“The power to tax is the power to destroy.” –John Marshall
Most Americans think we’ve always had an income tax, but then most Americans also think we’ve always had a Department of Education and elected representation in the Senate. Most Americans think the Monitor fought the “Merrimack” in the civil war, that Custer was an idiot and Joe McCarthy was the wickedest American who ever lived. Most Americans think that gun stores sell assault rifles, that Jack Kennedy was a pacifist, and that President Obama is smart. So you probably think this is going to be another WOOF screed about how lousy our public schools are, right? But no, it’s actually an article about the IRS, America’s redoubtable Internal Revenue Service. And yes, polls have long shown that almost one third of adult Americans believe the Founding Fathers placed the IRS in the constitution to keep the country solvent. (Of course these are the same Americans who numbly assert that rich people don’t pay their fare share—forgetting in their righteous daze that poor people don’t pay any share at all, that “rich people” (top 10 percent) pay 37 percent of the nation’s taxes, and that those middle class folks so beloved of Democrats and for whom Our Dear Leader continues to battle so energetically (although apparently unsuccessfully) continue to pay a whopping 70 percent!
That’s right, gentle readers, this is going to be an article about the bloody, tawdry, mercilessly Marxian monstrosity known as the Federal Income Tax—and those valiant civil servants who exact it from us in blatant contravention of the American Constitution and the free-market ethos—the men and women of the IRS. Of course, someone is going to remonstrate with us at this point that Abraham Lincoln started the income tax to help pay for the civil war, and yes, this was among our 16th president’s several injudicious ventures—but even so it was a far milder beast in those days at three percent of earned income–tepid and short lived, albeit no less unconstitutional, and hey, only half the country had to pay it, right? Besides, it vanished shortly following the cessation of civil hostilities, and was not seen abroad in the land again until that dark hour that oversaw the election of the insufferable Woodrow Wilson.
True, the idea was broached anew in 1894 but promptly declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court in its enlightened ruling in Pollock vs. Farmers’ Loan and Trust Company. It is worthy of note that the Court struck down the proposed income tax because it failed to make any provision for apportionment, as required by Article I, Section 2, Clause 3 of the Constitution. And there the issue should have rested, but in 1912 Americans did a particularly ill-considered thing—they elected Woodrow Wilson President of the United States. Wilson, contrary to what many of our readers may believe, was not a communist—in fact, he reviled communism (there’s some good in everyone, Woofketeers). What he was, however, besides being a raving racist, a war monger and a manipulative fascist, was stupid—and he was easy prey for less benighted men who were dedicatedly communist. One such man was his trusted adviser Col. Edward Mandell House, whose vision for America amounted to “socialism as dreamed of by Karl Marx.” So on the pretext of funding World War One, which America was duped into fighting by Wilson and his progressive allies, Colonel House proposed the return of the federal income tax and rammed it through congress as a patriotic necessity to support the dough-boys abroad…and thus we have the dreadful Sixteenth Amendment to the Constitution granting the Federal Government the right to implement a progressive income tax, precisely as called for in the Communist Manifesto (Plank #2 if you’re thinking of checking). By the way, House and Wilson next instituted the ruinous Federal Reserve Act, but let us not digress.
A target rich environment!
Why does WOOF choose to devote space to the IRS imbroglio, with so much else at stake in the nation? After all, we have been screaming bloody murder (and justifiably so) about Benghazi for months—and done our part to raise the consciousness of the average American about this travesty—and with enough success that more and more of our fellow citizens are beginning to recognize that Benghazi was not the actor who got killed fighting Patrick Swayze at the end of “Road House.”
We also remain concerned with the Obama initiative known as “Fast and Furious.” This, you may recall, was the Administrations 2009 gun-running operation to the Mexican drug cartels– who used the guns (provided to them at bargain rates by Attorney General Eric Holder) to kill American border guards—all this in an apparent effort to raise an outcry against the 2nd amendment, which amendment the Nation’s First Skeet-shooter finds objectionable. The details surrounding “Fast and Furious,” in WOOF’s view, seem to hint some rather apparent improprieties—which improprieties, however, remain insufficiently apparent to attract the notice of American news reporters. ..
