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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.
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.
Capitol Hill Update, 20 May, 2013House & Senate/Schedule: Both chambers are in session this week, and will then be out of town next week for Memorial Day. After the break, the House and Senate will both return to town on June 3rd for a grueling four-week stretch.
Tell Your Representative to Co-Sponsor the "Keep the IRS Off Your Health Care Act"!
Dear FreedomWorks member, As one of our millions of FreedomWorks members nationwide, I urge you to contact your representative and urge him or her to co-sponsor H.R. 2009, the “Keep the IRS Off Your Health Care Act”. Introduced by Rep. Tom Price (R-GA), this bill would stop the Internal Revenue Service or any other Treasury department from enforcing any part of ObamaCare.
The FreedomCast - Episode 36 - Tea Party Activist Targeted by the IRS
Today on the FreedomCast, Central Texas 912 President, Maria Acosta joins me to discuss being singled out by the Feds, and how the IRS targeted her group and the incredibly creepy requests made in order to gain tax exempt status.
Rough week for the White House, huh? Trying to keep up with all these scandals is like drinking from a firehose and every day the water rushes out faster. And how did Obama respond to the right, left and center calling out his seemingly lawless behavior? With arrogance, of course.
The FreedomCast - Episode 35 - IRS Targeting Tea Party Groups with CJ Ciaramella
Joining me today on the FreedomCast is CJ Ciamarella, reporter for the Washington Free Beacon. We’ll discuss the IRS scandal, the chilling effect it has on political dissent, and how Republicans should target big government and not Obama.
More on this topic:
IRS Targeting Timeline