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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.
I just wanted to take a minute and update you on our efforts to fight taxes and spending in Florida. Many of you will be excited to learn that we are planning Taxpayer Tea Parties in multiple cities across Florida! This is because of the overwhelming interest in joining our effort to fight wasteful government spending and the massive bailouts. You can rsvp for these events by visiting IamWithRick.com and signing up to attend the tea party closest to you. As CNBC's Rick Santelli pointed out, it's time for the American people to defend free markets and take to the streets in protest!SIGN UP NOW for the protest closest to you! We will send you updates on the events as we get them.Also, if you care about wasteful spending and higher taxes, you might want to take a minute to send the politicians in Tallahassee a message. Some legislators are proposing an increase in the cigarette tax, saying that they need more money to spend. This is ridiculous! The state government should not be spending more, but less.And it certainly should not be raising taxes on anyone during a recession. Sure, the nanny-staters want to control people's lives and punish smokers, but do they know that smokers tend to be poorer than non-smokers? Plus, increasing taxes on cigarettes will harm small businessses that sell them, which will only lead to more economic suffering.Please TAKE ACTION and tell the politicians in Tallahassee that enough is enough! It's time that they make real spending cuts and reduce the size of the state government.Thank you for your dedication to lower taxes, less government and more freedom. We will be sure to keep you updated on ways to help us defend liberty in Florida.
I just wanted to take a minute and update you on our efforts to fight taxes and spending in Oregon. Many of you will be excited to learn that we are planning Taxpayer Tea Parties in multiple cities across Oregon! This is because of the overwhelming interest in joining our effort to fight wasteful government spending and the massive bailouts.You can rsvp for these events by visiting IamWithRick.com and signing up to attend the tea party closest to you.As CNBC's Rick Santelli pointed out, it's time for the American peopleto defend free markets and take to the streets in protest!SIGN UP NOW for the protest closest to you! We will send you updateson the events as we get them.Also, if you care about wasteful spending and higher taxes, you mightwant to take a minute to send Governor Kulangoski a message. As you know, we’ve been closely following one bad idea after another that has come out of Salem. First it was a massive cigarette tax hike. Then it was plans for a tax on mileage, higher registration and title fees, a gasoline tax hike, and even an outrageous 1900% beer tax hike! So far, it’s been all taxes and no cuts that go after waste and the regulations that burden businesses in Oregon. Now, rather than trying to lift the financial burdens of hurting Oregonians, legislators are floating more plans to rake in more cash. These include raising the state income tax, an even bigger gasoline tax hike, and taking away Oregon’s kicker! States across the board are facing budget problems, but taking more money out of the pockets of people who are already struggling to make ends meet isn’t the answer. Take Action and tell your elected officials that you oppose more tax and spend plans. Like everyone else, Oregon’s leaders need to reexamine the books and stretch our dollars a little further.