Saturday, March 8, 2014

Cartwright Out of Focus

The IRS is an incredibly powerful organization.  With the stroke of a pen it can take everything you have, close your business, or bleed you out with audits and their accompanying legal costs.  That's why it was absolutely necessary to investigate claims that the IRS was being used as a bludgeon to take out anyone that disagreed with the Obama Administration.  If this did in fact occur and were allowed to continue, it would be a very dangerous precedent where any future administration could use the IRS in this way to stifle free speech and political dissent.

At least some suspicions were confirmed when the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration reviewed the IRS's targeting of conservative groups.  It found that the IRS used "inappropriate criteria" for determining which groups would be targeted for review.

While the investigation was ongoing, President Obama indicated that there wasn't even a "smidgen of corruption" in the IRS.  This, despite the admission of the progressives at ProPublica that they were given confidential IRS documents on conservative groups by the IRS.

Now that facts are starting to emerge, Democratic Congressman Matt Cartwright is calling for an investigation into the investigators that found fault with the IRS.

It's worth noting that the IRS official, Lois Lerner, who has been continually asked questions about this targeting has continually plead the fifth.  Most recently here:

If there wasn't a "smidgen of corruption," why would someone find it necessary to plead for their fifth amendment rights to not incriminate themselves?  And, given the facts that are able to be determined so far, why would Congressman Cartwright not call for an investigation into the IRS instead of investigating the investigators when the potential targeting of individuals or groups based on their political beliefs hangs in the balance?

Cartwright's focus is entirely blurred or perhaps entirely political, as it relates to this investigation.  Whatever the case, it's not the right focus for the American people.  The IRS should never be allowed to target anyone, Republican or Democrat, because of their political beliefs nor should it be allowed to be used as a weapon against political opponents.

Republican President Richard Nixon's impeachment contained a charge of exactly that.  Article 2, Section 1 of Nixon's impeachment charged that:
He has, acting personally and through his subordinates and agents, endeavored to obtain from the Internal Revenue Service, in violation of the constitutional rights of citizens, confidential information contained in income tax returns for purposed not authorized by law, and to cause, in violation of the constitutional rights of citizens, income tax audits or other income tax investigations to be initiated or conducted in a discriminatory manner.
The similarity in what Nixon was accused of doing and what the IRS today is accused of doing is shocking.  And, frankly, may explain why President Obama's defenders are drawing attention to the investigators instead of the investigation.

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