Tag Archives: Internal Revenue Service

Obamacare enforcer released thousands of social security numbers

IRS

On Monday evening, the Internal Revenue Service confirmed that tens of thousands to possible 100,000 social security numbers were mistakenly released to the public through an IRS web page.

PublicResource.org discovered the listing of Social Security Numbers and notified the IRS of the privacy issue. The IRS immediately cut-off internet access to the page.

Although American’s Social Security cards prominently display the fact that the number should not be used for identification, it is. Credit card companies, mortgage lenders, banks and others use the number to identify a unique person. Access to this number can lead to identity theft, fraud and with the IRS taking on the role of Obamacare enforcer – crimes we haven’t even imagined.

Ham-handed information management policies and procedures, like those used to unfairly scrutinize Conservative groups, are likely responsible for the leak of private information.

Imagine how great it will be once the IRS has direct access to American’s healthcare information…

Easy fix to IRS corruption

IRS

Sir John Dalberg-Acton famously observed, “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” No federal agency enjoys more power than the “absolute power” wielded by the Internal Revenue Service. It’s little wonder, then, that under this power-drunk Obama regime, the IRS has become “corrupted absolutely.” It’s become the hammer to this president’s favorite nail: political dissent.

The bureaucratic cat’s out of the bag, and the evidence is undeniable. The Obama IRS has been illegally targeting conservative, Christian and Jewish groups and individuals for political retaliation, intimidation and, ultimately, destruction. These revelations have spurred calls for criminal prosecution and even impeachment. Still, little has been said about how to prevent such Stalinist abuses of power in the future.

We’ve been over-thinking the problem. Sometimes complicated questions come with easy answers. I wish I could take credit for it, but while I was participating in a recent meeting in Washington, D.C., Judson Phillips, founder of Tea Party Nation, hit on the simple solution. “The Constitution is a great place to go in order to rein in the rampant and repeated abuses at the IRS,” he suggested. Namely, the Fourth Amendment, which guarantees the following:

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

No individual – and especially no federal agency – is above the law. Regrettably, and largely through both citizen and government acquiescence, the IRS has been brandishing arbitrary and extra-constitutional authority, unchecked, for well over a century.

Imagine if the Department of Homeland Security, the FBI, or the ATF suddenly began “searching” and “seizing” the “persons, houses, papers, and effects,” of millions of U.S. citizens every year without a warrant – without probable cause or even reasonable suspicion that any criminal or civil violation had occurred. People would be outraged, and for good reason. Such actions would rightly and universally be decried as unconstitutional. The lawsuits would fly, heads would roll and the courts would immediately shut down such “unreasonable searches and seizures.” This is exactly the kind of government tyranny our founders endeavored to thwart.

So why has the IRS been allowed to do just that – to violate, systemically and systematically, the Fourth Amendment? How is it that this one federal agency, with neither probable cause nor a warrant, is permitted to invade your privacy and confiscate your “houses, papers and effects” on a whim? How is it that if you fail to comply with their warrantless searches and seizures, they have the authority to ruin you financially and even throw you in prison?

No warrant? No problem. When the IRS arbitrarily and capriciously says “jump,” America opens its doors wide and says, “how high?” Is this the IRS or the ISS? Either way, it’s time that “we the people” put an end to this unconstitutional abuse of power.

At least some good has come from Mr. Obama’s IRS-gate scandal. It’s exposed the unprecedented depths to which corruption has burrowed its way from the top down. It’s also underscored the autocratic nature of the contemporary IRS beast. It’s unified many Republicans, Democrats and independents around this fundamental reality: America must de-politicize the IRS.

Politicians on both sides of the aisle love to pay lip service to a need for “tax reform.” Well, honorable sirs and madams, put up or shut up. It’s time for a new federal “Taxpayer Bill of Rights.” A centerpiece to such legislation must be the simple codification of that which the Fourth Amendment already mandates; namely, that, when conducting “searches and seizures” (aka, audits), the IRS must adhere to the same U.S. Constitution that restricts every other federal agency.

Such a bill, notes Phillips, “would codify as federal law that no IRS audit (or any other agency audit) of a person, organization or business could be conducted without first having the IRS agent (or agent of the agency conducting the audit) to prepare an affidavit that is sworn to in front of a federal judge, federal magistrate or a tax court judge that states with specificity why there is probable cause to believe the audit will result in either the discovery of criminal activities or the discovery of civil wrong doing. It will be the functional equivalent of a search warrant.”

Phillips is on to something big here. Especially when you consider this last minor factoid: The IRS is also the OEA: the “Obamacare Enforcement Agency.”

If that doesn’t send a chill down your spine, then nothing will.

What do you get when you cross one tyrannical, hyper-politicized bureaucratic beast with another?

You get tyranny on steroids. You also get one happy Barack Hussein Obama.

Contact your legislators and A) respectfully request that they re-constitutionalize the IRS; B) that the IRS be required to observe the Fourth Amendment; and C) that they hold this president accountable for his unprecedented and despicable abuse of executive authority.

Finally, request that Congress pass a new Taxpayer Bill of Rights that covers “all of the above.”

An Era of Distrust

obama assertive

“In each of these cases, the White House has refused to take any responsibility. Instead, the President and his administration have obfuscated, shifted blame or questioned the motives of those genuinely concerned with seeking resolution to these matters. Absent such leadership, I must ask: Mr. President, how can the American people trust you?”

 –Rep. Tom Price (R-GA)

While each of the many scandals the Obama administration has found itself mired in may seem trivial taken alone, when looked at as parts of the whole, they signify a government disrespectful of its people and undeserving of their trust.