For four years running…but the media, to be fair, do have another opportunity to discover “Fast and Furious” (as if!) since the Justice Department IG (who must have missed the memo) issued a report to the effect that the Department violated policy by purposely leaking materials of a defamatory nature against their own agent John Dodson with the sole purpose of discrediting him as a “Fast and Furious” whistleblower. The report called the behavior “egregious,” particularly because its intent was to undermine valid information disclosed to lawmakers by Dodson. Back in the days when guys like Scooter Libby went to prison because they misremembered a detail during testimony that was in any case inapposite to the alleged crime, a President would have been dragged through the dust by a raging news industry had he overseen a gun deal to drug hoods and attempted to smear and intimidate whistleblowers from within his own Administration. Nowadays? Not so much.
And then, of course, there is the matter of the Attorney General feloniously seizing the email records of the Associated Press (where’s the gratitude?) and of certain reporters at Fox News– notably the lovable and patriotic James Rosen– in an effort to silence dissent (to the extent that any may be said to exist) in the media. To be fair, President Obama has officially acknowledged feeling “troubled” by the invasive email seizures, and as a demonstration of his level of perturbation he recently assigned Attorney General Holder (otherwise known as the perpetrator) to investigate himself and report back. One could go so far as to remark that the number of controversies engulfing the Obama Administration at this point is so elevated that one doubts the media’s capacity to stay on top of each erupting enormity with sufficient attentiveness to keep everything adequately suppressed; besides which the Associated Press, long among Dear Leader’s most adoring and sycophantic support groups, is feeling a bit huffy about having its sources pinched and may remain at least vaguely adversarial for another week—possibly even two—before it forgives and forgets.
So why did WOOF decide to address the tax issue in this screed? Because it has the most traction, Woofketeers! This may seem baffling until you stop to consider that comparatively few Americans know anybody who has been gunned down by Mexican drug lords—or buggered and murdered by Al Qaeda in the streets of Benghazi—or (knowingly) had his emails grabbed for analysis by the Justice Department. But almost half the country still pays taxes, and everybody hates the IRS. Even moronic MSNBC and CNN pontificators hate the IRS, because even though most of them are British subjects they still work over here and pay taxes. So WOOF decided to go with the flow. If the Tea Party Tax scandal has the most juice, let’s roll!
Crimes recent and less recent
Americans who remember who Monica Lewinsky was (and actually still is, by the way) may also recall that the IRS came under considerable fire during the Clinton Administration. In that era it became evident that the Clintons were using the IRS to bludgeon Christian groups, the NRA, the Heritage Foundation, National Review, Citizens Against Government Waste, Bill O’Reilly, Concerned Women of America, and indeed, any women of America who had any inconvenient recollections of past involvements with President Bill. Actress Elizabeth Gracen, for instance, made the mistake of acknowledging a fling with Bill Clinton in her past and was directly informed that she would be, among other things, audited if she didn’t shut up.
And before Bill and Hill there was Nixon, remember him? He was that Keynesian guy who ended the draft, got out of Vietnam, and hugged Mao Tse Tung and who is reviled to this day by liberals as an arch right winger! Nixon tried to use the IRS to harass people on his famous ‘enemies list’ but met with righteous resistance in the House of Representatives. Did you know that when impeachment articles were drawn up against Nixon a portion of the language averred 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 purposes 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.” Imagine that—a guy could get impeached for this stuff back in Nixon’s day!
What happened in 2012?
So what did the IRS do in 2012? Really just business as usual. Among dozens of other equally dastardly depredations, it sent signed letters to nearly every identifiable Tea Party group applying for or attempting to retain tax-exempt status as a 501(c)(4) group, (the necessary status for groups raising public awareness whose missions are partly political). These letters demanded that the Tea Party groups surrender everything from their membership lists to screen shots of their Facebook pages and lists of all speakers who spoke at their meetings or conventions, and all donors–and this despite the fact that 501(c)4 tax status specifically guarantees the anonymity of all donors. Conservative educational groups that work with youth were told to submit lists not only of all young Americans they had helped educate, but, somewhat implausibly, all those whom they planned to educate in the future. Groups failing to comply would be denied tax exempt status despite the fact that such demands by the IRS have no legal basis and violate the Constitutional rights of the applicants.
Who is Bob Bauer?
