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Beginning in 2010, several different IRS offices – including those in Cincinnati, Ohio; El Monte, California; Laguna Niguel, California; and Washington D.C. systematically discriminated against conservative groups. The targeting was not the work of a few “rogue” agents, as IRS commissioner Steven Miller initially claimed.
The IRS targeted organizations who “criticize how the country is being run” - singling out those with “tea party”, “9/12” and “patriot” in their names.
The agency harassed right-leaning 501(c)(3) applicants with intrusive questions, including “please detail the content of your members’ prayers."
160 such applications were delayed for over 200 days – some for more than three years and two election cycles.
During this period, the IRS approved applications from several dozen groups who used words like “progressive”, “liberal” and “equality.” Media Trackers, a conservative applicant that had been delayed for 16 months, was approved in three weeks after it reapplied under the name “Greenhouse Solutions.”
The White House account of these events has changed several times. While the White House initially maintained that it had learned about the scandal through the media, it has since been revealed that both Chief of Staff Denis McDonough and Treasury Secretary Jack Lew were aware of the scandal a month prior.
Under the Obama Administration, IRS higher-ups have treated themselves to extravagant entertainment and lavish conferences on the taxpayers’ dime. The agency spent over $60,000 producing two short films for fun. In one instance, the IRS “paid for the construction of an elaborate mock-up of the bridge of the starship Enterprise.” The IRS also spent millions on luxurious accommodations for its managers – in violation of its own policies - and paid $135,000 fees to at least 15 outside speakers. One speaker was paid $17,000 to discuss “leadership through art.”
Democrats have attempted to shield themselves from blame by pointing out that IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman was a Bush appointee. Shulman’s wife, however, is a senior employee at liberal group Public Campaign, an organization “dedicated to sweeping campaign reform that aims to dramatically reduce the role of big special interest money in American politics.”
Sarah Hall Ingram, who ran the IRS’ tax-exempt division during the targeting, is now the director of the IRS’ ObamaCare office. Since graduating from Georgetown Law, Ingram has never worked anywhere except the IRS. Interestingly, Ingram has visited the White House 165 times.
The IRS has been put in charge of enforcing ObamaCare. Federal agencies are currently assembling a “Federal Data Services Hub” in what has been called “the largest consolidation of personal data in the history of the republic” by USA Today. Under ObamaCare, government-approved health insurance providers will submit reports about their customers to this database - where they will be monitored and cross-checked by the IRS. Although only 10% of Americans now say they have confidence in the IRS, we are apparently expected to trust the agency to oversee our healthcare.
Democracy and Power 115: Other Power Players - BureaucratsOur carefully constructed system of checks and balances is being negated by the rise of a fourth branch, an administrative state of sprawling departments and agencies that govern with increasing autonomy and decreasing transparency.- Jonathan Turley, Shapiro professor of public interest law at George Washington University.
The recent spate of scandals involving the federal government should not surprise anyone. While it's important that bad actors in government be held to account, the system corrupts even the best people. If all that comes of this exposed corruption is the firing of a few public employees, nothing will change, and those seeking power over their fellow man will be emboldened.
5 Reasons Why the IRS Scandal Will Haunt Democrats in 2014
On today’s edition of the FreedomCast, Jim Geraghty of the National Review Online joins me to discuss the Obama Administration’s scandals, the coming reformation of the Republican party, and how Congress hides the really insidious violations of your liberty in gigantic pieces of legislation.
Personal Freedom and Prosperity 101: Personal PowerThe distinctive principle of Western social philosophy is individualism.It aims at the creation of a sphere in which the individual is free to think, to choose, and to act without being restrained by the interference of the social apparatus of coercion and oppression, the State. All the spiritual and material achievements of Western civilization were the result of the operation of this idea of liberty. —Ludwig von Mises
Ten Reasons The IRS Should Not Be In Charge of ObamaCare
The IRS has been in the news a lot lately, but with all the hubbub of corruption and scandal, it’s easy to forget that they are also the agency set to be put in charge of enforcing and implementing the Affordable Care Act, colloquially known as ObamaCare, when it goes into full effect later this year. Here, then, are the top ten reasons why this should not be allowed to happen.
An Illustrated Timeline of the IRS Targeting Scandal
With new details emerging every day about the extent of the IRS targeting of conservative groups, FreedomWorks Creative Manager Matt Battaglia breaks down the timeline of events. Click 'read more' for images!
A weak narrative pushed by administration allies that the IRS was merely doing its job in investigating Tea Party groups in 2010 through 2012 has been all but abandoned, now. Facts having intervened, and it looks like the Obama administration will throw some IRS staff under the bus and hope the scandal ends. It won't, because the problem is not that people were weak, but that government is too strong.
The FreedomCast - Episode 39 - US Senator Marco Rubio
Another day, another scandal (or three). Whether the issue is investigating reporters, fumbling Benghazi or harassing Tea Partiers, people across the political spectrum finally are challenging the once-Teflon Obama administration. His groupies in the press are loath to criticize him directly, but the president’s “no drama” public façade is crumbling faster than a Kardashian marriage.