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They’re from the IRS, and they’re here to help

They’re from the IRS, and they’re here to help

At this point it’s tempting to regard the IRS as not-so-secret agents of the Obama administration and the Democrats. This is not paranoia.

As Ed Rogers wrote in the WaPo, it is fact:

Encouraged by the lack of a public backlash, an uninquisitive press, cover from the White House and an eager-to-please bureaucracy, the Democrats are boldly counting on the IRS to be their political and policy enforcer.This statement isn’t an overreach by the “vast right-wing conspiracy” or a phony crisis created by hecklers (like me) on the right — it goes back to the early stages of President Obama’s reelection campaign.

Rogers goes on to list some of the more egregious examples of what has occurred and how the administration has been emboldened by the fact that so far there have been few negative consequences to them for their actions.

The hue and cry that might have been expected – and to a certain extent came at first, when some of the revelations about Tea Party harassment were revealed – has been muted and blunted. So now the excesses are being further and more openly institutionalized:

Last week, we learned President Obama unilaterally gave the IRS the mandate to monitor the thinking and attitude of any business that might be trying to circumvent the negative impacts of Obamacare, and punish them accordingly. And presumably the punishment isn’t limited to civil fines, but includes criminal perjury charges as well.

Anyway, the blatant use of the IRS as the Democrats’ cat’s paw has clearly taken root within individual Democratic campaigns. An article in The Hill quotes several vulnerable Senate Democrats — such as Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) and Sen. Mark Pryor (D-Ark.) — who are openly demanding the IRS increase their intimidation of organizations that may oppose them. Obviously, the Democrats expect more from their team members at the IRS in the months leading up to the 2014 elections.

In the comments section to Rogers’ post, you can find a smattering of liberals arguing the old, disproven, “liberal groups were targeted too” approach to the subject. It demonstrates once again how the Big Lie works, and how in the case of the IRS scandal (no longer a scandal, apparently) it soothed the liberal troops, at least some of whom might have otherwise become alarmed by what had occurred.

I wonder, though, how much the IRS scandal has affected Obama’s and the Democrats’ ratings with the public. I can’t find any polls about the subject since last summer, but my guess is that it has had some part in the downturn. I certainly hope so; all Americans of any political stripe should be highly alarmed, although of course that isn’t happening. One of the most pernicious reasons is ignorance of history; some people say, “Oh, all administrations do this.”

No, they don’t – at least, not really like this in terms of extent and success. Nixon was excoriated for expressing a desire to do it in the Nixon tapes, and the assumption has been that he did do it. But in fact for the most part he failed at it. Why? Because the heads of the IRS at the time would not cooperate (see this for a background discussion).

Here’s a very short history of the efforts of other presidents. You can see that, except for the Nixon example, it seems that most of the presidents who were involved with any small success in such undertakings were Democrats. That’s no accident because, as “Nixon henchman Jack Caulfield astutely complained,…the IRS was a ‘monstrous bureaucracy…dominated and controlled by Democrats.’”

So Nixon is convicted in the eyes of the public for what appears to have been largely thoughtcrime, whereas the Obama administration and its handmaidens such as Lois Lerner get off seemingly free (so far) for the actual crime. Obama’s much greater success compared to earlier efforts appears to be due to several factors: greater drive, boldness, and scope; public ignorance/apathy; the coverup attempts by much of the MSM; and the simpatico political persuasion of much of the IRS.

[Neo-neocon is a writer with degrees in law and family therapy, who blogs at neo-neocon.]


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That link via InstaPundit.

There really is no question here as to the drivers and intent of this policy…and that is what it is.

Let’s demand that “disparate impact” analysis be applied here by the DO(racial)J.

Subotai Bahadur | February 16, 2014 at 2:30 pm

There is no outcry, because an outcry that is sufficient to come to the notice of the government will attract the IRS and other government agencies to seek revenge. When the rule of law is gone, public silence is sometimes rational behavior. Not the behavior of a free people, but rational.

More and more, it is becoming also a rational conclusion that there will not be real, or free, elections in 2014 and beyond. The government has reached the point; between blatant abuse of government agencies to target political enemies and the normalization of both no constitutional budgets and rule by Executive press release, where the risk of retaliation if they lose power in any way makes it rational for them to cling to power at any cost.

We are treading a very common path in human history.

Subotai Bahadur

    Lina Inverse in reply to Subotai Bahadur. | February 16, 2014 at 5:34 pm

    Normally I’d agree with you, but what risk of retaliation do you see as likely or even possible?

    The establishment GOP is just fine with most of this; yeah, it helped sink Romney’s campaign, but the rest of them are doing just fine, and the focus on repressing the “Tea Party” helps them just as much, and probably more. There’s always going to be a party of the government and its clients, it might even someday become the Republican Party, but as long as they pretend to be otherwise the Tea Party are an existential to the establishment GOP, and not hardly so much of a threat to the Democrats.

