Obama’s Tax Thugs


WideModern_IRSBuilding_051713620x413Recently Mortimer Caplin announced his retirement at the age of 96. Caplin may have been the only IRS chief to appear on the cover of Time Magazine back when he was targeting JFK’s political enemies with audits as part of Kennedy’s “Ideological Organizations Project.

“I remember that the president made a speech and I got a call from the White House again,” Caplin would later write. “The right-wing organizations were believed to be overstepping their tax-exemption bounds.”

There are always plenty of Caplins and Lois Lerners around to do the dirty work of the men on top, but what truly matters is the abuse of power by the chief executives who give them their marching orders.

Obama’s IRS scandal is not the first abuse of the system. But it should be the last one. Like JFK’s IRS scandal, it comes down to a White House worried about the impact of “right wing organizations” on its political agenda and lists being drawn up in order to intimidate and sabotage conservative organizations.

Like the Kennedy team, Obama’s people were more interested in the political allegiances of the bureaucracy under their control than its competence and in an administration where even the National Park Service has been politicized, the use of the IRS as a political weapon of terror was inescapable.

IRS scandal figures like Lois Lerner and Sarah Hall Ingram embody the Obama ethos by hiding their political partisanship within a façade of incompetence. But like Caplin they were performing political duties, rather than governmental ones. Their allegiance was not to the law, but to Obama.

From the beginning, Obama tore down the walls between his private interests as a political candidate and his public powers as an elected official. Previous politicians blurred the lines, but he removed them. Government websites became indistinguishable from campaign websites. Cabinet members broke the law by campaigning. Not only did the campaign never end, but the campaign became the government.

The Internal Revenue Service became another arm of the campaign and when Democrats called on it to take action against the Tea Party; it acted.

Lois Lerner received an email with a link to an NPR story in which top Democrats complained about Republican contributions and described a complaint that they planned to file with the FEC. Lerner, revealing her allegiances and informed by her FEC past, responded, “Perhaps the FEC will save the day.”

Lerner was not some rogue employee. She was reacting to pressures from top Democrats who were afraid of the rising strength of the Tea Party and worried about the consequences for the 2012 elections. The IRS was rotten with partisan figures like Wilkins and Lerner who were approaching the political contest from the standpoint of Obama employees, not employees of the United States government.

The story that began with a few Cincinnati employees as the fall guys converged on the White House. While the bureaucracy in Washington D.C. pointed fingers at places on the map, local IRS offices pointed the finger right back at D.C. making it clear that this was a political operation run out of Washington D.C.

IRS agents testified to the micromanagement of Tea Party applications that came down all the way from Washington D.C. And they testified that some of the orders had come from the office of Obama political appointee William Wilkins who had done pro bono work for Obama’s pastor, Jeremiah Wright on tax exempt issues during the election.

The White House was the place that Sarah Hall Ingram, who headed up tax exempt organizations at the IRS, visited 155 times. It was the place that IRS commissioner Douglas Shulman visited 157 times. The White House was where Ingram sent along confidential taxpayer information and it was the only party to benefit from the IRS sabotage of Tea Party tax exempt filings.

IRS Chief Counsel William Wilkins, one of Obama’s two political appointees, had known about the targeting and his office had played a role in orchestrating it. Wilkins reportedly met with Obama a few days before new guidelines targeting conservative groups were issued by his office.

Lerner’s office chose to route applications through the office of a political appointee so that an Obama loyalist could monitor the political activities of the opposition and stalemate their plans. If the IRS targeting had truly been the work of rogue employees, they would not have needed a loyalist “political commissar” with a direct line to Obama to approve their work and tell them what to do.

Obama attempted to maintain plausible deniability claiming that he only learned about the IRS scandal from the media. White House chief counsel Kathryn Ruemmler took the fall for knowing and not telling him and like Lois Lerner exited stage left. The official story is that the Chief of Staff, Obama’s lawyer and any number of senior officials knew. But that Obama didn’t. That was also the Watergate story.

Considering the disingenuous way that Lerner first attempted to preempt the scandal by leaking the information with a planted question and the collapse of the lie about a few rogue agents, the Obama defense looks like only another in a long series of lies. And we shouldn’t have to wait until Obama’s Caplin is writing his memoirs to learn about the White House phone call or meeting that started it all.

Top IRS officials would not have put their necks on the line with a political targeting operation in a town where no one in the government does anything without expecting a favor in return. It’s equally unlikely that anyone in the shifting coterie of top officials around Obama initiated such an operation on their own. Obama may not have known the specific details, but there is little doubt that he knew something was being done about the Tea Party problem that had caused him so much trouble over ObamaCare.

Obama’s standard procedure has been to offer up scapegoats who then retire with full benefits. Others like Ingram who is overseeing the IRS ObamaCare office, have actually gotten promoted. If nothing else, these simple facts reveal the hollowness of Obama’s initial display of outrage. As with Benghazi, a brief flare of outrage for public consumption was followed by private pats on the back for doing a good job.

If Obama had truly been outraged by the IRS’s political targeting, he would have reacted the way he did when confronted with things that truly angered him, like voter ID requirements or WW2 veterans trying to visit memorials. Instead the IRS scandal followed the same pattern as Benghazigate. The perpetrators profited, the whistleblowers were punished and the victims were dismissed and silenced.

Obama had eliminated the barriers between the campaign and the government. And the IRS stopped being part of the government and became part of the campaign; turning into Obama’s own tax thugs.

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Don’t miss Jamie Glazov’s video interview with Daniel Greenfield on “Obama’s Shutdown Strategy,” the administration’s Brotherhood Romance, the Huma Abedin-Anthony Weiner saga, the Unholy Alliance and much, much more:

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  • truebearing

    Being the doctrinaire Marxist that he is, Obama’s employment of the IRS as part of his political machine was just his way of improving his relationship to the means of production….of votes. Ruthless and evil, as always, Obama sees no boundaries, ethical, moral, or otherwise that temper his rapacity for power.