Fast and Furious

Fast and furious was the Department of Justice’s failed gun tracking program that allowed thousands of guns to be sold into Mexico without proper tracing. The government said that it was a simple lack of oversight, but gun rights groups saw it as the administration pushing American guns into Mexico so they could later blame Mexican drug and gang violence on American gun owners and retailers.

Earlier this month the President gave a speech at the Anthropology Museum in Mexico where he said, “Most of the guns used to commit violence here in Mexico come from the United States.”

Benghazi

On September 11th 2012, four Americans lost their lives in a terrorist attack on the consulate in Benghazi, Libya. For almost two weeks, the administration blamed the attack on anger over a video.

The original CIA determination had no reference to the video. The intelligence community’s first draft of talking points had no mention of the video in them. After twelve rounds of edits to the communication several points the CIA felt important were significantly changed or deleted.

References to Al Qaeda and related groups and warnings about a possible attack were deleted at the State Department’s request. An email from State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland contained objections to the paragraph:

“The Agency has produced numerous pieces on the threat of extremists linked to al-Qa’ida in Benghazi and eastern Libya.  These noted that, since April, there have been at least five other attacks against foreign interests in Benghazi by unidentified assailants, including the June attack against the British Ambassador’s convoy. We cannot rule out the individuals has previously surveilled the U.S. facilities, also contributing to the efficacy of the attacks.”

Her concern was that inclusion of this information “could be abused by members [of Congress] to beat up the State Department for not paying attention to warnings, so why would we want to feed that either?”

Several more State Department emails expressed that the early changes weren’t enough. Nuland’s fingerprints are all over the changes to the talking points showing direct administration involvement in scrubbing them for political purposes.

Just prior to the attack, the President’s re-election campaign had released a slogan. “GM is alive and al-Queda is on the run.”  The intelligence communication did not fit that narrative and Nulan seems to have been keenly aware. With the election only months away, terrorists could not have been shown to have had a victory on President Obama’s watch.

The fact that the President made several references to the video after the attack shows either willful dishonesty or a President being misled by his own administration.

Many, including the President, talk about the talking points as though they are insignificant. They are significant. They were intended as a brief form of communication to leaders in Congress. Misleading Congress should come with heavy penalties – if Congress were so inclined to perform its duty to balance the power of the executive.

Even Democrats see past the smoke and mirrors that Obama is putting up with Elijah Cummings (D-Maryland) writing a letter to Rep. Darrell Issa saying “If our committee is truly interested in improving the security of American diplomatic personnel overseas, members of our committee and the American public should hear first-hand from the individuals who have done the most exhaustive review of these attacks.”

Benghazi is not a partisan attack, it’s American’s seeking the truth from an untruthful government.

IRS Abuse of Power

In March of 2010, the IRS began targeting groups with “tea party”, “9/12″ and patriots related to them. Before long, the tax collection arm of the federal government added “government debt”, “constitution” and “criticize how the country is run” the the list. More than 100 Conservative groups were targeted in the initiative.

Who asked for these groups to be targeted? How far up the chain-of-command does this go? Questions still needing answers.

More disconcerting is the fact that the IRS will become the de-facto enforcer for the Obamacare mandate. An agency that makes major decisions based on political ideology will be given even more power as the mandates take hold.

AP Phone Records

The phone records attached to 20 separate phone lines used by AP reporters were seized by the Department of Justice.

DOJ policy requires notice beforehand and that the scope of the information gathering be kept narrow. Neither was done.

The records were allegedly seized in an effort to discover the source of leaked information about a possible airline bombing plot.

The government is setting a precedent of willingness to abridge the first amendment, freedom of the press, as long as it suits its purpose.

A simple request for the phone records should have been the first action before using the liberty-destroying Patriot Act to garner information from a press organization.

Fostering mistrust of the government

Each of these scandals on their own are small. But there is an over-arching theme: the government does not respect the rights of the people.

Misleading Congress, creating dangerous scenarios with Mexican gun runners, abuse of power by the IRS and spying on the Press are all indicative of a culture that feels the Constitution and its protections are a nuisance.

How many times will the American public be lied to and still be able to feel that their government can be trusted?

Bias Against Right Wing? IRS Says Sorry.

gadsden flag

Did your left leaning friends kid you when you talked about a conspiracy against the Tea Party? Did they tell you that the investigations of right wing groups was normal, or maybe a figment of your imagination?

Well, you were right. This week the IRS has formally apologized to groups it unfairly chose for investigation during the 2012 election cycle. Apparently, groups with Patriot or Tea Party in their name were singled out by agents who chose to scrutinize them regarding their tax exempt status.Tea Party Sign

Ouch.

The head of the IRS Exempt Status Division, Lois Lerner recently explained what happened at a conference:

In some cases, groups were asked for their list of donors, which violates IRS policy in most cases, she said.

“That was wrong. That was absolutely incorrect, it was insensitive and it was inappropriate. That’s not how we go about selecting cases for further review,” Lerner said at a conference sponsored by the American Bar Association.

“The IRS would like to apologize for that,” she added.

Lerner went on to explain that the procedure was initiated by low-level staff in Ohio and that no high level staff were aware of the actions.

Through the election period many conservative groups complained that they were being targeted unfairly, some even that they were being harassed by the IRS. The targeted groups accused the agency of delaying their status to become tax exempt by sending lengthy and personal questionnaires which asked for information about member political activities, posts on social networks and requested data on family members.

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, R-KY, called on the White House to investigate.

“Today’s acknowledgement by the Obama administration that the IRS did in fact target conservative groups in the heat of last year’s national election is not enough,” McConnell said. “I call on the White House to conduct a transparent, government-wide review aimed at assuring the American people that these thuggish practices are not under way at the IRS or elsewhere in the administration against anyone, regardless of their political views.”

Of course, it’s easy to apologize now. The election is over. But, you weren’t paranoid.

Read more at the AP.