Tag Archives: IRS

Contempt of Congress by Any Other Name

Initially I was going to start with the line, “It is stunning to think,” but then I remembered I was opining about the Obama Administration, of which I have come to expect the unexpected, especially when it comes to nefarious doings meant to advance his agenda. To be certain, all of the actions (and inactions) taken (and not taken) by this administration – without exception – have been executed to advance his ideological agenda, chief among them the handling of the IRS’s targeting of the administration’s political adversaries.

TheHill.com reports that Ronald Machen, the US attorney for the District of Columbia –an Obama appointee – has not acted on a Contempt of Congress charge for former IRS official Lois Lerner even though the contempt citation has been in his hands since May of 2014. Manchen is set to step down next month.

Search the mainstream media headlines and you find this item far down the list if, in fact, you find it at all. Yet the issue is no less important than that of the Constitution’s First Amendment guaranteed rights themselves; to both “peaceably assemble” and to “petition the government for a redress of grievances.”

There is now no defense, nor believable denial in ignorance, for the illegal actions taken by the Exempt Organizations Unit of the Internal Revenue Service under Lois Lerner. The facts present as undeniable. Under her direction, applications for organizations with political ideologies antithetical to those of the Obama Administration were treated as politically adversarial, receiving excessive scrutiny and myriad unreasonable demands for discovery; treatment not experienced by organizations whose ideologies were symbiotic with the administration’s. Succinctly, Ms. Lerner executed a political attack on a large faction of the American people for their support of a political ideology anathema to that of the President’s.

Ironically, Ms. Lerner’s claim to have learned of the illegal targeting through the news media failed to afford her the popular cover that has served President Obama well through several sensitive issues; cover that is now beginning to expose the disingenuousness of the claim, much to his chagrin. Ms. Lerner’s refusal to cooperate with the House Oversight Committee in its examination of these events – including her intentional denial of the existence of emails pertaining to her actions – rightfully garnered a Contempt of Congress charge.

But what is the worth of a Contempt of Congress charge if the authority tasked with bringing the weight of that charge to bear abdicates the responsibility of doing so? What punishment is there for transgression in a simple designation?

Citizens in the United States have been guaranteed the right to redress government; to be openly critical of the government’s policies and actions. Further, these defined rights allow them to openly oppose any and all elected officials, regardless of station, in an effort to affect change in political offices under which the people are represented.

So, too, are citizens guaranteed the right to peaceably assemble for political purposes; to create groups and organizations – especially under the banner of educating the public – that enjoy all the rights and privileges afforded under the law, including tax-exempt status, should the qualifying criteria exist.

Ms. Lerner’s action usurped these guaranteed rights, and her refusal to cooperate with the House Judiciary Committee not only aggravated that usurpation, but proved – beyond reasonable doubt – that she holds the value of her politics above the rights of the People, and above the guaranteed Rights in our Constitution. Yet, when tasked with executing a Grand Jury referral mandated by a Contempt of Congress charge, Mr. Machen saw fit to prioritize the routine prosecution of dozens of district court financial fraud and local public corruption cases, as if to intentionally ignore the contempt citation. This leads to this question. If the police officer is corrupt – or intentionally abdicates his sworn duty, who do the innocent turn to for justice?

Article II, Section 1, of the House Judiciary Committee’s Articles of Impeachment against Pres. Richard M. Nixon (R) states:

“He has, acting personally and through his subordinates and agents, endeavored to…cause, in violation of the constitutional rights of citizens, income tax audits or other income tax investigations to be initiated or conducted in a discriminatory manner.”

If the use of the IRS to target political enemies was enough to bring about impeachment charges that would eventually see the first resignation of a sitting President, how does the exact same criminal act not warrant – at the very least – a referral to a Grand Jury for examination?

The Obama Administration claims the mantle of the most transparent in the history of the United States. In the non-execution of the Contempt of Congress charge against Lois Lerner they are transparent in their tyranny against the American people. Case closed…with prejudice.

Something Wicked This Way Comes

As we approach the dreaded tax filing deadline of April 15th, many Americans are ill-prepared for the news they are going to receive from their tax preparers or tax preparation software. Between three and six million people are going to be affected by penalties, an “Individual Shared Responsibility Payment,” associated with the Affordable Care Act. And most of those affected have no idea how much financial pain they are going to feel.

When the Obama Administration was selling Obamacare to the American people – you remember, “It’s not a tax,” “If you like your healthcare plan you can keep it,” “We have to pass the bill to find out what’s in it,” etc. – they alluded to the existence of penalties for those Americans who did not purchase ACA compliant health insurance. The amount for the first year non-compliance penalty was routinely quoted as $95. For many the choice was clear: keep the non-compliant health insurance, pay the $95 penalty (read: non-compliance tax), and hope that a Republican-led Congress would affect relief for the taxpayer as soon as they took control in Washington, DC.

But that scenario doesn’t impact this tax cycle. And while three to five million people have received subsidies through the Obamacare marketplaces to offset the cost of ACA compliant health insurance (still many more will qualify for exemptions), the penalty – or Individual Shared Responsibility Payment – for most of the three to six million Americans who opted to pay the fine and go without is going to be substantially more than they think.

Contrary to the commonly referred to fine of $95 for non-compliance, that amount is the least amount that can be imposed on an individual. The calculation used for the overwhelming majority of the non-compliant will be the higher of either one-percent of your household income above your filing threshold or a flat dollar amount up to $285 ($95 per adult, $47.50 per child). The important words to consider here are “household income.”

