Tag Archives: IRS Scandal

Fast Information = Fast Forgetting

The one thing that amazes me about our ‘instantaneous-quick as a flash’ culture is our ability to forget situations, items and events as quickly as we learn about them.  There appears to be a direct correlation between these two events.  So I, Grandpa T am offering the following formula for our ‘instantaneous- quick as a flash’ culture.

The faster we receive news and information is in direct proportion to the speed with which we forget that news and information.  Or, f {fast} I {information} = f {fast} f {forgetting}.  Now that I have advanced that formula, am I eligible for some kind of Nobel prize?  After all, if the POTUS can get the Nobel Peace Prize after being president for about 10 minutes, I should be able to get some kind of a prize, too!  (Or…….did you forget he received it?)

There is no question that we receive information much, much faster than we did during my formative years.  Look at all the available sources.  We have the obvious mass media sources of TV, radio and newspapers.  But what really makes this instantaneous is the internet, personal computers, personal handheld devices, cell phones and personal devices that can take either pictures or movies and the ability to create a flash mob in a moments notice with these devices, all with the use of social media.  Look at what can be instantaneously flashed around the world because of dash cams in police cars, from cell phones and from other hand held devices.  It is truly amazing!

Grandma P has a cell phone that has an app that reports traffic accidents, road closures or bridge closures in our area.  Amazing!  Rather than go into a bad traffic area, the app directs you to an alternate route.  Need another example?  Recently, my best friend’s daughter got married.  Because of time and distance, Grandma P and I were not unable to attend.  I was on my computer at the same time the wedding was occurring at the opposite end of the country.  Golly and gadzooks, pictures of my friend escorting his daughter down the aisle were appearing on a social media website within seconds of it taking place!  Pictures of the ceremony and reception were being posted within minutes of the actual occurrence!  My friend was amazed when I called to tell him how beautiful the bride looked and how good he looked in his tailored suit.  It was as if I were in attendance.

November 7, marks the 3rd anniversary of writing this blog.  Yes, if you are sharp, you will realize that I began writing this within minutes of the last presidential election in 2012.  I was bummed and I needed a way to vent my anger, angst and disbelief.  Our country (as you may have forgotten) was experiencing high unemployment, a colossal increase in the national debt, did not have a budget for four years, a large percentage of people receiving welfare and food stamps…..and the country decided we liked that situation so much that we reelected the person that got us there.  That would be Barack Hussein Obama. I digress.

I began visiting some of my previous written posts on the blog site.  Then I realized that what was the ‘hot topic’ at the time of my writing the blog is all but forgotten.  Thus my formula for the Nobel prize of fast information = fast forgetting.  I have given examples of the quickness of obtaining information, let me give you some examples of how quickly we forget.

The financial crisis in Greece.  Do you remember that?  The country of Greece represents less than 2% of the world GDP.  Because of its socialistic society, it could no longer afford all the socialistic programs.  Over 40% of the population was on the government payroll.  People were retiring in their 50s with full salary and benefits.  Coupled with the high unemployment rate, it was a disaster in the making.  They raised taxes on the wealthy to afford their bloated programs.  The result?  The wealthy, which pretty much encompassed all of their educated professionals such as doctors, dentists and engineers, began migrating to other countries to escape the high taxes.  The Greek financial crisis whipsawed the world financial markets and stock exchanges for months. There  was a movement to kick them out of the European Economic Community, thus taking them off the euro and forcing them to go back to the drachma as their currency.  Here is the point of this blog…have you heard about the Greek financial crisis lately and do you think it has gone away?

Benghazi and lost emails.  Benghazi is all but forgotten.  The only reason the name is ever brought up is because of Hillary Clinton’s presidential candidacy.  If she were not a candidate, I very much doubt it would ever be heard of again.  As for the emails?  Well, it is amazing to me that she has abused her position as former Secretary of State to do something infinity larger than Richard Nixon’s Watergate break-in, and he resigned the presidency.  His crime involved reelection.  Hers involved national security.

