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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.
Lois Lerner really doesn't want to answer questions about her role in the Internal Revenue Service's targeting of conservative and Tea Party organizations. The former head of the powerful tax agency's Exempt Organization Division refused to testify in front of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee in May 2013, invoking her Fifth Amendment rights.
April 15th – Tax Day – is going to be another not-so-fun milestone for hundreds of thousands of ObamaCare’s beneficiaries. The paperwork to comply with the law’s individual mandate is already going to be an annoyance to all who file taxes, but those who receive subsidies to help pay for their health insurance could be in for an especially rude surprise.
When Congress drafted the most sweeping and disruptive set of health care regulations America has ever seen, a multi-thousand page monstrosity that no one even read before voting on, they needed an agency to enforce the dozens of new taxes, mandates, and penalties that were to be an integral part of ObamaCare. But which?
In 2013, the IRS itself estimated that the average taxpayer would spend 13 hours preparing and filing their taxes. That’s just the basic forms – for those who have different kinds of investment income, or lots of deductions, or who run a small business, the time and money burden grows much higher.
In the storm of justifiable outrage over the IRS’ targeting of conservatives, the willful obstruction of Lois Lerner, the incompetence/dishonesty of lost emails, and the IRS’ multiple attempts to pass a regulation that would severely limit the ability of non-profits to engage in political speech, it’s easy to forget that this is the same agency that has been tasked with the enforcement of ObamaCare and the tools it has been given to accomplish this insidious mission.
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 in charge of enforcing and implementing the Affordable Care Act, colloquially known as ObamaCare. Here are the top ten reasons why the IRS should keep its hands off your healthcare choices.
Precedent is a powerful thing. Once something has been established as acceptable behavior, there will inevitably be a flood of eager followers. That is why trailblazers get all the credit. The brave souls who test the waters, who first go where no one else dares, who push the envelope and set the stage for the rest of us. In many walks of life, such as science, exploration, and philosophy, these people are heroes, pushing mankind forward even when it is dangerous to do so. In politics, however, the trailblazer all too often covers territory that would have been better left unexplored.