In the scenario where one spouse is covered by employer-sponsored health insurance but the other spouse is not – where one spouse is non-compliant, the Individual Shared Responsibility Payment is still based on the total of the household income; the compliant spouse is still entered into the penalty equation through the use of the household income as a defining integer. The idea that the ACA compliant individual cannot be adversely affected at tax time is a fallacy.

For example, let’s examine what the penalty (read: tax) would be on a Virginia household consisting of a man and a woman who, combined, made $150,000 for the year 2014. The woman is covered through her employer by ACA compliant health insurance, but the man is an independent contractor and chose to attain what used to be known as catastrophic health insurance, thus acquiescing to what he thought was going to be a $95 penalty. Using the Individual Shared Responsibility Payment calculator from HealthInsurance.org, the assessed penalty would be $1,297. A full $1202 more than the $95 for which they had planned. By contrast, a non-compliant single person making $75,000 in 2014 would have been assessed a $648.50 penalty. This means that the penalty for the “crime” of being from a household earning $150,000 with a single non-compliant spouse is $648.50; the penalty for being married to a non-compliant spouse is $648.50. The irony here is that the non-compliant spouse was still covered in the event of a medical emergency, even if he wasn’t ACA “compliant.”

The reasoning used by the Progressives and Democrats when arguing for the passage of the Affordable Care Act was that relief would be given to the healthcare system by virtue of the fact that everyone would be covered by health insurance; that everyone would be paying into the system. But having “passed the bill” so we can now “see what’s in it,” the reality of the matter is this. Obamacare was never about healthcare. It was never really even about everyone being covered by health insurance. And it wasn’t ever about everyone paying into the system. It was about creating two new revenue streams: one for the health insurance companies who now have a captive client-base, and another for the spendthrift federal government through the extraction of what the US Supreme Court has now identified as a tax.

And a heck of a tax it is…especially for the non-compliant and their compliant spouses.

Only Obama Staffers Believe IRS ‘Lost’ Email

IRS-emails4-copyIf you’ve been skeptical about the IRS’ explanation that Lois Lerner’s email disappeared during a World of Warcraft online game that got out of control, I have good news. Particularly since you’ve also probably been a little reluctant to express that thought. No one wants to be called a racist in the latte line at Starbucks while you–know–who is in the White House.

But you are not alone. Barbara Boland of CNS News reports that an overwhelming 76 percent of the American public does not believe the email was “lost” and rumors have it Jay Carney’s support is slipping, too. This means IRS deniers aren’t bigots after all! Since only 63 percent of the total US population is white, that means 13 percent of the minority population is included among the hard drive crash skeptics. Even the trends are looking bad for Barack ‘What? Me Worry?’ Obama. In April only 7 percent of the public believed that Congress should continue investigating “until someone is held accountable.” Now that figure is at 74 percent.

Disbelief was so pervasive among poll respondents that only people who swallowed the IRS story were over 65–years–old and still using a rotary phone.

Even 63 percent of Democrats believe the potentially incriminating messages were “deliberately destroyed,” but of course they have not received any contributions from IRS Commissioner John Koskinen. Boland — who has been all over this part of the story, too — found that Koskinen gave a $5,000.00 donation to re–elect Obama in 2012 and a total of $19,000 to the Democratic National Committee from 1988 to 2008. He’s also contributed to every Democratic presidential nominee since 1980. And he even gave $3,800.00 to Hillary ‘What difference does it make’ Clinton.

I won’t bore you with pointing out that a Republican in similar circumstances would be asked to recuse himself from anything concerned with the investigation. Rep. Elijah Cummings (D–MD) was so honored by the IRS commissioner’s appearance before the House committee investigating the IRS scandal that he almost pre–paid his taxes right there. Sounding like the master of ceremonies at a Kim Jong–un birthday party, Cummings gushed, “I want to thank you for being who you are. I want to thank you for giving a damn and caring about our country.”

What Koskinen is, is an arrogant, long–time laborer in the Democrat vineyard who is offended that Republicans won’t take his word for it that email on Lois Lerner and six of her henchmen’s computers suddenly came down with a bad case of digital flu that wiped out the messages. The fact that this is exactly what your ex–wife says about your email requesting a week’s grace period on the child support check is just a coincidence. It’s simply chance that time period involved in the elusive email is the exact same time period the House has subpoenaed.

Just because grandma has her data backed up on the cloud — she calls it “heaven” just for laughs — doesn’t mean a giant organization like the IRS with an annual budget of $11.2 billion has to follow even an elementary data preservation protocol.

Although the Senate appears content to sleep through this data disaster, there could be repercussions among the public. Losing information certainly does nothing to create confidence in the IRS E–File program that uses the Internet to file tax returns and make payments.

What if tax collections fall a bit short and the commissioner decides to double dip and tell you there is no record of your payment? It makes me suspicious that maybe the reason for IRS audits is not because the bureau thinks you are cheating on your taxes, it’s because they lost your tax information and are hoping you kept the records. Any revenue the auditor can gouge out during the process is a bonus.

Of course if the situation were reversed, what are the chances the IRS would accept an explanation like this from a taxpayer? You know the answer is less than zero. Lack of data would be just the same as pleading guilty, with fines and imprisonment to follow.

