Thursday, June 19, 2014

CONGRESS REPORTS: IRS Too Dumb To Be Non-Partisan

The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform has issued a report that says the IRS is too dumb to be non-partisan.  They said this, not in so many words, but that appears to be the gist of the report.

The report says that the IRS staff heard their boss, Barack Obama, bullying conservatives, calling conservative groups "...'shadowy' entities with 'innocuous' and 'benign-sounding' names that 'are running millions of dollars of attack ads against Democratic candidates'..."  And then the IRS, upon hearing this and other Presidential condemnations of his critics, decided to target Conservatives and Tea Party groups for special repressive measures.

The report says specifically:

"...President Barack Obama--a highly celebrated speaker noted for his oratory--exerts this power with uncommon vigor. President Obama's ability to command the rapt attention of the national news media, and by extension the American people, has become his most effective and favored rhetorical tool.  With his Bully Pulpit, President Obama wields the power to singlehandedly shape the national dialogue.  In this case, President Obama's Bully Pulpit led to the Internal Revenue Service's targeting of conservative tax-exempt applicants..."

The report specifies:

"...In the months after the President's State of the Union Address, he kept up the [negative] rhetorical assault as he railed against the decision [Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission] in campaign-style speeches across the country.  In these speeches, the President called conservative groups 'shadowy' entities with 'innocuous' and 'benign-sounding' names that 'are running millions of dollars of attack ads against Democratic candidates.'  Calling them 'phony' and 'front groups,' the President urged a 'fix' to the Citizens United decision, which he believed allowed these nefarious groups to 'pose' as nonprofits.  The President's allies in Congress and elsewhere echoed this call, working aggressively to delegitimize the Court's decision and Constitutional protections for non profit political speech..."

The report raises some very crucial and critical questions.  First, obviously, IRS employees appear to not be required, upon being hired, to swear an oath to uphold the Constitution and to protect the nation against enemies, both foreign and domestic.

Additionally the intelligence quotient of IRS employment candidates appears to not be calculated into the hiring process.

We are invited to conclude the following:

"...Put simply, as the President's political rhetoric drove the national dialogue and shaped public opinion, the IRS received and responded to the political stimuli..."

According to this reasoning, the robo-paths at the IRS obviously are incapable of independent, responsible, thought, and are incapable of being accountable for horrific Constitutional violations. To wit:

"... A review of evidence available to the Committee substantiates this conclusion.  In February 2010, the IRS identified and elevated the initial conservative tax-exempt applications due to concerns about media attention surrounding the Tea party.  Likewise in September 2010, in response to an article in a tax-law journal, former IRS official Lois Lerner initiated a 'c4 project' to assess the political activity of certain nonprofits..."

Isn't that just peachy?

"...In October 2010, after reading news reports that nonprofits were becoming increasingly active in political speech following [the Supreme Court Decision] Citizens United, the Justice Department arranged a meeting with the IRS to discuss the decision's effect on campaign finance law.  Most tellingly, Lerner [then head of the IRS non-profit section] talked in October 2010 about political pressure on the IRS to 'fix the problem' posed by Citizens United, saying that 'everyone is up in arms' about the decision and that 'everybody is screaming at [The IRS] right now: 'fix it now before the election.'..."

The report says that defenders of the IRS (principally Democrats) have sought to downplay the IRS wrongdoing:

"...For it to be scandal, they said, the President himself must be personally involved.  For it to merit attention, they argued, the White House must have ordered the targeting.  For the public outrage to be warranted, these Democrats alluded, there must be a direct link from the Oval Office to the IRS.  Hiding behind these straw men, the defenders of the Obama Administration claimed that the absence of a direct order to target conservatives necessarily meant that there was no political element to the IRS targeting..."

The conclusion?

"...The Committees investigation shows that the IRS targeting was political. It was political in both its genesis and its effect.  The IRS targeting was the result of political pressure on the agency to 'fix the problem' of nonprofit political speech.  This political pressure was generated by campaign-style rhetoric from President Obama and his allies in opposition to the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision  and so-called 'shadowy' groups 'posing' as nonprofits.  As a result of the IRS targeting, hundreds of tax exempt applicants were singled out for scrutiny on undeniably political grounds--that is, they intended to engage in political speech...

The report stresses a "...rhetorical barrage orchestrated by the President to delegitimize Citizens United and vilify the conservative nonprofit groups the White House feared would be helped by it..."

The report says that " is apparent that the IRS targeting of conservative tax-exempt applicants initiated and progressed in the context of intense political pressure led by the President for action on politically active nonprofits.  It is beyond dispute that the President's political rhetoric contributed to IRS efforts that resulted in the IRS's targeting of conservative tax-exempt groups because of their political beliefs..."  But it does not address the inadequacies of IRS staff and their fault in failing to uphold Constitutional law, Constitutional protections, and their oath of office.  Nor does the report hold accountable the IRS employees responsible for those failures.

While it is clear that their boss certainly targeted his critics, IRS employees are supposed to be above the fray; they are supposed to be non-partisan.  When, up and down the chain of command, not one of them steps forward to be the adult in the room, the patriot, the upholder of the Constitution, that agency is compromised and must be dismantled at once, and another agency put in its place.  The IRS is mandated by a Constitutional amendment, but nowhere in its establishment were violations of our founding documents authorized, condoned or sanctioned, nor are there clauses or articles that set aside the Constitution in order for it to exist.  If there are, then the Constitution by default must prevail.

Today, however, it is not enough to minimally withhold funds from such a despicable agency that so egregiously rips apart our Constitutional fundamentals. It must be stripped of any authority and function from the inside out, and a more effective income collecting entity put in its place that does not penalize citizens or their production.

The President's minions are more interested in keeping their jobs safe, rather than upholding our Constitution, and must face the consequences.  The agency must be replaced, and if another is put in its place, it must be devoid of any power of repression.

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