Internal Revenue Service

Obstruction Junction, what’s your function?

Eric Holder's Obstruction

In 2009, U.S. officials discovered that Mexican cartels had become the leading gun-traffickers responsible for high levels of crime throughout the Southwest U.S.

On October 31, 2009, the Arizona Field Office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), in cooperation with the Department of Justice (DOJ), launched a sting operation to help reduce cross-border drug and firearm trafficking by “purposely allowing licensed firearm dealers to sell weapons to illegal straw buyers.”  The operation was intended to track weapon purchases made by Mexican drug cartels to expose the location of high level leaders and ultimately lead to their arrests.

By June 2010, the case internally became known as “Operation Fast and Furious,” as ATF agents discovered numerous cartel leaders under investigation were operating out of a busy auto-repair store.  More than 1,608 firearms worth a total of $1 million were purchased by suspected cartel leaders, but unbeknownst to the U.S. government, 179 had been linked to Mexican crimes and 130 had been found at crime scenes in the U.S.

On December 14, 2011, while patrolling Peck Canyon in Santa Cruz County, Arizona, Border Patrol officer Brian Terry was shot and killed by Manuel Osorio-Arellanes, a high-level cartel leader who purchased a weapon linked to Operation Fast and Furious.  While the operation was officially terminated on January 25, 2011, Americans and government officials would soon discover that the problems surrounding the sting had only just begun.

Ron Paul: IRS is coming after Campaign for Liberty

Ron Paul

Campaign for Liberty is doing everything it can to fight back against harassment from the Internal Revenue Service over access its donor list, but former Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) warns that fines the organization faces could be “devastating.”

“Well, they’re after us,” Paul, a three-time presidential candidate, told Neil Cavuto on Wednesday. “They want money from us. They fined us almost $13,000 with daily penalties if we don’t cough it up.”

In an email to supporters on Thursday, Paul, who founded Campaign for Liberty in 2008, explained that the IRS had handed liberty-minded nonprofit with “a hefty fine” and “demanded” that it “turn over sensitive contributor information.”

Paul told Cavuto that the IRS asked for Campaign for Liberty’s donor list two years ago, but that the organization managed to get the tax agency to back off, citing a civil rights-era Supreme Court decision.

“[T]he NAACP fought this way back in 1958 and it was ruled by the Supreme Court [that] you don’t have to turnover names for privacy reasons,” he said. “And they asked us to do that two years ago. We didn’t do it. They accepted our letter, but they’re back at it again.”

Democrats Urge IRS to Crush Conservative Free Speech

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press… — First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution

Perhaps at no time in its history since the passage of the Alien and Sedition Acts have the citizens of the United States been more in danger of losing their First Amendment right to free speech than they are today. How ironic then, that the attacks are coming primarily from the political left, who have long declared themselves defenders of free speech.

Yet the astute William F. Buckley seems to have had it right when he observed that Liberals claim to want to give a hearing to other views but then are shocked and offended to discover that there are other views.”Such reviling of opposing speech is rampant today, and is getting worse.

Following the revelation last year that the IRS had been targeting conservative groups with words like “TEA Party” or “Patriot” in their names, Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder claimed to be shocked and appalled that this agency would be used as a bludgeon to silence their political opponents. Senior IRS official Lois Lerner resigned, and refused to testify before Congress, invoking her 5th Amendment right against self-incrimination. The nation was assured that the Obama administration would get to the bottom of it.

Americans Gave Up Rights in Order to Punish Their Neighbors

Obama’s former Chief of Staff, Rahm Emanuel, famously said government should never let a crisis go to waste. Though not a crisis in the way the financial meltdown was a crisis, the unfolding scandal of corruption, and intimidation of American citizens at the hands of a politically-driven IRS is a great opportunity to consider repealing the income tax, and abolishing the IRS, the most hated and feared of all government agencies.

