Friday, May 24, 2013

Internal Revenue Service: Kill It or Save It? Impeachment and more...

Mike Corthell


1862 to 2013

''Please detail the content of the members of your organization’s prayers.'' asked an IRS agent when the Coalition for Life of Iowa applied for tax exempt status. Sound outrageous? How about unconstitutional? This and many more equally egregious and unnecessary questions were asked by the eager bureaucrat.

The IRS is part of the Department of the Treasury, and is under the direction of the Commissioner of Internal Revenue. In 1862, during the Civil War, President Lincoln with the assent of Congress created the office of Commissioner of Internal Revenue and enacted a temporary income tax to pay expenses incurred during the war. The position of Commissioner still exists today as the head of the Internal Revenue Service.

In light of the current scandal involving the agency, many politicians and citizens from both parties are calling for 'killing the IRS'. Others just want it in pared down. What will happen, of course, remains to be seen. But the scandal is growing, with NBC –  no less –  reporting that the IRS deliberately chose not to reveal that it had wrongly targeted conservative groups until after the 2012 presidential election. The IRS affair may, therefor, end the Obama presidency – at the very least it will probably limit the president's effectiveness for the remainder of his term. As of this writing, we are only seeing the tip of this putrid, despicable iceberg.

As a tax collector, the IRS has the dubious reputation of most tax collectors – cold, uncaring, even evil. But is it all the agency's fault? Congress created the IRS, and Congress passed all the laws that generated the massive, 74,000 page (2013) tax code. The power vested in the agency has made it corrupt. The danger of this most recent scandal is that this collection agency has been used as a political tool to harass organizations that had been labeled enemies, ideologically speaking, of the Obama administration.

The Internal Revenue Service is an unwieldy, monstrous agency. In all deference to President Obama, he doesn't have to ability to correct the abuses that have come to light. I don't believe any president can – short of abolishing the IRS.

I say scrap it and start over. The solution is simple; I propose that Congress phase out the IRS over a period of three fiscal years and at the same time phase in a national, retail sales tax. A national sales tax that treats every tax payer equally and allows businesses to grow and thrive. This plan will also generate more tax revenue than the current tax code. The new Treasury Department agency created to monitor the national sales tax will be microscopic compared to the present, out-of-control IRS that is too large, too powerful, too intrusive and too abusive.

Scandals, Treason, Impeachment (Resignation)

 - Oh My!

I just re-read my opinion piece,IRS....RIP and I have to add a bit more to it. I wrote the op/ed as a letter to the Conway Daily Suneditor. (published 5/24/2013). I was limited by set number of words. There is much more to be said...

Pat Buchanan, in his recent commentary, The Spectator President, said, ''For it is difficult to believe the IRS could conduct a full-court press on Obama’s opponents, that IRS higher-ups knew about it, years ago, and that Treasury knew about it before the election – but the White House was kept in the dark about a scandal that could have derailed the Obama campaign.'' Pat is correct of course. A little slight of hand by the President kept him in office for another destructive four years.

Hiding a scandal, obfuscating the criminal act of violating constitutional rights - unequal application of the law - it goes on and on. From Benghazi to FoxNews, James Rosen to the Associated Press. Does the cover-up amount to treason? Time will tell, the investigation(s) are just starting.

All three scandals, at the very least, reveal a president who is not engaged in the running of the executive branch. A kind nickname would be, '' The Aloof President''.  When the IRS scandal broke wide open, the White House spin went into high gear. But forgetting history, like Nixon, Obama distanced himself, saying, “I certainly did not know” and calling the IRS an 'independent' agency. And that just may be the keystone of his undoing. It all comes down to lack of accountability. The culture that has permeated the Obama regime must not be allowed to continue. It’s up to the people, through their representatives, to fix it.

Early in the 'scandal trilogy' some were bandying about the 'I' word - impeachment. I did not, but now I see impeachment as a very real possibility. We have impeached a total of two presidents in the history of our republic; Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton. Richard Nixon would have been had he not resigned - convicted too. One thing that is very clear, is that given the massive abuse of power by President Obama and his subordinates, impeachment is in the cards.

If the president is as unaware (clueless) as he claims to be, saying that he knew nothing of any of these events until they were made public, then he is confessing the fact that he is completely incompetent and therefor derelict in his duties as President of the United States.  
By his own admission, he didn't know what was happening in Benghazi, unaware that the IRS was targeting political enemies, or what was going on in the Justice Department.  If this is true, then he should resign immediately.

 But who is kidding who? He had to know. Treason? I will leave that determination to history.

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