IRS and the Tea Party Scandal.  This whole event has been swept under the carpet to the point of creating a mountain of dirt under the fibers.  You would think that much dirt would eventually cause a problem, but rest assured, Lois Lerner is still retired, walking the streets and collecting a full pension for being the director of the IRS.  She is thus liberated even after using her position to throttle the Tea Party movement prior to the elections by not granting tax exempt status to their cause.  The IRS throttled many conservative groups other than the Tea Party.  In front of numerous congressional fact-finding committees, our Lois, our government employee, pleaded the 5th amendment to many of the direct questions.  A classic case of the government forgetting that they work for the people.  Why has this whole affair gone MIA from the media?  Well, it was my opinion that Lois Lerner was not the brightest bulb on the Christmas tree and that she was directed in her actions by her boss.  At that time it would have been the Attorney General, Eric Holder, and  he worked for the POTUS.  How convenient during an election year.

Fiscal Cliff and National Debt.  How can anyone forget the overused usage of the words ‘fiscal cliff?’  Yet, when was the last time you heard the term?  Two years ago, it was the term de jour coupled with the continuing controversy about our national debt.  At the time, the national debt was $18 trillion and rising.  The prognosis was it would be over $20 trillion before Obama left office in 2016.  If you can believe Donald Trump, it is already over $19 trillion with over a year to go in the Obama presidency.  Wow!  If you can believe financial pundits, they are predicting a fiscal collapse of mega-proportions on a world scale once the US debt reaches $24 trillion.  I have never heard the reason why, but I have heard that figure and predicted result more than once.  Perhaps the dollar will be replaced as the world reserve currency by some other currency.  The dollar being the world reserve currency is the only reason why we have been able to accumulate so much debt.   If the government was a corporation, it would have had to declare bankruptcy long ago!  Look at what the Greek government has had to do, and then magnify that by about 15.  It is surprising that this pending fiscal crisis was not thoroughly addressed in the first two Republican presidential debates.  But then, it would have made the present administration look bad for quadrupling our national debt in 8 years! 

After reading the previous paragraph about our predicted financial doom, isn’t it interesting that the three of the leading Republican presidential contenders; Trump, Fiorina and Carson are not career politicians.  Unlike the present administration, where less than 10% of the cabinet or staff have had experience in the private sectors of our economy, you can surmise that if any of these three become president, 40% or more of the cabinet or staff will have experience in the private sector of our economy.  That is what we needed in 2012, but opted for the status quo by reelecting Obama.  These three leading Republican contenders have sent shock waves through all career politicians because of their non-political experiences and their rapidly growing popularity among the populous by not being career politicians.  Regardless who the next president will be, they will have to face some very burgeoning fiscal issues.  They will also have to retool our country from socialism back to its capitalistic roots.  But again, I digress.  (Its my blog, and I can digress if I want!)

There were many other terms that have come and gone over the last three years.  Disappearing with nary a whimper.  Government gridlock.  Voter ID.  Washington Redskins name change.  The situation in the Ukraine.   These are just some of the terms and events that were in the forefront and have somehow evaporated from sight like mist in a wind.  Too bad that can’t be said about the Kardashians.

I am writing and practicing  my acceptance speech for the first Nobel prize for Common Sense.  I can just see it now, sitting in Stockholm waiting for that grand announcement….”And the winner of the first ever Nobel prize for Common Sense goes to”……….(Oh crap!  Sitting in Stockholm with no place to go.)

Frankly Scarlett, I Do Give a Damn!

If I were alive during the Civil War, I now realize I would have fought for the Confederacy!  Those are harsh words for someone born and bred a true Yankee.  My fight would be to preserve ‘states’ rights’!

Before you get your undies in a bunch, I, General Robert E. ‘Grandpa T,’ am not  addressing the slavery issue.  In that regard, my President of the Confederacy would not be Jefferson Davis, but  George Jefferson.  Baby boomers certainly remember George Jefferson.  He was a character played by the black actor Sherman Hemsley on the show, ‘The Jeffersons.’  George made his money in the dry cleaning business and moved ‘on up’ to the East Side.  (He was a true capitalist!)

Unlike the current administration with their approach to such things as Iran, Iraq or Afghanistan, President George and I actually have a strategy and a goal.

Our goal is to protect ‘states’ rights,’ just as the Confederacy fought for during the previous Civil War.

Our strategy is to rid ourselves of all those scallywags in Washington D.C. that are opposed to and  unsupportive of our belief in states’ rights!  This is similar to what the Confederacy was attempting to do during the Civil War.

