This year marks the 40th anniversary of the Watergate hearings which ultimately led to President Richard Nixon’s resignation. One point in the Articles of Impeachment signed off by the House Judiciary Committee sounds eerily similar to the devastating scandal coming out of the Obama Administration today:
He has, acting personally and through his subordinates and agents, endeavoured to obtain from the Internal Revenue Service, in violation of the constitutional rights of citizens, confidential information contained in income tax returns for purposes not authorized by law, and 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.
Was President Barack Obama or his White House staff aware the IRS was targeting Tea Party and conservative-leaning organizations and purposefully delaying their approval process for non-profit status? If he didn’t know, he could go down as the most incompetent president in our nation’s history.
First, the IRS blamed these acts on a few rogue employees in their Cincinnati, Ohio office. Then yesterday, the White House changed their story, noting that Counsel to the President Kathryn Ruemmler told Obama Chief of Staff Denis McDonough and other top administration officials last month. They claim the President was never notified about these egregious actions loaded with the potential to rock his administration to its core.
The Washington game of the ever-changing story has begun and this is clearly only the tip of the iceberg. As the IRS was busy auditing new organizations such as True the Vote, and long-established conservative training groups like Morton Blackwell’s Leadership Institute, they were also illegally leaking the confidential tax records of 31 groups to a George Soros-funded media operation, ProPublica. Recently ousted IRS Chief Steven Miller, the poster boy for bad government, admitted Tuesday in the Senate Finance Committee hearing that these actions were “absolutely” partisan. Does all this sound like just the work of a couple employees in Cincinnati?
Now, Lois Lerner, the director of the IRS division who received lavish bonuses while singling out conservative groups, invoked her Fifth Amendment rights on Wednesday when she appeared before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee to avoid self-incrimination. The actions taken by the IRS are a full frontal assault on America’s cherished free speech rights and a blatant abuse of power. There is a major scandal here which needs an independent and thorough investigation, but without the appointment of a Special Counsel, the investigation will remain under the purview of President Obama’s own Attorney General Eric Holder. The American people must demand an investigation of the IRS that is not conducted by Obama’s own loyalists.
Because we cannot trust the Obama Administration to investigate itself, Citizens United and I are proud to endorse the letter written by Rep. Matt Salmon of Arizona and 35 other Members of Congress, which calls for a Special Counsel to fully investigate the practice of targeting groups based on their political persuasion. The person leading this effort must have impeccable credentials and a reputation for impartiality. Immediate action must be taken before damning evidence mysteriously starts to disappear.
Ultimately, this is a vivid example of why big government does not work. Where does the power of the IRS end? We now learn they also wanted copies of private Facebook posts, transcripts of Tea Party rally speeches, and even information about the content of prayers. And to top it all off, in 2014, the IRS will hire 16,000 agents to enforce Obamacare and allow this hyper-partisan agency to have access to your medical history.
Our federal tax code is a mess and is being abused by the Obama Administration to silence conservatives using the most corrupt tactics imaginable. It is time to investigate, eliminate the IRS, and move to a Fair Tax.