jill Fallon at March 10, 2014 12:50 PM | Permalink