Why have we foisted our banner to such an undertaking?  Here are examples of government intervention in areas where they have no business.

Battle of Nashville and Memphis

On August 24, 2011, federal agents from the Department of Justice executed four search warrants on the Gibson Guitar Corporation.  They have facilities in both Nashville and Memphis, Tennessee.  This was done because the company supposedly imported  ‘illegal tonewood (rosewood)’ for the construction of their guitars.  This was in violation of a century-old Lacey Act which outlaws trafficking in flora and fauna which has broken foreign laws.

Did they send an accountant or scientist to get samples of the supposedly illegal wood?  No!  They sent over 30 agents in SWAT gear with weapons to evacuate the three facilities of employees.  They then disconnected the surveillance devices and confiscated electronic files, pallets of wood and guitars.

The federal government pursued this even though both India and Madagascar, the largest suppliers of rosewood, insisted that none of their laws were broken!

The end result of this abuse of federal authority was that Gibson had to pay a $300,000 fine, and make a contribution of $50,000 to the National Fish and Wildlife federation.  They did this to avoid a bankrupting legal battle.  As it turned out, they still accumulated over $2.4 million in attorney fees.

Ironically, the guitar company’s two biggest competitors are Fender Guitar and Martin Guitar Corporation.  Martin Guitar advertises in their catalog the use of Western India rosewood in the construction of all their guitars.  This is the same rosewood from the same country that was confiscated from Gibson.

By now, you are probably wondering why one company was targeted, and two others were not.

The answer may lie in the fact that 2011 was an election year, and the CEO of Gibson Guitar contributed to candidates of the Republican Party.  Huge contributors to the Democratic Party include both presidents of the other two guitar companies, especially  Martin Guitar CEO, Chris Martin IV.

Have you not heard about this?  Actually, I only learned of this whole incident two weeks ago myself!

Abuse of federal power!  Rally the troops!  Mount your horses!  Robert E. ‘Grandpa T’ will lead to Washington!

(Gibson recently got their confiscated wood returned.  They are using the wood to make a Government Series II Les Paul guitar.  These special edition guitars are hot stamped in gold with an American bald eagle holding a Gibson guitar neck. They are thumbing their noses at the federal government!   I hope they sell millions!)

IRS Tea Party Targeting Scandal

Those federal scallywags outdid themselves again by using the IRS to bully and harass specific groups prior to the last presidential election.

The following three paragraphs are from a research paper from Stockholm University and the Harvard Kennedy School:

“Unfortunately for Republicans, the IRS slowed Tea Party growth before the 2012 election.  In March 2010, the IRS decided to single Tea Party groups out for special treatment  when applying for tax-exempt status by flagging organizations with names containing ‘Tea Party,’ ‘patriot,’ or ‘9/11.’

For the next two years, the IRS approved the application of only four such groups, and delaying all others while subjecting the applicants to highly intrusive, intimidating requests for information regarding their activities, membership, contacts, Facebook posts, and private thoughts.

As a consequence, the founders, members, and donors of new Tea Party groups found themselves incapable of exercising their constitutional rights, and the Teas Party’s impact was muted.”

A clear abuse of federal authority!

The chilling turn of events was that the director of the IRS did eventually resign after pleading the Fifth Amendment numerous times during congressional hearings.  Isn’t it ironic that there was rampant and blatant abuse of the First Amendment, but convenient overuse of the Fifth Amendment!  Since her resignation, the replacement director has since resigned as well.  As of this date, no  person within the IRS have been terminated as a result of this incident.

But wait!  The Department of Justice has appointed an investigator to look into those darn accusations that just don’t seem to go away for the current administration.  Who did they appoint?  Her name is Barbara Bosserman.  Her claim to fame?  She has donated over $6750 to President Obama’s campaign, the Democratic National Committee, and the Obama Victory Fund.

She will really tear those IRS weenies from stem to stern!  You know I am joking.  Sending her to investigate the IRS would be similar to sending a fat person to close a Golden Corral buffet line.  It just ain’t going to happen.  The results of this investigation cannot be taken seriously.

Unfurl the flag!  Limber the cannons!  On to Washington!

Obamacare and Government Navigators

Where exactly in the Constitution is it stated that the federal government is responsible for socialistic healthcare?