For that matter Koskinen’s excuse is even worse than the “I only had two beers, officer” that the drunk always gives during a DUI stop right before he participates in a field sobriety test.

Rep. Trey Gowdy (R–SC) is a former prosecutor and he has had it with Koskinen’s arrogance. Last Monday he lit into the commissioner’s glib assurances that the IRS was a paragon of probity.

“You have already said multiple times today that there was no evidence that you found of any criminal wrongdoing,” Gowdy remarked. “I want you to tell me what criminal statutes you’ve evaluated.”

“I have not looked at any,” Koskinen replied.

“Well then how can you possibly tell our fellow citizens that there’s not criminal wrongdoing if you don’t even know what statutes to look at?” Gowdy shot back.

No doubt Koskinen is surprised at Gowdy’s lack of confidence in his assurances. The mainstream media treats him like the Oracle at Delphi, but this backwoods hick with the aggressive hair is attacking him in public!

Meanwhile back at the White House, it’s interesting how Obama continues to deploy the Will Roger’s Defense — All I know is what I read in the newspapers — with a straight face every time his administration demonstrates its incompetence. Why didn’t George Bush think of that during Katrina, the US Attorney firings or Iraq?

Still, I do wonder what Obama does during his daily briefings. Surely he must get tired of playing computer solitaire occasionally and look up to ask a question. During the 30 months and counting remaining of his second term, I hope no low level minion ever forgets to pay the New York Times subscription.

Otherwise Obama will have to rely on his golfing buddies to keep him abreast of current events.

IRS Lerner Sought Audit of Republican Senator

IRS bullyThe hits just keep on coming. If Lois Lerner’s criminal prospects weren’t looking terrible already, newly discovered emails (no, not all the ones the IRS lost) have shown that she actively sought to have a sitting Republican senator audited – just because.

According to Yahoo news, Lerner accidentally received an email meant for  Sen. Charles Grassley:

The emails show former IRS official Lois Lerner mistakenly received an invitation to an event that was meant to go to Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa.

The event organizer apparently offered to pay for Grassley’s wife to attend the event. In an email to another IRS official, Lerner suggests referring the matter for an audit, saying it might be inappropriate for the group to pay for his wife.

Whether or not it was inappropriate for the group to make the offer, Lerner apparently misunderstood IRS rules (or thought her communication would also get conveniently lost later on). Nothing had been done wrong by Sen. Grassley unless he accepted the gift – something even IRS subordinates knew. Another IRS official, Matthew Giuliano, pushed back on Lerner, telling her that an audit was unwarranted because not even Sen. Grassley had accepted an invitation – much less his wife.

Senator Grassley’s office stated that neither the Senator, nor his wife attended the event nor did they receive an invitation.

In an official statement, the IRS says that this kind of request could not result in an audit as “audits cannot be initiated solely by personal requests or suggestions by any one individual inside the IRS.” With the recent incredulous statements by lead IRS officials, adherence to policy and real integrity are not above question, but the quotation of policy is duly noted.

Americans are increasingly finding the IRS oppressive, rogue and acting as the strong arm of the Obama administration. Many don’t trust the organization to enforce revenue policy without bias.

It is up to the IRS to prove that they are simply applying written tax law without prejudice. If they cannot, Congress may have to act to reform the organization.

The Danger of Granting Lerner Immunity

The House Oversight & Government Reform Committee has voted to advance a Contempt of Congress charge against Lois Lerner, the former Director of the IRS Exempt Organizations Division. The vote was 21 to 12, brought about by Ms. Lerner’s refusal to provide information about the IRS’s targeting of Conservative advocacy groups vying for 501c3 tax-exempt status, especially during the period before the 2012 General Election.

To say that this very legitimate issue has been politicized would be an under-statement. Both Republicans and Democrats – not to mention Progressives – see political capital to be gained from this issue. Democrats and Progressives will continue to advance the canard that any action against a member of the Obama Administration is based on racism and hate, while Republicans, Conservatives and TEA Partiers will continue to point out that crimes have been committed against the American people; crimes directly affecting rights guaranteed in the United States Constitution.

While committee chairman, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), stated, “This is not an action I take lightly… [lawmakers] need Ms. Lerner’s testimony to complete our oversight work and bring truth to the American people,” Rep. Carolyn Maloney (P-NY), rebutted, “Guilty or innocent, Ms. Lerner has a constitutional right to remain silent on this issue,” and Rep. Stephen Lynch (D-MA), said smugly that the case would be “laughed out of court.”

To the latter points, yes, Ms. Lerner has the right not to incriminate herself under the Fifth Amendment rights afforded her in the US Constitution, but I seriously doubt that the political targeting of American citizens’ First Amendment rights to redress government would be “laughed out of court.” As to the hypocrisy of Ms. Lerner seeking protection from the US Constitution, even as she disregarded the protections the US Constitution affords her fellow Americans, that she should be rewarded with a pension and/or benefits stemming from her 32 years of federal employment – including service with the Justice Department and the Federal Election Commission, two positions that prove she knew better than to do what she is accused of doing – is a scandal in and of itself.