The income tax was conceived in a cauldron of boiling class-warfare bile, promising the poor and middle class that the “rich” would finally pay their “fair share.” A progressive income tax being a central plank of Karl Marx’s Communist Manifesto, it was created as a tool not primarily for revenue collection, but for socialist wealth redistribution (“spreading the wealth around”, because “sometimes you’ve made enough money,” as Obama mighty say).

Yet in the drive to give government power to force their neighbors to give up their “fair share,” Americans unwittingly gave up many of their own rights, and opened the door for the great federal leviathan to enter our homes and terrorize us.

Under Article I, Section 9 of the U.S. Constitution, which reads “No capitation, or other direct, Tax shall be laid, unless in proportion to the Census or Enumeration herein before directed to be taken,“ the Founding Fathers directly forbade a direct tax, of which the income tax is a form. But in that raging spirit of class warfare, with promises that the tax would not be levied on the “average Joe,” but only those “rich fat cats.” Americans ratified the 16th Amendment and ushered in the Marxist income tax.

IRS Commissioners Shulman and Miller also Unconstitutionally Implemented ObamaCare

ObamaCare Trojan Horse

Former IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman and current Acting IRS Commissioner Steven Miller have been the subjects of intense questioning from Congress over the past two weeks over their relation to the Tea Party targeting scandal.  For Shulman, questions remain as to whether he may have lied in front of the House Ways and Means Committee in March 2012 when questioned about allegations of targeting that at the time were simmering without mainstream awareness. He appeared to be less than forthright in his responses when questioned by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on Wednesday. Miller has already tendered his resignation under pressure.

But there’s another IRS scandal waiting to gain widespread awareness, and this time it undeniably has Shumlan’s and MIller’s fingerprints all over it.  The IRS is unconstitutionally implementing ObamaCare exchange subsidies in states that refuse to establish an exchange.

What PPACA Says

Big Brother Government Says “Trust Me”

Big Brother Obama

We know that no one ever seizes power with the intention of relinquishing it. Power is not a means; it is an end. One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship. The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power.” — George Orwell, 1984

On May 5th, speaking at Ohio State University, Barack Obama lamented that “Unfortunately, you’ve grown up hearing voices that incessantly warn of government as nothing more than some separate, sinister entity that’s at the root of all our problems. Some of these same voices also do their best to gum up the works. They’ll warn that tyranny always lurking just around the corner. You should reject these voices. Because what they suggest is that our brave, and creative, and unique experiment in self-rule is somehow just a sham with which we can’t be trusted.”

Obama has it exactly wrong. It is not that our experiment in self-rule is a sham, or that it can’t be trusted, it is that the experiment has been undermined by the growing power of government in our lives, the very danger of which the Founding Fathers warned us. James Madison, the “Father of the Constitution” declared that “The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse.” Obama tries to convince us of just the opposite; namely, that we should place our trust in a benevolent government which will take care of us, and all we have to do is give up a little freedom.

The 100th Anniversary of the Income Tax…and the Lesson We Should Learn from that Mistake

Written by Daniel J. Mitchell, a senior fellow at the Cato Institute. Posted with permission from Cato @ Liberty.

What’s the worst thing about Delaware?

No, not Joe Biden. He’s just a typical feckless politician and the butt of some good jokes.

Instead, the so-called First State is actually the Worst State because almost exactly 100 years ago, on February 3, 1913, Delaware made the personal income tax possible by ratifying the 16th Amendment.

Though, to be fair, I suppose the 35 states that already had ratified the Amendment were more despicable since they were even more anxious to enable this noxious levy.

But let’s not get bogged down in details. The purpose of this post is not to re-hash history, but to instead ask what lessons we can learn from the adoption of the income tax.

The most obvious lesson is that politicians can’t be trusted with additional powers. The first income tax had a top tax rate of just 7 percent and the entire tax code was 400 pages long. Now we have a top tax rate of 39.6 percent (even higher if you include additional levies for Medicare and Obamacare) and the tax code has become a 72,000-page monstrosity.