Yet that is exactly what has been imposed upon this country by our federal government.  A bad law passed by politicians that did not read it, administered by a group of people (IRS) of dubious integrity on a population that does not want it!  What could go wrong?

What has gone wrong is that we are becoming a nation of ‘part-time’ employees.  Until now, businesses would often provide or assist with healthcare in larger corporations.  They are now opting out of these programs.  Healthcare for others was a burden, but it was not totally unaffordable.  Because those ‘unpatriotic’, younger people are not signing up, the cost to the remaining older population has ballooned out of sight!

Corporations laid off people in anticipation of the 20-25% increase in payroll costs due to this bill.  I say that the passage of this bill is largely responsible for the economic downturn we have suffered since its passage in 2008.  We have recovered somewhat, but not totally.  This is clearly a situation where the federal government tampered with our capitalistic system.

One of the glaring weaknesses in this program is that the federal government did not require a criminal background check of any of the ‘navigators’ that are hired to assist in enrollment in the program.  These ‘navigators’ will be taking every bit of sensitive information you have during the enrollment process.  The result?  In California alone, 43 ‘navigators’ were hired that had previous felony convictions.  Some of these convictions were for fraud!  I will guarantee that if this has happened in California, it is happening elsewhere.

Target Corporation is still attempting to recover from stolen personal information from their ordeal with its credit card holders.  How big could identity theft get at the federal government level?

Would I fight for ‘states, rights?’  Would I have fought for them at the time of our Civil War?  If I could have foreseen what our government was to become, you bet I would have  I would have fought like a hungry man fights for the last roll at that Golden Corral buffet line!

Our founding fathers had divergent opinions about  ‘states’ rights’.  It was the Hamiltonians versus the Jeffersonians.  To simplify, the people promoting a strong centralized federal government (Hamiltonians) versus the people supporting stronger states’ rights (Jeffersonians).  Our founding fathers were greatly concerned about the federal government becoming too big and too powerful –  just what we have allowed to happen today.

If you have digested what I have written in this blog, you will notice that the real issue is not ‘states’ rights,’ but personal freedoms.

We have the current administration that has used their power to eliminate or stifle political rivals.  To whit, the raid on Gibson Guitar and the IRS targeting of conservative political groups.

We have a federal government that thinks they are the most efficient at providing healthcare, when they are the last organization that should run such a program.  Have we learned nothing from welfare programs?

Our country was founded on the system of capitalism, not socialism, but every day, in every way, we are losing our individual freedoms.

The most frightening issue of all?  Our POTUS saying in his last State of the Union address that he would ‘bypass Congress on legislation concerning economic recovery.”  Are we talking dictatorship?

‘We the People’ are guaranteed of our rights in our founding documents, and ‘We the People’ deserve better government.

Our government is too big and too powerful.  Shame on us for allowing it to get this way.

I, General Robert E. ‘Grandpa T’, am putting my faithful horse, old Buffet Belly in the barn. The cannons are unlimbered.  The flag is furled.  I will have to wait until November to further wage my ‘Civil War’  in a ballot box.

COMMON SENSE – A Rare Commodity

For most of my life, I have been of the opinion that ‘common sense’ was just that – common.  As I get older and watch how the world is changing, I am now of the opinion that ‘common sense’ is a rather rare commodity.

Grandpa T’s Common Sense Rule # 2:  Never use your weed whip with your mouth open.  This is especially true if your neighbors walked their dogs on your lawn the night before.

To clarify my understanding of the term ‘common sense,’ I consulted my favorite online source of information, Wikipedia.  I am not exaggerating when I say there are 16 pages on Wikipedia about the definition and history of the term ‘common sense.’  Common sense tells me that one paragraph would have been sufficient.  For the sake of brevity, here is the first sentence of the 16 pages: ‘Common sense is a basic ability to perceive, understand, and judge things which is shared by nearly all people, and can be reasonably expected of nearly all people without any need for debate.’

Here is my argument about ‘common sense’ becoming a rare commodity.  You have just read Grandpa T’s Rule #2.  How could anyone disagree?  How could anyone disagree if I were to relate that I, Grandpa T did not heed his own advice last summer.  The result was that some multi-legged bug ended up in my mouth!  Yuck!  All people now believing that Rule #2 is the epitome of ‘common sense,’ raise your hands.  That’s what I thought.  Unanimous!