There are those who are willing to allow Ms. Lerner to “get away” with her politically-based ideological attacks on her fellow Americans by granting her immunity to testify, perhaps in an effort to spotlight others who may have been involved in the crimes committed. Many suggest that she is shielding US Attorney’s General Eric Holder, who himself has been held in Contempt of Congress for his unyielding obstruction of several investigations led by the House of Representatives: “the people’s house”; the direct voice of the people in federal government. Others suggest that Ms. Lerner’s direction originated in the White House, possibly by super-secret special adviser, confidant and political handler Valerie Jarrett. Of these two accusations we cannot be sure, purely for the fact that Ms. Lerner and her complicit underlings refuse to answer questions about their actions, their direction and their motives.

Those in favor of granting Ms. Lerner immunity, with the caveat that she gets to keep her pension and benefits if she provides information, say just such a move will facilitate the information necessary to determine where the order to violate the citizenry’s constitutional rights, in deference to political advantage, originated. But there is a huge flaw in that thinking…and perhaps two.

Should Ms. Lerner be granted immunity to provide information related to this crime against the American people, there would be no guarantee she would tell the truth. She has already proven that she cannot be trusted to do right by the American people on two levels. First, the very fact that she would oversee the usurpation of the citizenry’s First Amendment rights proves, in enough measure, that she is willing to deceive to achieve; she is willing to break the law to achieve a political outcome. And second, she has proven, through her refusal to cooperate with a congressional investigation, but, in defiance, cooperate with a rigged investigation by the US Department of Justice (and please, the Holder DoJ has proven time and time again that they are politically and ideologically motivated), that she will seek the safe haven of the corrupt over admitting to wrong-doing and serving the best interests of the people of the United States.

Additionally, should congressional negotiators be naïve enough to offer immunity to Ms. Lerner, should she perjure herself in the immunized testimony, she will most likely claim immunity to prosecution if found out. This very point almost entices the corrupt and the politically and ideologically motivated to “re-write” the history of the events in question, if not to save their sorry hides, to affect the very political and ideological “change” that was the goal in the first place. And, if you even have a cursory understanding of the Progressive Movement, you know they are prone to re-writing the facts and history to facilitate their narratives.

(As an aside, a good example of Progressives re-writing history to suit their immediate needs comes in President Obama’s lionization of LBJ as a great and insightful leader; the one who burned political to achieve Civil Rights legislation. The truth of the matter is that President Eisenhower, a Republican, first floated Civil Rights legislation only to have it derailed by three Democrat Senators; Sens. Strom Thurmond, D-SC, John F. Kennedy, D-MA, and Lyndon B. Johnson, D-TX. Further, the only reason LBJ was able to steal credit for Civil Rights legislation was due to overwhelming Republican support. Democrats stood in opposition to the bill. Yet today, Mr. Obama re-writes history to extol the greatness of LBJ, the man who ensconced us in Vietnam.)

The intentional and systematic usurpation of our citizenry’s constitutional rights is, to put it mildly, unacceptable. Ms. Lerner – and all involved – should be made to pay an incredibly high price for their misdeeds. But depending on the Eric Holder-led US Justice Department to affect justice in this case is just as much a fantasy as Obamacare being a beneficial legislation for the total of the American people.

Perhaps – just perhaps – Mr. Issa and his crew can do some outside the box thinking on this matter; crafting an effective course of action to affect truth and justice in this case. Perhaps they can figure out a way to empower this investigation to extend beyond the 2016 General Elections, when an Attorney’s General might be seated who would actually care enough about the law to pursue a legitimate investigation into, and subsequent legitimate prosecutions of, the violation of the citizenry’s constitutional rights.

Of course, that would mean that Republicans – and many establishment Republicans at that, would have to dispense with ego to better serve the people…and we don’t see a lot of that these days, from either party.

Questions Arise In Obama Administration’s Choice of IRS Investigator

IRS Needs Strong Systematic Investigation, Not Biased Appointee

CHICAGO, Jan. 15, 2014 /Christian Newswire/ — The Obama Administration has selected Barbara Bosserman, a trial attorney with the Department of Justice, to investigate the IRS harassment of pro-life and Tea Party organizations, uncovered in the spring of 2013. Bosserman personally donated nearly $7,000 to Obama’s presidential campaigns and the Democratic National Committee. Thomas More Society, an organization that helped expose IRS officials’ harassment of pro-life groups, thinks that Obama’s move is not in the best interest of resolving this serious issue.

“We are glad that the president has taken the initiative to conduct an investigation of the IRS for its harassment of pro-life and conservative organizations,” said Peter Breen, vice president and senior counsel of the Thomas More Society. “However, we find it very disconcerting that the president has chosen someone so deeply entrenched in Democratic Party politics to spearhead the investigation. This does not have the flavor of an unbiased approach to handling a serious scandal that took place within a government office. Wouldn’t it be better for the president to select an individual without a partisan history, or a bipartisan committee, to conduct this investigation?”

Thomas More Society provided evidence for the initial investigation into the IRS scandal by the House Committee on Ways and Means. At the request of Congressman Aaron Schock, the Thomas More Society drafted two Congressional memos totaling over 500 pages of analysis and evidence about the harassment. These memos were presented before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Ways and Means at a plenary investigative hearing in June.

The following links record the Thomas More Society exposure of the IRS pro-life discrimination scandal:

IRS Lerner in hot water over emails

Ray Tsang (CC)

Ray Tsang (CC)


Lois Lerner, the woman who decided to plead the Fifth in a Congressional hearing even though she was completely innocent of wrongdoing, might not be so innocent after all. Apparently she had been using her personal email for work communications. Of course many Americans do this in private industry, but given her position, that is not permitted, at all. For what should be obvious reasons, many governmental employees are forbidden from using personal email accounts for work communications, and vice versa. This has been an issue not only in the IRS, but throughout the entire administration, especially in the context of what happened in Benghazi when Ambassador Chris Stevens was murdered. Now, it seems that Lerner may be guilty of the same questionable activities as other administration department members.

