This week the IRS has admitted committing acts of illegal regulatory manipulation for political purposes that no citizen or civic group should ever face. Congressional Democrats and the Obama administration are also up to their necks in it. But liberal or conservative, it’s enough to make every American’s blood boil. Here’s a quick re-cap:
The IRS has admitted they were delaying and/or blocking applications for non-profit tax exemption by giving conservative groups far more rigorous scrutiny than they required of liberal groups applying for 501c3 or 501c4 status. Any group with “Tea Party” or “Patriot” or many other common conservative terms in their group’s name was targeted for “special treatment”. Many questions the IRS demanded of targeted groups were clearly illegal to ask. Most of their questions would take significant time, money, and human resources for anyone to answer. And every answer could be sent back from the IRS marked “insufficient information”, again and again.
The same IRS “special treatment” was used against pro-Israel groups and against Billy Graham’s organization to block or delay their applications, too. How mean-spirited can you get? While one report has shown that hundreds of non-profit applications were affected in total, it’s still far too early to know the full extent of this practice.
Even more despicable (yes, it’s possible), we’ve also learned the IRS has insisted that a pro-life group must talk about pro-choice options to receive 501c3 status. Unbelievable. Truly Machiavellian. “1984” has arrived in 2013.
Furthermore, we have learned that letters were written to the IRS from a group of Democrat Senators (Charles Schumer, Michael Bennet, Sheldon Whitehouse, Jeff Merkley, Tom Udall, Jeanne Shaheen and Al Franken) demanding that actions to “tighten the screws” be taken against conservative groups. At this moment there is no visible connection from the White House to the IRS or the Treasury Department on this matter. But given the tactics used by Democrats for many years for various kinds of political benefit, one can easily envision a Valerie Jarrett or a Jim Axelrod picking up the phone and making a few calls to well-placed “friends” at Treasury to discuss “a few ideas”. No, a direct link to the White House has not been proven, but this IRS fraud has been going on for too long, and was obviously too beneficial to the reelection of Democrats in 2012 for them not to be at least aware, if not involved.
Applications for 501c3 status that should have taken 3-10 months to complete have been taking 2-3 years for these “chosen few”, and some tax exemptions have never been granted.
It’s certainly despicable for the IRS to demand answers to inappropriate, convoluted and lengthy questions. But we have also learned that they passed some of these answers (containing private, organizational information) to a liberal journalism group, ProPublica. God only knows who they gave it to, or how it was abused.
Interestingly, a George Will article of this week reminds us of the striking parallels to Senate Watergate hearings which began exactly 40 years ago. For a lighter touch, Jon Stewart gives us his take on the IRS scandal, plus other Obama administration scandals also in the news (Benghazi, AP phone records).
The FBI has begun an investigation of this IRS thuggery, and Congress has already scheduled hearings. While these actions are both necessary and proper, they will not fix the underlying problem. This kind of abuse should have every American screaming bloody murder, and demanding serious and lasting reform.
So, how should we fix a mammoth, arrogant, out-of-control bureaucracy? No federal thugs responsible for taxation should ever be loosed on private citizens or groups to limit their free exercise of First Amendment rights. Simply telling the IRS “don’t do that” is patently insufficient. Laws already exist for exactly that purpose, and they were ignored. No, whatever we do must be permanent. Firings are necessary, but insufficient.
Actually, we already have an excellent solution available: It’s called the FairTax Act, H.R. 25. (Recommend you go to FairTax.org and sign up for their newsletters. That keeps your name active for use in convincing your congressional representatives that you are a real FairTax supporter.)
The FairTax guarantees that no out-of-control government ever again tries to use the IRS for attacking opposition political organizations (e.g. the Tea Party) at the behest of Congress or the White House. And FairTax also ensures that FedGov bureaucrats cannot be used for enforcing national policy mandates unrelated to basic tax collection (e.g. ObamaCare).
How can we be sure of this outcome? Smartly, the FairTax Act closes the IRS, and it transfers tax collection to the States. It’s a simple consumption tax, similar to the sales tax most states already levy. So, most states are in a good position to provide this service as contractors to the Feds. With a consumption tax there is no need for an income tax, and therefore no need for an IRS.
The FairTax applies a 23% (inclusive) tax to all retail sales of new goods and services. No, it’s not a VAT, which applies a tax on goods at each stage of multi-level manufacture, and requires a huge bureaucracy for administration. Tax collection under the FairTax only occurs at point of sale to the consumer. This ensures that all illegal aliens, hookers, Mafiosi, drug-runners, and all other cash-economy people will pay federal taxes while leading their daily lives. If you buy a hot dog or a Cadillac Escalade you’ll pay FairTax on the purchase. If you’re a Japanese tourist in Orlando, and you buy Mickey Mouse ears for your kids, you’ll also pay FairTax. This mechanism creates “skin in the game” for every American resident, legal or illegal.
FairTax will motivate the return of $12-$13 trillion currently offshore back to the US for investment, and will eliminate K Street lobbyist influences on taxation. That in itself is reason enough to expect support from 99% of all Americans. And FairTax ensures everyone gets a full paycheck- withholding is eliminated. If nothing else, trading 74,000 pages of existing tax code for 130 pages of FairTax code will save our economy hundreds of billions of dollars in annual compliance costs. All of us can surely put that time and money to better use.
How do we get the FairTax? It’s like any other bill- WE THE PEOPLE must demand it. We must elect Senators and Congressmen who support it, and push on the Congress until it’s passed. At this moment, our greatest roadblock is Barack Obama. He’s a Marxist, and Marxists always want a highly-progressive income tax structure, not a single-rate consumption tax like the FairTax. Obama’s constant “tax the rich” mantra is proof enough of his interests. So, we’ll need a Tea Party Republican in the White House in 2017 to make this happen.
Is all this becoming clear? Think of it this way: The very folks that the IRS targets for “special treatment” are the same Tea Party folks who support a tax plan to eliminate the IRS! Is it any wonder, then, that socialist Democrats would encourage the IRS to attack Tea Party (and similar) groups?
And just think- if we get a Congress and a President who will enact the FairTax, we should also demand that they kill, cut, privatize, or reform other FedGov legislation and departments: EPA, Dept of Energy, Dept of Education, Dept of Commerce, Dept of Interior, ObamaCare, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, TSA, GSA, USPS, USDA, FEMA, BIA, Amtrak, Fannie, Freddie, HUD, VA, Dodd-Frank, Sarbanes-Oxley, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Endangered Species Act, the Clean Water Act, the list goes on and on, around the curvature of the earth. Bottom line: If it’s not covered by Article 1 Section 8 of the US Constitution, whack it.
We need to demand support from every incumbent Congressman and Senator- NOW. Then, before the election of 2014 we need to confirm that same support before we vote to sustain any incumbent. The same is true for the election of 2016- support the incumbents who support the FairTax, or support a candidate who does. By 2017 we must get a controlling Republican majority in both houses of Congress, and a Republican in the White House.
But if we elect too many Democrats and RINOs, we’re probably stuck with the status quo for decades. And that includes being stuck with an IRS that has outlived its welcome.Don't forget to Like Freedom Outpost on Facebook and Twitter, and follow our friends at RepublicanLegion.com.
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