Here is the chink in the ‘common sense’ armor.  The definition says that common sense is ‘a basic ability to perceive, understand, and judge things which  is shared by nearly all people.’  What if the majority of the people understand and judge incorrectly?

An example:  Suppose you are the retiring CEO of the largest bank in the world.  Your bank has multiple branches across the U.S.  You are tasked to hire your replacement.  One candidate that applies has 18 months experience as a bank manager at one of the many banks.  Prior to that, he was a teller in another of the smaller branches.  His experience before being a teller was that he organized Girl Scout cookie sales for a large metropolitan area.    He was average in his performance at every position.  Would you hire him?

Another candidate has years of experience as CEO of a large competitive bank.  He also had years of experience as a regional manager.  He was exceptional at every position he held.

Which candidate would you hire?

By now, you smart readers realize that my analogy relates to Barack Obama and Mitt Romney.

At a critical time in our nation’s history, facing financial and budget problems galore, the majority of the American public voted to reelect for a second term the individual that caused most of the problems.  Where did common sense come into play with that decision?

Grandpa T’s Common Sense Rule #3: Never, ever believe a woman that says she does not want anything for her birthday, anniversary, or Christmas, because she has everything!  I bought into that logic just once in my life, and the divorce was greatly more expensive than the gift.

Do you know the difference between the national debt and the national deficit?

The national deficit is the difference between federal government revenues and federal government expenditures for a one year budget.  The national debt is the accumulation of these deficits.  As close as I can figure, the deficit for FY 2014 will be $744 billion.  This will result in a national debt of $18.2 trillion. (The projected national debt at the end of FY 2018 is currently projected to be $21.69 trillion!)

I bring this up for two reasons.

A few days ago, some noted financial analyst lauded the POTUS’s efforts to reduce the national deficit for the current fiscal year.  He pointed out, with the use of graphs, that our deficit is now a smaller percentage of our expenditures than with previous administrations. This noted person went on to say that, as a result, the government was not spending enough money to stimulate the economy and should consider spending more money! (The percentage is smaller, because the spending is so much higher!)  Common sense tells me that this analyst was weed whipping a marijuana field with his mouth open!

Does this pass the common sense test?  Have we not learned a thing by watching what is happening in Greece, Italy, Ireland and Spain? Ireland has pretty much resolved their financial issues.  They did it with spending cuts coupled with tax increases.  ( I agree with my friend, Banker Bob, that spending cuts and tax increases are what needs to be done here, but I want to see a viable budget first.)  Are we so contrite that we believe our government is ‘too big to fail?”  I am sure Rome had that same attitude two millennium ago.

Secondly, why do we continue to elect officials that are unwilling to face financial reality?  Could it be that the people with ‘common sense’ are being overtaken by people that have no vested interest in the U.S other than to bleed our country dry for unearned entitlements?

I find it interesting that many states in the U.S. do not require photo IDs to vote, but the country of Mexico does, in fact, require identification.  How ironic is that?  Indications are that there are one million illegal aliens in Los Angeles county alone.  What could possibly be the reason that photo ID’s are not required for voting in national elections?  Can we attribute the political life of Maxine Waters, Barbara Boxer, Harry Reed and Nancy Pelosi to illegal aliens that vote?

Grandpa T’s Common Sense Rule #1:  Politicians are more concerned with being re-elected  than with legislating for the public good.

(If I had started the blog with this at #1, you would not have read this piece!)

Need proof?  If you are in touch with the Washington happenings, you are aware that there was a budget passed just prior to Christmas.  I believe this was a first for this administration.  Have you seen any of the details about that budget?  Try as I may, I cannot find any of the details involving our landmark first Obama budget.

The reason for our first budget?  Simple.  2014 is a mid-term election year and nobody from either party wants to look like a villain before these elections.  There were more mandatory sequestration cuts that were to be implemented without a new budget.   Those cuts will now be substantially reduced even though they were not so great.  Common sense tells me that the American public got shortchanged and screwed yet again.  The can continually gets kicked further down the road.  All of this is being done for the sake of re-election.

It appears that our government has become anemic when it comes to leadership.  Rather than cutting back on welfare programs, reducing unnecessary expenditures or eliminating unnecessary bureaucracies, our elected officials would rather sink the ship – our country.  Heaven forbid a politician not give maximum attention to private interest groups and lobbyists that come with campaign contributions at the expense of doing what is right for America. (Why is it that we always appear to be running out of Social Security money, but never appear to be short of welfare money?)

