The media, politicians, and most Americans found out Friday that the Internal Revenue Service had purposely and in a sinister manner singled out tea party groups and other conservative organizations for higher scrutiny and additional reviews, simply because the words “tea party” or “patriot” were found in their names.
Ms. Lois Lerner, a Director with the IRS, acknowledged these facts and she apologized for their behavior. But, rather than stop there, Ms. Lerner went on to stress that the decision was not “because of any political bias.”
Come on. Does anyone believe that?
With that one statement, it became obvious that there really was no apology. Apologies require truth and in this case, the IRS followed up the truth with a lie.
Having been one of the victims of the IRS’ willful and deliberate efforts to intimidate, harass and bully peaceful, law abiding citizens, I can attest to the fact that it was no surprise to our organization, the Chattanooga Tea Party, that we were being singled out for discriminatory action. In fact, as early as 2010 it became apparent that the IRS was targeting us simply because our political views represented a threat to them and their bosses.
Consider that the tea party movement was founded on the concept of lower taxes and limited government. Many within our movement, as well as a vast number of Americans, have called for the elimination of the IRS, replacing it with a flat tax, FairTax or some other much simpler and fairer system. (Remember the current tax code numbers over 70,000 pages and is fraught with special interest benefits and deductions.)
Living in America, where free speech is supposed to be guaranteed to all Americans -- not just those that happen to agree with the current Administration -- our organization never expected that we would be singled out and stripped of our rights. Yet, that is precisely what occurred.
What has finally come to light with the IRS’ partial admission, is that our nation is unfortunately beginning to look more like an oligarchy rather than the constitutional republic upon which we were founded.
An oligarchy in its simplest definition is “a government in which a small group exercises control, especially for corrupt and selfish purposes.” (Merriam Webster)
We see in this instance that a small group, the IRS and perhaps the Obama Administration, was intent on exercising control over the people it purports to serve, the American taxpayer, for corrupt and selfish purposes.
According to the IRS, its mission is to “provide America’s taxpayers with top quality service by helping them understand and meet their tax responsibilities and enforce the law with integrity and fairness to all.”
How ironic that what the IRS was doing in targeting the Chattanooga Tea Party and hundreds of other conservative groups ran totally contrary to their mission of “...integrity and fairness for all.”
But should we be surprised given the nature of our government today? Lies run rampant in Washington today throughout the Obama Administration, Congress and Federal agencies.
So what can we do?
We must allow truth to trump party allegiances. No person, party or President is above dabbling in or embracing the practice of deception and lies. When we see this occurring in our government, we must call it out - regardless of the party. In this instance, we saw for way too long one party refusing to acknowledge the truth of this matter. We witnessed a Presidential Press Secretary refusing to concede to the scandal. And even as of the writing of this article, we see a President who has not publicly rebuked the agency for which he is responsible.
As a reminder, using the IRS to further an Administration’s agenda and power was a basis for Nixon’s impeachment as reflected in this specific Article:
“Using the powers of the office of President of the United States, Richard M. Nixon, in violation of his constitutional oath faithfully to execute the office of President of the United States and, to the best of his ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States, and in disregard of his constitutional duty to take care that the laws be faithfully executed, has repeatedly engaged in conduct violating the constitutional rights of citizens, impairing the due and proper administration of justice and the conduct of lawful inquiries, or contravening the laws governing agencies of the executive branch and the purposed of these agencies.
"This conduct has included one or more of the following:
- "He has, acting personally and through his subordinates and agents, endeavoured 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 intitiated or conducted in a discriminatory manner.”
At the very minimum Obama should speak in no uncertain terms as to the unacceptable nature of this behavior and he should promise to the American people that a full, open and extensive investigation will be conducted. Obama should further commit that those responsible for the decision to target American citizens will be held to account and their employment with the federal government terminated.
If Obama fails to do this, we can only conclude that he either endorses such behavior, or any such investigation will lead to individuals he is unwilling to expose and hold accountable. So which is it, President Obama?
President, Chattanooga Tea Party