Fox News reports:

House Republicans on Tuesday asked an IRS official at the center of their probe into the agency targeting Tea Party groups for documents related to her personal email account, after learning she allegedly used the account for official business.

The request from the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee to official Lois Lerner states she sent documents related to her official duties from her IRS email account to an account labeled ‘Lois Home.’

“This raises some serious questions,” wrote committee Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif. “To understand the extent to which you may have used a non-official email account for official purposes, … we request that you produce all documents and communications housed in your msn.com account.”

Issa suggested such activity could violate federal records requirements, creates difficulties in filing Freedom of Information Act requests and “frustrates congressional oversight obligations.”

Beyond logistical issues for discovery in a Congressional investigation into the activities of Lerner’s office in regard to conservative organizations, this new development does not help her in her claims of innocence. Lerner should not be surprised if members of Congress start thinking that these communications were intentional, with the express purpose of hiding information. At the very least, it sheds doubt on her professionalism.

Jabberwonky – August 11th

JabberwonkyCDNFinal

When: Sunday, August 11th, 10pm Eastern/7pm Pacific

Where: Jabberwonky on Blog Talk Radio

What:

`Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

Whether it’s “down the rabbit hole”, or “through the looking glass”, the world of politics is often referred to in the lexicon given to us by Lewis Carroll. No matter what, those terms are resurrected when referring to something that has gone terribly wrong. And that’s what’s here on Jabberwonky…

Tonight: After a little hiatus due to vacation, it’s time to talk a little bit about how our politicians decide to spend their free time – and our tax dollars. Also, more fun with the IRS, sex and politics California-style, socialism v. fascism in America, and just how screwed up is our nation’s foreign policy and security apparatus.

Listen to internet radio with CDNews Radio on BlogTalkRadio

Dispensing with the ‘It’s the Law’ Rhetoric

Over the past few months, Progressives and Democrats who favor the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) – both elected and not – have insisted that the new and expanding entitlement will go forward as planned because, after all, it is “the law of the land.” When I ponder this statement I find myself less inclined to laugh and more inclined to succumb to sadness. That a faction that holds the Constitution in such disregard would so disingenuously foist the hypocrisy of this statement in defense of what is arguably an unconstitutional law, defies humor.

A cursory recollection of how this horrific, economy-killing piece of legislation came to be, not only illustrates a fundamental transgression of the spirit of American government, it shows how the Progressive movement executes an “ends justifies the means” political game plan. Because Progressives believe that the United States should provide socialized healthcare to every living being existing legally in the United States (and some who do not), they purposefully circumvented the legislative process, crafting the legislation with special interest groups – including labor unions, Progressive think tank operatives and foreign aligned special interest groups, behind closed doors and excluding members of the minority party. They then moved the legislation forward – at times threatening to “deem it passed” – along party lines, ignoring the protests of the minority party and howls of discontent from the American citizenry, and into law.

Today, as Republicans in the US House, which has the constitutionally mandated power of the purse, threaten to exclude any aspect of Obamacare from the funding of government operations – which is their constitutional right to do, Progressives and toady Democrats protest that the ACA is “the law of the land.” The proclamation would have even the slightest bit of weight if these same hypocrites always acquiesced to “the law of the land.” The fact is that they transgress the “law of the land” as a matter of policy; to advance an agenda that is often times anathema to the American system of government and the rule of law.

One can look back to the first Obama Administration’s abdication of the rule of law when newly installed Attorney General Eric Holder approved of political appointees at the Justice Department quashing the prosecution of New Black Panther Party members who executed one of the most egregious instances of voter intimidation in modern history. The “law of the land” mandated that the DoJ prosecute these constitutional transgressors to “the fullest extent” of the law. If “the law of the land” was so precious to these Obama-ite Progressives and Democrats, they would have been exploring ways to include charges of racial discrimination (as the perpetrators were Black and targeting White voters) and hate crimes. But, “the law of the land” wasn’t so important as to be followed in this instance.

One could look into the non-enforcement of immigration laws by the Obama Administration to evidence their selective support of “the law of the land.” For the entire tenure of Mr. Obama’s presidency we have witnessed border patrol members and their union representatives catalog a litany of directives emanating from DHS obfuscating efforts to secure our nation’s borders and hold to justice those who have broken our laws to exist here. Yet, in a post-911 world, when we hold proof-positive in our hands that Hezbollah, Hamas and al Qaeda are working with Mexican and South American drug cartels, the “law of the land” isn’t so important to the Progressives and their sycophant Democrats so as to be honored.

The several Congressional investigations into operational and political malfeasance executed under the Obama Administration provide ample evidence that the Executive Branch Progressives have little use for “the law of the land” when it does not suit their need or the advancement of their ideological, globalist or social justice agendas. The US Constitution gives the power of oversight – including subpoena powers – to Congress. Yet today the Obama Administration routinely obstructs congressional investigators, usurping “the law of the land”:

▪ Fast & Furious saw the Holder Justice Department illegally facilitating the movement of banned weapons across the Mexican border. And even in the face of the deaths of US Border Patrol Agents, the Obama Administration – to this day – thwarts efforts to fully investigate the program.