There is not one person in America that does not know they should not spend more money than they earn.  Yet, we allow our government a pass.   That continual pass has now cost us trillions!

Unfortunately, many Americans do not understand the earning/spending relationship.  They have over-extended themselves with credit card debt.  They are facing foreclosure.  They clearly take their cues from our government.  Too many Americans have adopted this growing sense of entitlement, having learned it from our government.  The trickle-down effect has created a huge problem.  Outrageous spending at the expense of others!

The approval ratings for our Congress are lower than our general opinions of a slick used car salesman.  Common sense indicates that we need to elect qualified, educated, honest leaders with integrity to lead this country in the upcoming mid-term elections.

Has the American public become so apathetic concerning the shenanigans of our government that Honey Boo Boo and Kim Kardashian are deemed more important?

Americans know what is right, but Americans have also become dependent on government spending.  We have become much too willing to give up our individual freedoms in exchange for government intervention and control.

Will America wake up in time to save itself?

Common sense tells me that we will, but common sense has become a rare commodity.

The IRS ‘Army’!

Grandma P and I decided to travel the United States for 33 days.  We covered 6,700 miles, 19 states, 3 National Parks, and five grandkids.  Whew!  I now know that I have no compunction to become an over-the-road trucker.  Kudos to the men and women that can do that job day in and day out.

One thing becomes very obvious as you travel the US.  It is big, and it is beautiful.  We were in mountains, deserts, plains and northern forests.  We saw nearly every type of terrain and weather that exists in the lower 48 states.  Fly if you must, but the only way to truly see the magnificence of our country is to see it in a motor vehicle.

I conservatively figured that during our little trek, we spent close to 150 hours in the car.  Conversation can become a little stale after the first three or four thousand miles, so we did have the radio on part of the time.  During one program, someone was talking about the size of the IRS and how many employees work for the IRS.  They made a claim that the IRS was larger than six other federal government agencies combined!  Without my trusty computer on the front seat next to me, I could not prove or disapprove that statement.  And because I was driving, I had no way of writing down the list of six agencies that were mentioned on the program.  It did arouse my interest in researching this claim, however.

The Internal Revenue Service is the revenue service of the United States federal government.  The agency is a bureau of the Department of the Treasury, and it is under the immediate direction of the Commissioner of Internal Revenue.  The IRS is responsible for collecting taxes and for the interpretation and enforcement of the Internal Revenue Code.

The Internal Revenue Service was formed on July 1, 1862.  Not surprisingly, it was formed to obtain money to finance the Civil War.  The federal income tax rate at the time the agency was established was 3%!  (Wouldn’t that be great today?!)

In 2010, the IRS employed approximately 106,000 employees.  Its operating budget was approximately twelve billion dollars.  In 2010, the IRS collected over $2.4 trillion dollars from approximately 234 million tax returns.  If my math is correct, the annual budget divided by the number of employees represents a cost per employee of about $113,200.

So why write about the IRS ‘Army’?

Firstly, if you want a real challenge, try finding out exactly how many people work for the federal government by agency.  Secondly, if you want to get more attention than you likely want, try to find out how many people work for the NSA or CIA!

What I did discover was that in 2010, the following agencies had the following employees in the Department of Homeland Security:

U.S. Coast Guard                                                              8,181

U.S. Secret Service                                                           6,828

Bureau of Customs and Border Protection                      58,002

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)           7,643

Transportation Security Agency (TSA)                             50,227

All Other                                                                            38,195

Total                                                                                169,076  

It is obvious that the total number of people working for Homeland Security and its agencies is, indeed, larger than the number of IRS employees.  But it is also obvious that the two largest Homeland Security agencies, TSA and Customs and Border Protection are about the same size together as the number of IRS employees.

We have established that the IRS has a big boatload of employees.  These people are hired to be the forthright collectors of all monies rightfully owed to the federal government.  They are tasked to “root out” all tax dodgers, and bring them to justice.  They are to “assist” the unknowledgable tax payer with their fiscal responsibilities!  They are to be non-political in the pursuit of their sworn duties.  They wear white cowboy hats, carry silver badges, and ride white horses!