    All Marxists are domestic terrorists in one way or another, so it follows that Obama would use the government agency most feared by Americans as one of his key weapons to suppress his opposition. Using the IRS to facilitate a Gramscian coup was undoubtedly planned for years, by others, so Obama can’t claim authorship, but he certainly is taking full advantage of it.

    Obama doesn’t limit the IRS role to denying conservatives beneficial tax status. They are the enforcers of CommieCare, as well. Just imagine the potential for suppressing votes, political donations, or garden variety free speech once CommieCare is in full swing. If the exhaustive and required information possessed by the IRS of all Americans was used to deny health care, or make it even more unaffordable, for political reasons, the IRS would become, in effect, a hidden death panel. The threat of this alone would scare many into submission.

    So it appears that Palin was wrong. There isn’t one death panel in Obamacare, there are at least two. What a sick way to leverage power with our health.

    • Fritz

      Except that most of the ones they expected to sign up for and fund “CommieCare” are not doing so, the younger ones, in part because of the invasive data mining and lack of security. The ones that are signing up for “CommieCare” are going to be those with pre existing conditions or other who figure they can get a free ride, so the scheme won’t even pay for itself. Right now you can’t even get onto the website, apparently the firm contracted to set it up used antiquated soft ware, and apparently it was the same Canadian company that created Canada’s Infamous (now abolished) gun registry. Even those that get through it an get a quote are saying “f#$k this, I’m not paying”, and many of those saying so are “Liberals”.

      Now they can threaten a few hundred or even thousand with jail time for not going along with the racket but not millions or tens of millions. This scheme makes the centrally planned healthcare system used in all of Canada’s provinces look like a lessee faire free market in comparison. Ironically they are starting of open private clinics for various surgical services in parts of Canada now.

  • The March Hare

    I believe when Nixon tried to get the IRS to go after his enemies, the IRS told him to take a hike.

    • WhiteHunter

      Correct.

      • JCS

        Nixon was a piker compared to Obama in the corruption department. Obama even beats the liberal saints Bill and Hillary Clinton (an astounding feat in itself) in that area.

        • WhiteHunter

          Yes, JCS; thank you. There are many differences between Nixon and Obama, including these (not a complete list, by any means–add any others, anybody, that come to mind):
          1. Nixon didn’t hate the U.S.;
          2. Nixon had a conscience;
          3. Nixon never ordered anybody to commit a crime;
          4. When members of his administration were accused of committing crimes, he let the chips fall where they may, and made no attempt to use “executive privilege” to protect them, or allowed them to Take the Fifth and “resign” safely with full benefits;
          5. Nixon never enriched himself or his friends with the corrupt opportunities of public office;
          6. Our allies (except for the South Vietnamese) trusted Nixon, and had reason to; and our enemies feared him;
          7. Nixon never complained about “the mess I inherited” when he took office; and, afterwards, simply wrote books–wise ones, in fact, and still worth reading, now–without a word of criticism against any of his successors.
          Any more you can think of?

          • Fritz

            There is also one critical difference, prior to Nixon there was really no law or rule preventing the president for having the IRS investigate the finances of political opponents or pressure groups. However since Watergate it has been illegal for the IRS to be used for any partisan political purposes, so it’s not a defense for a lefty to claim, “Well NIxon did X”. Nixon, as well as Kennedy, also did not instruct the IRS to deny or slow walk tax exempt status to rival political groups, just monitor or audit them, and in the case of Nixon the IRS director refused to do even that .

    • Boots

      I wasn’t around then but have also heard that the traditional media went batpoop crazy over Nixon using a branch of government to attempt to intimidate or punish the opposition. And the press isn’t the least bit embarrassed about their current silence… nothing to see here… move along.

  • Tray-Jay Martin

    The problem is all the social justice minded Fed employees. They don’t need any direction from above to abuse their offices and persecute whites, christians, and jews.

    Just wait until Obamacare social justice creeps decide to deny/delay healthcare for older whites. There’s your death panels.

  • Long Ben

    We have got to have rid of these lawless Bastards!

  • Flowerknife_us

    Our leader will soon be extracting tribute from all his Slaves.

  • ServosT

    The mainstream press is like a suit of armor which 0bama wears. His skin color is a shield.

  • antioli

    Will the next head of the IRS be a man named Beria ?

  • American1969

    The Chicago Way.

  • defcon 4

    The IRS also targeted organizations friendly to Israel — and contributors to such organizations.

  • mtnhikerdude

    To have the power of the IRS available to strike a destructive blow to ones political
    enemies is an overwhelming temptation to dismiss.
    Why isn’t the IRS looking into the closets of Jesse Jackson , Sharpton , CAIR ,
    La Raza , MecHa ,Daily Kos , the new ACORN , SEIU and The NAACP for their subversive attitudes towards America ?
    Mark Steyn wrote a column for National Review the crux being; We are doomed as a Nation. America is being ” Detroited ” .

  • The March Hare

    The IRS was a favorite weapon the Clintons used against anyone who was against them and Obummer is no different. If you spoke out or published anything negative about the Clintons you were destined to get audited. Again, Obummer is no different. The IRS is heavy with, or at least run by, leftists, as is a large portion of the government. The IRS, Dept. of Justice, Dept. of Edu., the EPA., Dept. of Energy and any other department the leftists can use to damage or bring down their enemies or the US is loaded with, if not run by, more leftists. They have spent years and years infiltrating all the bureaus just like they did with the schools, media and entertainment. They knew that someday they would be powerful enough to just announce that they are in charge. They just seem to think that time has come.