▪ The politically motivated use of the Internal Revenue Service to target what can only be described as opposition groups, i.e. TEA Party, Conservative and Libertarian advocacy groups, stands as one of the more serious misuses of a federal agency to affect politics in the history of the country. In fact, it was the second count in the impeachment indictment leveled against former-Pres. Richard Nixon. Yet, the Obama Administration shows little interest in assisting congressional investigators in their pursuit of protecting the American citizenry from their own government’s unlawful actions. (Note to Mr. Obama…President Nixon at least had the nobility to resign).

▪ The expansion – not just the continuation – of the NSA domestic surveillance program arguably usurps the Fourth Amendment protections provided the citizenry, but under the guise of protecting the country, even some members of Congress who have Top Secret clearances are kept in the dark on the program by members of the Obama Administration.

▪ And as four brave Americans – Amb. Christopher Stevens, Ty Woods, Sean Smith & Glen Doherty – lay cold in their graves, exclusively because Mr. Obama and his Progressive crew couldn’t be exposed for their putting politics ahead of protecting American assets overseas; American soil in the form of Embassy grounds, the “most transparent” administration in American history hides behind anything that will give them cover so as not to act in the spirit of “the law of the land”; so as not to afford the justice “the law of the land” is owed those four dead Americans (Note to former-Secretary of State and potential 2016 presidential candidate Hillary Clinton: Yes, it does matter, to every American but the Progressive elected class, evidently).

But getting back to Obamacare being “the law of the land,” and the fact that these Progressive ideologues intend to inflict this economy-killing, divisive, wealth-redistributing program onto the American people, regardless of the fact that it has never – never – been popular with over half of the nation, and that it now falls well short of providing health insurance to “every American,” I have two questions:

1) If “the law of the land” is so very important to follow, then how is it that these same people ignore the fact that “the law of the land” allows the House of Representatives to refuse to fund the entitlement program?

2) If the “law of the land” is so sacrosanct then how can these Progressive elitist oligarchs decry any part of the US Constitution – the literal “law of the land” – as malleable; as subject to dictates of the day?

The truth be told, the only time “the law of the land” means anything to Progressives is when it serves their purpose. In any other case it is an edict to be scorned, rebuked, castigated and/or ignored. That Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, the White House Communications Office and President Obama himself shamelessly hide behind the “It’s the law of the land” declaration in their defense of the legitimate House effort to save the country from this legislative mistake would be laughable if it weren’t so deadly serious.

So, let’s dispense with this rhetoric, shall we?

The Flat Tax fantasy

fairtax

In the wake of the recent IRS scandal, some well-intentioned but badly misguided people have begun touting the flat income tax (called the flat tax for shorthand) as a replacement for the current tax code. They claim it would be an antidote to the IRS’s abuses and curb that agency’s powers while also supercharging America’s economy.

But they are dead wrong. The flat tax is no solution at all. It would not solve any of the problems with the current tax code and the IRS, and it could be replaced with a progressive income tax by the next Congress anyway.

Here’s why the flat tax would utterly fail to solve the problem, and why the FairTax – a flat 23% consumption tax designed to replace all federal internal taxes (income, payroll, excise, gift, death, etc.) is the solution:

  • The flat tax would still be an income tax, and as such, would still punish hard work, wealth creation, productivity, and savings, taking away from people what they have earned. Making an income tax flat does not change the fact that it is still a punitive tax on INCOME. By contrast, the FairTax, as a consumption tax, would be levied only on retail sales, not on income, inheritance, or the sales of raw materials or unfinished products.
  • With the flat [income] tax, you would still have to file tax returns every year by April 15th, and be liable for any mistakes you make therein. With the FairTax, there would be no such problems.
  • Administering the flat [income] tax would still require having a large IRS with dozens of thousands of staff to receive and review tax returns, audit people and organizations, and punish cheaters, and the IRS would, of course, retail ALL of the awesome powers it currently has, all of its staff, and all of its budget – and would still retain all your financial records. By contrast, with the FairTax, the IRS would be abolished PERMANENTLY, and under the FairTax bill (H.R. 25), all IRS records would have to be destroyed within 2 years of the FairTax being enacted – the sole exception being records related to Social Security, but these would be turned over to the Social Security Administration, not retained by the Treasury.
  • Unlike the flat [income] tax, the FairTax would be administered by the states, who would then send the revenue (minus their costs of administering the FairTax) to the federal government. Thus, it would dramatically shift the balance of power in the US in favor of the states and against the federal government. There would only be a federal Sales Tax Bureau with 51 personnel to audit the states in rare cases of state malfeasance.
  • The flat [income] tax would keep the current tax code, although it would be somewhat slimmed down from today’s 70,000 pages. The FairTax would abolish the federal tax code completely and replace it with the simple 123-page FairTax Act.
  • The FairTax would provide sufficient revenue for Social Security, though not for the entire federal Leviathan that exists in Washington today.
  • The FairTax would be completely transparent – you would know how much you pay in taxes everytime you make a retail purchase. By contrast, even under the flat tax, you would not know how much you really pay in taxes.
  • The flat [income] tax would keep the 16th Amendment. The FairTax Act would jumpstart the process of REPEALING the 16th Amendment forever, and would sunset (i.e. expire) automatically 7 years after its enactment if the 16th Amendment is not repealed within that time. But once Congress passed a resolution repealing the 16th Amendment, the states would be eager to ratify such resolution, as it would shift the balance of power in their favor.
  • The flat [income] tax would keep tax exemptions and thus allow the IRS to decide who deserves them and who doesn’t. Conservative groups applying for such exemptions would still face IRS audits.
  • And last but not least, the flat [income] tax would not remain flat for long. The next Congress could repeal it and replace it with a progressive one. The evidence? The current monstrosity of a tax code started in 1913 as a flat income tax at a 4% rate. But just 4 years later, in 1917, it was a heavily progressive income tax, with a maximum 77% rate. Although the maximum rate was later cut under the Coolidge Administration to 24%, it was still a progressive income tax – and 24% was still a rate that not even the most fervent advocate of the income tax had hoped for in 1913. Similarly, when President Reagan and the Congress enacted the 1986 tax reform bill, creating only two low rates, it took the Congress and Reagan’s successor, George “Read My Lips” H. W. Bush, only 4 years to add two new, higher rates, and thousands of pages, gimmicks, exemptions, and loopholes, thus essentially undoing President Reagan’s tax reform in just 4 years.

