Jim's Weekly Column
IRS Targets Conservative Groups
The Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS) political targeting of conservative and patriotic groups is disgraceful and potentially criminal. The IRS abused its authority by holding certain tax-exempt groups hostage that don’t agree with the Obama Administration’s progressive agenda. How high up the ladder this scandal went is currently being looked into by two House committees and a special investigation should be conducted.
Even after the IRS admitted wrongdoing and offered a half-hearted apology, White House press secretary Jay Carney refused to confirm any wrongdoing. Then Sunday, White House senior advisor Dan Pfeiffer told George Stephanopoulos that whether the law was broken is “irrelevant” in this case.
I want those responsible held accountable, and I want to know who is going to jail.
It appears Senate Democrats also played a role in the scandal. In 2010, Senator Max Baucus of Montana asked the IRS to investigate political non-profits for violating tax laws. And last year, Senator Schumer and several other Senate Democrats threatened the IRS if it failed to “prevent abuse of the tax code by political groups.”
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell says, “we’ve only started to scratch the surface of this scandal.”
The Rock River Patriots, a Wisconsin conservative group, also claim to be a target of the scandal. The IRS allegedly asked for names of donors and volunteers.
According to an article published in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the IRS asked a Texas tea party group if it participated in verifying signatures for Scott Walker’s recall election last year. And the leader of True the Vote, who provided the computer application used to verify signatures for the recall by the Wisconsin groups GrandSons of Liberty and We the People, said she too was extensively questioned by the IRS.
As Americans, there are few things more frightening than a letter from the IRS. The targeting of “political enemies” by this agency is Nixonian. It was wrong when Nixon did it, and it’s wrong now.
I am also incredibly concerned with the IRS’s role in the implementation of ObamaCare, which the House voted to repeal again last week. The individual mandate will require every American to verify they have obtained government-dictated healthcare coverage to the IRS. And Sarah Hall Ingram, the overseer of the tax-exempt organization at the IRS while conservative and patriotic groups were targeted, is now in charge of the IRS’s ObamaCare office. It is clear the IRS should not have any part in Americans’ healthcare.
At a Judiciary hearing last week, Eric Holder testified regarding the slew of ongoing scandals plaguing the White House. Holder said at the hearing, “anybody who broke the law will be held accountable.” Unfortunately, Holder, the Department of Justice and the rest of the Obama Administration lack any acceptance of responsibility. I urged Holder to visit the Harry S. Truman library to see the placard on his desks that says, “The Buck Stops Here,” because right now, nobody in this Administration is willing to take responsibility for government mismanagement and corruption.