But the main lesson I want to discuss today is that giving politicians a new source of money inevitably leads to much higher spending.

Why Does Change Taste So Bitter?

So this is what change tastes like…pretty much the same as what we were being fed before, except more bitter and by force; like castor oil, except it makes us worse, not better.

At nearly 11PM on Sunday, March 21, 2010, the House passed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the culmination of generations worth of liberal ideological dreams, a year of contentious debate, and months worth of open bribery, extortion, arm-twisting, vote-buying and the use of arcane parliamentary tactics such as reconciliation and “deem-and-pass”, all in order to pass a bill that no one had a clue would end up looking like when it was signed. Why? Because the bill that was signed is not the one that will be implemented. That comes with the passage of the Senate amendments to make the House Democrats happy.

Why would so much time and effort be put into passing a bill that became more unpopular the longer it was in the public eye? Quite simply, because it is not about health care, it is about power. Power of 1/6th of the American economy, which conveys an enormous amount of influence for those charged with allocating those resources and privileges, and power over the health (and therefore life and death) decisions of over 300 million people.

President Barack Obama and Speaker Nancy Pelosi both came into power campaigning on a promise to end the Republican “culture of corruption” in Washington. Instead they doubled down. They promised us the most ethical and transparent Congress and administration in history. They promised debates on major legislation would be broadcast on C-SPAN, and that everything would be out in the open. They promised us a new way of doing business in Washington. We have a new way, alright…the Chicago way. Al Capone would be proud.

The Republican Plan to Cripple the IRS

Internal Revenue Service

Imagine a world where there were not enough IRS agents to threaten your livelihood by pouring over years of receipts and tax filings. With the Republican takeover of the Senate, the Republican-controlled Congress is looking to severely de-fund the IRS in the wake of the ongoing scandal that revealed the organization targeted conservative organizations and held up nonprofit status approval.

POLITICO would have you believe that’s a bad thing:

Confused taxpayers, jammed help lines and tax cheaters running rampant — the IRS for months has warned that drastic budget cuts will disable an already troubled agency.

Republicans aren’t buying it.

Instead, they’re biding their time until they seize control of both chambers next year, giving them majorities to financially gut the most hated government agencies and new leverage to get agencies to do what they want.

A top priority? Crippling IRS regulatory actions, from Obamacare’s individual mandate to the looming draft rule that will limit political activities of groups like Crossroads GPS. The Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Health and Human Services are among the others in the cross hairs.

Republicans are already chipping away at the agency’s budget. Tucked into something called a “cromnibus” (a terrible word only politics-obsessed D.C. folks could devise) is a $350 million budget cut to the IRS, and Democrats aren’t really doing anything to push back.

The POLITICO account continues:

Whoops! IRS Watchdog finds thousands of ‘lost’ Lois Lerner emails

Lois Lerner

Bad news for the former director of the Exempt Organizations Divisions of the IRS: the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration announced to Congressional staffers late last week that thousands of Lois Lerner’s previously “lost” emails had been discovered on “disaster recovery tapes,” according to POLITICO.

From the account:

The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration told congressional staffers Friday the emails belonging to the most controversial figure in the IRS controversy were located on disaster recovery tapes.

The inspector general report on the matter attributed the mess to management screw-ups.

TIGTA, which wrote the original report about the tea party controversy, was asked to look into the missing emails matter. A report on the matter is due out soon.

IRS Commissioner John Koskinen had said that he hopes TIGTA can find the tapes, as the agency could not — but he told Congress the hard drive, and likely emails, were gone for good as far as IRS officials knew.

Lerner asserts that she didn’t do anything wrong. She has invoked her Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination and will not answer questions from Congress.

UL has followed this story extensively — just one of many that has plagued the Obama Administration and shows the real danger of a government that is too big.

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