But wait…………………………………………….

We have recently learned that they are not as non-political as we assumed.  As a matter of fact, they got darn right political!

Beginning in March, 2010, the IRS more closely scrutinized certain organizations applying for tax-exempt status under Section 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code by focusing on groups with certain words in their names.  In May, 2010, some employees of the “Determination Unit” of the Cincinnati office of the IRS, which is tasked with reviewing applications pertaining to tax-exempt status, began developing a spreadsheet that became known as the “Be on the Look Out” list.

The list, first distributed in August 2010, suggested intensive scrutiny of applicants with names related to the Tea Party movement and other conservative causes.  Eventually, IRS employees in at least Cincinnati, Ohio, El Monte, California, Laguna Niguel, California, and Washington, D.C. administered closer scrutiny to applications from organizations that:

*  referenced words such as ‘Tea Party,’ ‘Patriots,’ ‘Israel,’ ‘progressive’, or ‘occupy’ in their case file

*  outlined issues in the application that included government spending, government debt, or taxes

*  involved advocation or lobbying to “make America a better place to live”

*  had statements in the case file that criticize how the country is being run. 

advocated education about the Constitution and the Bill of Rights

*  were focused on challenging the Affordable Care Act – known by many as Obamacare

questioned the integrity of federal elections

If this list of targeted items did not sink in or get your dander up just a little, I suggest you read the list again!  The guys with the white hats and badges used their authority to target anyone or any organization that advocated the above itemized list.  They became political hacks.  Are you perceiving that our liberty of “freedom of speech” is slowly being taken away?

What resulted from this?  From April 2010 to April 2012, the IRS essentially placed on hold the processing of applications for tax-exemption status received from organizations with “Tea Party” or “Patriots” in their names.  While apparently none of these organizations’ applications were denied during this period, only four were approved.  During the same general period, the agency approved applications from several dozen, presumably liberal-leaning organizations whose names included terms such as ‘progressive,’ ‘progress.’ ‘liberal,’ or ‘equality’.

Since this has transpired, there have been numerous calls for audits and investigations by various levels of government.  The usual “political speak” is being used extensively.  The POTUS has said, in a speech of May 13 of this year. that the charges are “outrageous” if true, and that anyone found to be responsible for such actions should be held accountable.

Here is what I think is outrageous:

1.  The IRS has targeted organizations advocating education about the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

2.  If you opposed Obamacare, you were targeted.

3.  You were targeted if you criticized how the country was being run.

4.  If you questioned the integrity of federal elections, you were targeted.

5.  And here is the biggest trigger for my  outrage:  Not one of these people within the IRS has been terminated because of this targeting program.  So much for being held accountable!

Additionally, during a recent Congressional investigative meeting, top people within the IRS were pleading the 5th Amendment to charges of targeting; and indiscriminate and excessive abuse of taxpayer monies!

Remember—this is the same group that is supposed to administer Obamacare.  No doubt, they will lobby for more people and more money!  I will predict that if they administer Obamacare, they will employ more people than the current 169,000 in the Department of Homeland Security within 5 years.

How do we correct this mess?  What would make common sense?

Firstly, there should be some very public terminations of the responsible parties.  Start in the Washington, D.C. offices of the IRS, and work your way down to the regional and district managers that practiced this policy. I assume that there would be at least one hundred to five hundred people terminated.  The underlings would see firsthand that no political hanky-panky will be tolerated.

Secondly, install new leadership from outside the current agency.

Thirdly, institute a flat tax.  Simplify the tax codes.  With a flat tax, we can eliminate 2/3 of these IRS employees.  If we allocated 50 IRS employees to each congressional district, that would result in less than 25,000 employees.  Fewer employs means less tax money wasted.

Lastly, overturn Obamacare.  This program has been an albatross around our country’s neck for too long.  As the facts become evident about this program, it appears costly, unwieldly, and not very well structured.  We do not need to increase the size of the IRS ‘Army’ to manage this program!

These are my suggestions.  Take them or leave them.  You may not agree with my solutions to the downfalls of the overgrown, selectively scrutinous IRS, but I suspect you agree this shrub needs to be trimmed.

Will anyone lose their jobs in the IRS?  Time will tell.  What is more certain is that I could be targeted by the IRS for criticizing how the country is being run by exercising my rights to freedom of speech.