June 12, 2013. Washington. Americans of all political stripes, except President Obama’s loyal base, are still crying foul over individual targeting of dissident groups by the IRS. Such tactics are typically the tool of dictatorships, Communist regimes and third world countries. And after a month of stonewalling by the Obama administration, critics are still waiting for their questions to be answered.
IRS executive Lois Lerner takes the 5th Amendment before Congress.
Would you be outraged?
Imagine it’s time to do your yearly taxes. You or your tax preparer go online to fill out your tax forms or maybe you walk down to your local library and pick them up there. While filling them out, you eventually make your way to a surprising series of questions on the standard government form. To your horror, you see that one question is asking filers if they know YOU, with your name actually printed on the government tax form.
The following questions then demand applicants answer personal questions about YOU. Why is your name printed on a tax form? Why is the government asking people about you on what should be a generic government document? That really happened to a conservative critic of the Obama administration and is just one small example from the current IRS scandal.
10 still-unanswered questions
One month ago, Breitbart.com published a list of ten questions that they and many others want answered regarding the current IRS scandal. Then, one week ago, the conservative blog revisited the issue, writing, ‘After weeks of House and Senate hearings, and much grandstanding by Obama Administration officials, not a single question posed has been answered.’
Conservatives on the political right aren’t the only ones who are demanding that President Obama or his subordinates answer for the tactic of using the IRS for political persecution. So far however, the highest ranking IRS officials have either avoided the difficult questions or actually pled the Fifth Amendment to protect themselves from self-incrimination.
With that said, below are the ten questions outraged critics of the administration and victims of the IRS are demanding answers to (from Breitbart.com):
1. Who inside the IRS hatched the plan to target conservatives and what, if any, connections do they, their associates, or superiors have to the Obama White House, campaign team, or other political organizations?
2. Who at the IRS leaked confidential tax documents to the progressive-leaning journalism group ProPublica, an action which the IRS official manual says can result in up to five years in prison and fines of up to $5,000?
3. Who are the two “rogue” individuals disgraced former IRS Commissioner Stevens said went “off the reservation” and acted “overly aggressive,” and what, if any, connections do they have politically? If, as the Inspector General report alleges, political motivations were not driving the targeting of conservatives, then what was? Also, what “discipline” did the two rogue agents receive?
4. Did IRS agents coordinate with Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI) or his staff to “go after them [conservative groups],” as he told the New York Times, following Levin’s letters to then-IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman and Director Lois Lerner?
5. Did Sen. Max Baucus (D-MO) or his staff communicate or coordinate with IRS agents after Baucus wrote this September 28, 2010 letter instructing then-Commissioner Douglas Shulman to have his “agency survey major 401(c)(4), (c)(5) and (c)(6) organizations to determine whether they are acting as conduits for major donors advancing their own private interests”?
6. What communications took place between IRS agents and the following senators and their staffs following the delivery of this jointly written letter demanding the IRS crack down on “abuse of the tax code by political groups focused on federal election activities”: Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY), Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO ), Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Sen. Tom Udall (D-NM), Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), and Sen. Al Franken (D-MN)?
7. What communications existed between Obama reelection campaign co-chair Joe Solomonese, whom the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) alleges received its confidential tax returns, and IRS agents?
8. What portion of Obama’s 79% increase in audits of charities were of conservative groups?
9. If political motivations were not driving the selective targeting of 500 conservative organizations, then why were a similar number of liberal groups not harassed?
10. What role did IRS Rulings and Agreements Division Director Holly Paz, who in 2008 donated $2,000 to Obama, play in ratcheting up IRS investigations, as she promised she would in June 2012?
Victims of the federal government’s political targeting include conservative groups, Tea Party activists, Christian organizations and others critical of the Obama administration. Two recent polls show a slight split among Americans on the subject. One poll showed 58% of the American people disapprove of the President’s handling of the IRS scandal. While another poll showed 47% of Americans believe President Obama is outright lying about it.
Showing just how serious this issue has become for the President, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) publicly questioned Obama’s honesty on the subject during a recent appearance on Good Morning America. “It just doesn’t pass the straight-face test,” the Speaker explained, “How can your chief of staff, your general counsel know, and you not know?”
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