WOOF knows that Bob Bauer, who was the Obama campaign’s general counsel, and who became White House general counsel, is a specialist at using governmental agencies as instruments of intimidation and coercion. In 2008 Bauer pressured the Department of Justice to bring criminal investigations against the American Issues Project to prevent it from exposing Obama’s close associations with retired Weather Underground bomber Bill Ayers. Later that year, Bauer teamed with the Democratic National Committee and a bevy of pro-Obama front organizations to pressure Jewish community leaders into dropping the beautiful and gifted Sarah Palin from a rally against Iran’s nuclear policies. WOOF suspects that more recently Bauer may have functioned as the President’s Chicago-style “enforcer,” ramrodding the recent campaigns against Tea Party-type groups. WOOF further suspects that Bauer’s marching orders in this capacity were to generate sufficient disruption of those organizations’ outreach efforts as to achieve de facto voter suppression during Our Beloved Helmsman’s re-election campaign. Romney contributors, by the way, were similarly targeted. WOOF further suspects that its own candidate in the 2012 presidential race, the beautiful and talented Christine O’Donnell, may have performed poorly at the polls despite WOOF’s endorsement owing to similar shenanigans!
Fools on the Hill
Democratic and Republican lawmakers summoned IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman to testify before the congressional hearing on the scandal, but Mr. Shulman turned out to be no help at all, telling committee members that he only knew one thing for certain, and that was that he bore no personal responsibility for the creation of the list targeting Tea Party and other conservative groups for blanket audits and other illegal types of scrutiny, or for denying such groups tax exempt status on the basis of ridiculously elevated or contrived criteria. So—no help there!
The committee next called Deputy Secretary of the Treasury Neal Wolin who told the incredulous assemblage that he could find “no indication” that the Treasury Department was involved—a claim that struck even Democrats like Stephen Lynch as so bizarre that Inspector General J Russell George was called in to straighten things out, but George’s testimony amounted to saying, in so many words, that whatever Wolin said was okay with him.
The Piece Resistantly speaks…
The pièce de résistance was next, however, as star witness Lois Lerner took the hot seat. Lerner was the obvious key witness in the proceedings, she being the head of the office that oversees applications for tax exempt status from the Internal Revenue Service. She was also the IRS official who took it upon herself for somewhat mysterious reasons to volunteer an apology earlier in the month at a meeting of American Bar Association in which she admitted that the IRS had been busily targeting Tea Party groups as well as groups with “patriot” in their names, groups stating a desire to educate people about the U.S. Constitution or taxation, groups saying they wanted to “make America a better place to live,” or groups that criticized how the country was being run. Lerner is also the woman who took point for the Clinton administration back in the ‘90s when it sued the Christian Coalition, and lost. Lerner was the woman who told the ABA that she didn’t reveal the IRS’s witch hunt for Tea Party groups sooner because she was “never asked,” even though she’d been asked about precisely this matter two days earlier by Congressman Joseph Crowley (D-NY) and ducked the question.
Now, looking demure in a grey jacket, black slacks, and carefully coiffed hair, Lerner gave an opening statement, boldly declaring, “I have not done anything wrong, I have not broken any laws. I have not violated any IRS rules or regulations, and I have not provided false information to this or any other congressional committee.” Everyone assumed that the game was on at this point, but everyone assumed wrong. Having asserted her perfect and absolute innocence on every count, Lerner then proceeded to invoke the Fifth Amendment, presumably on the grounds that she might otherwise tend to incriminate herself. Dear readers, WOOF could not make this stuff up if it wanted to.
And thus we lurch as a nation into a long memorial-day weekend, during which respite it is expected by the Administration and many pundits and prognosticators on both sides of the aisle that we will go back to concerning ourselves with more important stuff, like whether Jodi Arias will get the death penalty, whether Amanda Bynes was really sexually assaulted by police after tossing her bong out of her thirty-seventh floor apartment, and how we all feel about Jennifer Aniston playing a stripper in her new film. Fortunately, WOOF can answer these questions accurately right now: “She won’t; she wasn’t; who cares?” See? That was easy—and with those issues out of the way, we can get back to thinking about a rogue agency that under President Obama’s sinister control has proven itself a menace to our liberties, our livelihoods, and our Constitutional heritage.
Back in 1951 the magnificent American industrialist and patriot Vivien Kellems got it exactly right when she wrote that, “There is absolutely no power granted in the Constitution which enables a top-heavy bureaucracy of empty-headed simpletons, and worse, to invade the privacy of the American people in such a monstrous manner.” And that was during the Truman administration! Vivien Kellems checked out in 1975, sad to say, but the IRS is still around. So in between drone overflights, email scandals, gun grabs, foreign policy disasters, and continuing economic misery, let’s take a few moments out this summer to fix the tax system, okay? We could ask the President to fix it, but he’s pretty busy trying to find out who’s behind the drone overflights, email scandals, gun grabs, foreign policy disasters, and the awful economy. So how about the Heritage Foundation? We bet they could fix the tax system in about a week—assuming they’re out from under audit by now!