The flat [income] tax is not a solution. It would not solve ANY of the problems with the current tax code, the IRS, the 16th Amendment, the income tax itself, or the US political system. Only the FairTax would do that – by doing away with the income tax, the IRS, and the 16th Amendment PERMANENTLY.

It is no coincidence that the FairTax bill now has over 70 sponsors and cosponsors in both houses of Congress (including such conservative stars as Sen. Ted Cruz and Congressman Tom Price), while the flat tax bill has only one sponsor in the Senate and no companion bill in the House.

The flat tax is not a solution to anything and should not even be considered.

fairtax

 

Darrell Issa Takes Jabs At Elijah Cummings At Irs Hearing 7/18/2013

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) and Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) were sparring a bit in the IRS hearings today. While that in itself isn’t unexpected, the terms used were at least a little amusing.

Even more amusing was the report from MSNBC on the incident:

At the beginning of the hearing, Cummings called Issa’s remarks “unsubstantiated nonsense,” adding the Republican rushed to his previous conclusions “with no evidence whatsoever.”
A bit later, Issa skewered the Maryland Dem, arguing he never said it came from the White House, only from Washington, D.C. “We now see it today leading to Washington…Although I expect the right to immediately say it leads to the White House, I’m always shocked when the ranking member seems to want to say, like a little boy whose hand has been caught in a cookie jar, ‘What hand? What cookie?’ I’ve never said it leads to the White House.”

The argument at hand was about reports that surfaced the night before the hearing that initially stated that the investigation into discrimination by the IRS against conservative organizations seeking non-profit status had lead to DC. Later, “DC” was reported as “The White House”, however exactly how that happen isn’t exactly clear. Either way, Issa wasn’t going to stand for having Cummings make accusations that he was the source of those statements. As for the “hands in the cookie jar” comment, that was presumably referring to Cummings’ attempt to deflect blame for the apparently unethical actions of the IRS workers in charge of handling non-profit applications. Regardless, Issa did apologize for his comment later, stating that is was turn of phrase from his childhood, nothing more.

House to vote on Obamacare IRS limits bill

Rep. Tom Price (R-GA)

Rep. Tom Price (R-GA)

WASHINGTON, D.C. – It was announced today that the U.S. House of Representatives will consider legislation by Rep. Tom Price, M.D. (GA-06), that prevents the Internal Revenue Service from enforcing or implementing any component of President Obama’s health care law. The House is scheduled to vote on H.R. 2009, Keep the IRS Off Your Health Care Act, prior to the 2013 August recess.

Rep. Tom Price, M.D., responded to the announcement, saying:

“As we’ve seen in recent announcements from the White House, the Obama Administration is clearly unable to manage the implementation of its own health care law. We’ve also learned that the IRS is clearly unable to prudently and impartially enforce current law. The Keep the IRS Off Your Health Care Act is essential in preventing further targeting, abuse and harassment, as well as in ensuring Americans have access to quality health care.

“It is thanks to the American people who have voiced their support for our plan and the more than 100 members of Congress who have cosponsored H.R. 2009 that we have this opportunity to take action. I urge more of our fellow citizens to get involved, so together, we can continue to keep the pressure on Washington to keep health care decisions in the hands of patients, families and doctors, instead of the government.”

Obamacare enforcer released thousands of social security numbers

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…

The Crimes of An Ideological Agenda

“Let us disappoint the men who are raising themselves upon the ruin of this Country.”
— John Adams

The number of scandals involving the encroachment of the Obama Administration into – and onto – the constitutional rights of American citizens is beyond stunning. And it is without question criminal in many cases. But with an Attorney General seated who – as a practice – routinely tries to manipulate the limits of the law to affect an ideological agenda, and a federal “classification system” that keeps those elected to represent us in Congress from bringing issues of government instituted malfeasance to light, what recourse is left the American citizen?

These encroachments against the United States Constitution are the product of over one-hundred years of Progressive political advances in the area of government. Put succinctly, two of the founding principles of the Progressive Movement; two of the “givens” held in understanding by each and every Progressive, are that: a) Progressives are enlightened; intellectually superior to the masses; and, b) that through centralized government, Progressives can help the masses help themselves to a better life, regardless of whether they want it or not. Once these two facts are understood, you can begin to understand some of the declarations made by Mr. Obama and his spokespeople about the many scandals – or what We the People perceive to be scandals – surrounding the Obama Administration.