    Or put it this way: how many “Civil Servants” and Democratic Party officials do you think will be under indictment in the first term of the next Republican President, assuming there ever is another one?

      Another Voice in reply to Lina Inverse. | February 16, 2014 at 7:16 pm

      If it were only Obama alone, but it is the collusion between a sitting democratic administration and I.R.S., historically a strong bastion for supporters of a democratic party which controls the operations of government. The Congress may control the purse by appropriations, but it is the collusion in the democrat party which manipulates the system with little to no oversight. After Citizens United found standing by SCOTUS, their ability to manipulate became even more devious as we have come to find out. Even now the ability to stone wall approval of conservative 504(c) groups continues as we see them now rewriting the rules to accommodate what they have been doing all along. The recent known investigation into outspoken critics, Dinesh D’Souza,, Dr. Ben Carlson, wind up being in the cross hairs of I.R.S. while the D.O.J. looks the other way. Reid and Schumer, among others, have over the course of the last 7 years, made public statements insisting I.R.S. make efforts to curtail the organizations which support conservative backers. With Obamacare in place, the legislation has been manipulated as they rewrite parts of the passed legislation, in collusion with the Treasury, taking the right to fund a Federal Exchange crediting subsidies and authorization of Medicaid qualifications where it did not exist as it did not fit their agenda. (And Pending In the Fed. Courts). We will need a sitting transformed Republican House, Sen.& Cong., and White House over the next 6 to 8 years who will need to do the hard work to right the ship.

    There is no outcry, because an outcry that is sufficient to come to the notice of the government will attract the IRS and other government agencies to seek revenge. When the rule of law is gone, public silence is sometimes rational behavior. Not the behavior of a free people, but rational.

    +1. The persuasion of power.

The corropt cowards of the GOP should hang out a banner outside the White House that says, “We’re here to help.”

Obama and his gang are pushing the margins of the law, further and futher outward. The less resistance, the more they push the margin. Like a dicator of Rome, they have crossed the Rubicon.

With Neville Boehner as leader of the opposition party, Adolph Obama will sieze ‘Czechoslovakia’ unopposed, and only after Adolph Obama invades ‘Poland,’ will Neville Boehner be pushed aside by a right wing warrior willing to battle fascism. But in our modern-day scenario, it just might be too late for America, for the battle will happen here at home, not an ocean away.

The time to act is now. We have got to dump Neville Boehner.

NC Mountain Girl | February 17, 2014 at 1:59 pm

Note that IRS publications are full of advice on how to make their lives easier- file early, file electronically, double check against clerical errors such as transposed numbers, request refunds by direct deposit, etc., etc.

I was a tax practitioner for years. Of late the IRS seems to have gotten very sloppy. I am hearing of more erroneous penalty notices and long delays in routine correspondence. The victims of these mistakes are not political. The late filing notice that could once be cleared up in a month by sending in a copy of the USPS return receipt is now taking six months or more for the paperwork to clear. This suggests some internal administrative issues that speak to matters of basic competency.

Note that before Obama came to office the IRS led the federal agencies in the percentage of workers who stayed on after being fully vested in their retirements. The smartest employees are often the first to leave an organization that is in trouble. In the last few years all federal agencies have reported increased numbers of long time employees deciding to retire. The IRS has also been swamped with new employers hired to implement first the stimulus act and later Obamacare.

By all means let us make their life easier by following their guidance in all things.

We need to have conservatives re-write the tax code to fit on 10 pages of single-spaced text. A stream-lined tax code that allows for few if any deductions avoids the need for groups with 501(c) status. While we are waiting for that to happen, overwhelm the system.

If only 2500 groups in every Congressional district would apply for this status that would be over a million applications. Swamp the system! Find out how at WikiHow or from the horse’s mouth IRS Fun For One and Fun For All: Applying for 501(c)(3) Tax-Exempt Status .

Hang together or separately. Volunteer for an audit. But as that great patriot Victor Laszlo once said ” And what if you track down these men and kill them, what if you killed all of us? From every corner of Europe, hundreds, thousands would rise up to take our places. Even Nazis can’t kill that fast.”
Or, even Democrats can’t audit that fast.

It’s counterproductive to focus blame on democrats for IRS problems. None of it would be happening if the US had a functioning two party system. The GOP merged with radical left democrats during George Bush and sold the country out to them. Rush spoke today about Pat Caddell’s appearance on Fox News last night in which he blamed the GOP for the IRS impeding TP groups. Codevilla has written for a long time about the GOP merging with democrats into a UniParty. It should be obvious that the GOP has the most interest in silencing the TP and conserv. groups. Beyond the Nov. 2010 elections, the TP has been no threat to democrats but remains a mortal threat to the Mitt Romney/Karl Rove/Bush crowd GOP. The GOP has done a great job neutralizing the TP by co-opting a lot of it. A few big TP groups are nothing but GOP front groups. The US now has a one-party dictatorship. The country has been overthrown. By the way, the head of the IRS during TP stalling was a smirking G. Bush appointee.