According to R.J. Pestritto, the Charles & Lucia Shipley Chair in the American Constitution at Hillsdale College and author of American Progressivism, ““America’s original Progressives were also its original, big-government liberals.”

Jonah Goldberg writes of Pestritto’s examination of the Progressive Movement in Liberal Fascism:

“They set the stage for the New Deal principles of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who cited the progressives – especially Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson – as the major influences on his ideas about government. The progressives, Pestritto says, wanted ‘a thorough transformation in America’s principles of government, from a government permanently dedicated to securing individual liberty to one whose ends and scope would change to take on any and all social and economic ills.’

“In the progressive worldview, the proper role of government was not to confine itself to regulating a limited range of human activities as the founders had stipulated, but rather to inject itself into whatever realms the times seemed to demand.

“…progressives called for a more activist government whose regulation of people’s lives was properly determined not by the outdated words of an anachronistic Constitution, but by whatever the American people seemed to need at any given time.

“This perspective dovetailed with the progressives’ notion of an ‘evolving’ or ‘living’ government, which, like all living beings, could rightfully be expected to grow and to adapt to changing circumstances. Similarly, progressives also coined the term ‘living Constitution,’ connoting the idea that the US Constitution is a malleable document with no permanent guiding principles — a document that must, of necessity, change with the times.”

On the subject of the Obama “scandals” the key words here are “…progressives called for a more activist government whose regulation of people’s lives” and “…whatever the American people seemed to need at any given time.”

In each of the perceived scandals, the Progressives of the Obama Administration justify their actions through those eyes. They see the situations as being too complex for the average American to understand, too emotionally disturbing for them to fathom; the need for constitutional transgression in their quest for the “fundamental transformation” of America too great. And so they deceive their political opposition – and the American public – about their actions, reasons, intentions and goals.

This understood, it is easy to see why, after myriad transgressions against the Constitution and the mission of the Justice Department itself, Mr. Obama declares that he still has “confidence” in Eric Holder. He needs Eric Holder in the senior-most law enforcement position so that he can unilaterally achieve his Progressive agenda through a totalitarian Executive Branch; so he can achieve the “fundamental transformation” of our country through, Executive Order and regulation, especially regulation – legislation through regulation.

It is for this reason – unilateral fundamental transformation – that Progressives have sought to grow our federal government to its current behemoth size; a bureaucratic labyrinth filled with “career” public servants (an oxymoron?) and interminable political appointees whose entire existence is to move the American political center incrementally to the Left; a task they have been achieving with regularity since the days of Wilson and Roosevelt.

It is for this particular reason – it is for this particular governmental mechanism: the bureaucracy – that Mr. Obama will not be directly linked to any of these so-called scandals (scandals in the eyes of all those who revere the Constitution and the rule of law, yes, but not as much to Progressives). The entire Progressive Movement has culminated in this moment in time. They truly believe it is their time. Progressives believe that because they have achieved a twice elected hyper-Progressive president – disregarding the retention of the US House of Representatives by Republicans and ignoring the many governorships that went “Red” last election – that they have a mandate, not for Mr. Obama’s “programs,” but for the complete transformation of our governmental system from that of a Constitutional Republic to a Socialist Democracy based on the now failed models of Europe.

In each scandal there is a bureaucratic figurehead that insulates Mr. Obama from direct responsibility. In the IRS scandal we have Lois Lerner and Douglas Schulman. In the Fast & Furious and AP/FOX scandal there is Eric Holder. In Benghazi there were Susan Rice and Hillary Clinton…and dead men tell no tales. In each instance, Mr. Obama has a dedicated and loyal “useful idiot” who will fall on his/her sword for the “good of the movement.” It is assumed they will, just as it was assumed they would execute their actions of transgressions against the Constitution and liberty itself, with fidelity to “the cause” and without a direct order ever being given.

As We the People watch the “scandals” of the Obama reign unfold, we need to understand that even though Progressives believe this is “their time,” it would have been “their time” regardless of who was in the White House. Was it easier to execute with the first “Black” president in the White House, someone whose constitutionally destructive actions Progressives could defend with a claim of “racism” toward his detractors? Sure, it made it easier, but it would have happened anyway, and it would have happened because of two reasons: a) the public has become apathetic towards their duty to be accurately informed and engaged, and b) the bureaucracy was in place.

Unless We the People insist on the decentralization of government, a viciously executed reduction in the size of the federal government and a radical transformation of the federal tax code to a limited flat tax, FAIR tax or consumption tax, nothing will change with the 2016 elections, regardless of which party captures the White House and holds sway in Congress. Our country – our Constitutional Republic – will continue to be “nudged” to the Left; continue to be fundamentally transformed away from liberty and self-reliance and toward servitude and dependence.

Barack Obama was correct about one thing all those years back in 2008, our nation – the United States of America – is in need of fundamental transformation. That transformation, though, needs to be from a culture of bureaucratic elitism in a centralized government where no one is able to be held accountable, to a nation dedicated to justice for all and the rule of law under the constraints of the United States Constitution.

Or, as John Adams so eloquently wrote in Novanglus Essay, No. 7:

“[Aristotle, Livy, and Harrington] define a republic to be a government of laws, and not of men.”

We, my fellow Americans, are a Republic and not a Democracy, for precisely that reason.

« Older Entries