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The Mother of Scandals Is Always Pregnant

August 15th, 2013 - 11:08 am

I have to disagree with Victor. The mother of all scandals is the taxman.

Benghazi is an event, a terrible event, but the systematic use of the IRS as an instrument of oppression, the omnipresent long arm of the state-to-be, is even worse. It’s a crucial instrument for redistributing wealth, for intimidating critics, and for preventing political opponents from amassing the wherewithal to challenge the would-be tyrants.

Moreover, it serves as cover for collecting sensitive information about us. Sure, the NSA megadata collection is scary, but the IRS is right there, not only putting the Tea Party in purgatory but even grabbing medical records that include very private matters, as emerges in a California law suit.

The suit alleges that IRS agents seized tens of millions of medical records in the course of a search in connection with an investigation of a single person’s failure to pay taxes to the IRS’s full satisfaction:

“These medical records contained intimate and private information of more than 10,000,000 Americans, information that by its nature includes information about treatment for any kind of medical concern, including psychological counseling, gynecological counseling, sexual or drug treatment, and a wide range of medical matters covering the most intimate and private of concerns,” the complaint reads.

That sort of information can be quite damaging if it shows up on your local news show, and it stretches one’s imagination to figure out what would justify such a massive data grab in a matter concerning a lone taxpayer. Time will tell, but it seems of a piece with the pell-mell rush to get all possible information about all of us, and with ensuring that the regime’s political opponents won’t be able to fund electoral campaigns.

Obviously, when we hear “IRS” in the same paragraph as “medical records,” we are reminded that the IRS will play a lead role in the enforcement of Obamacare. The more we look at the IRS scandal, the more worrisome it becomes.

If you want to see where an unrestrained tax collector can bring a modern society, have a look at Italy, where most citizens understandably jump through hoops to reduce their tax burden. When I was a correspondent in Rome some forty years ago, a leading economist calculated that the marginal tax rate was actually 123%. You had to find a way to avoid paying all those taxes.

The last Italian government, headed by an economics professor named Mario Monti, constantly blamed non-payment of taxes for many of the country’s economic ailments. It unleashed the Treasury police to track down the most egregious cases, a practice that is deadly for a lot of high-end tourism (a big source of revenue, lest we forget). Elegantly dressed officials of the Guardia di Finanza now swoop into the country’s most elegant resorts, interrogating restauranteurs, retail shop owners, spa managers, and tourists who rent or own yachts this time of year. They’re looking for cash transactions that might not be declared in full, and they’re often very aggressive. It’s now routine for them to board yachts and start asking questions of the passengers:

“Is this your boat?”

“How much did it cost? How did you pay for it?”

“To whom did you pay it?”

And so forth. Predictably, the yachts that usually frequent places like Capri, Sardegna’s Emerald Coast, and the Amalfi-Positano stretch, with its many marvelous restaurants with sea access, have gone elsewhere, like Croatia.

Comments are closed.

Top Rated Comments   
So Benghazi was a (criminal) event but the IRS is a (criminal) campaign? Therefore the one-off is not as bad as the ever-present? Is that what you are saying? If so you have got the two things out of perspective.
The constitution says the POTUS can be impeached if he "assists the enemy on the field of battle". He can also be impeached for "gross misdemeanors". Which is worse? The one which takes life.
Oppression, theft, false imprisonment, slander and many other crimes may be bad. But death is final. There is no comeback. If the POTUS kills you its all over.
If we allow the POTUS to kill us then what is worse? Better to let him steal our money than our lives.
If we do not defend each other against a traitor then how can we defend each other against the enemy?
If the Armed Forces are led by a traitor then we are just waiting for a new attack. Why so passive? Why don't we resist evil?
In criminal law if you can prevent a murder but you refuse to stop the murder, then you are an accomplice. In military law if the enemy attacks and you can beat the enemy but you refuse to beat the enemy, then you have assisted the enemy.
34 weeks ago
34 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (29)
All Comments   (29)
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I'm with you Michael. Benghazi was a policy failure resulting in the death of our ambassador and other brave Americans and it was shamelessly covered up. But in all the years since Watergate I have been completely unimpressed by the various attempts to impeach the president on various charges. Reagan for Iran Contra, wee willie for mistaking his intern for a humidor, and Dubya for getting his backside in a crack in Iraq. Pfui. But using the IRS to hobble political organizations? Actually it could well be a worse attack on the integrity of the political system than burglarizing the opposing party. I think Roger Simon is right that the way to stop Hillary is to keep the Benghazi scandal alive and a hurdle for her in 2016. But that is normal politics - keeping the heat on an opponent over their mistakes and attempts to cover them up.
34 weeks ago
34 weeks ago Link To Comment
In the interim, Before Levin gets his Constitutional Amendments and Cruz abolishes the IRS, we need a mechanism to prevent this thing from happening. It's clear that the IRS employees we know about were all perfectly content to deny the Tea Party (c)4's the equal protection of the laws, and the scandal only came to light years after it was implemented by the IRS IG, so I would label the whole organization suspect. But the Obamanauts have found a way around the various departmental IGs; when there is a vacancy, just don't fill it.

I suggest an outside board of overseers, equally divided by party, with an audit team that would roam the IRS much as auditors roam private businesses, and make public reports periodically.

Now there is no mechanism that cannot be corrupted if enough people are willing to go along, but at least it would take them a few election cycles to get it done.
34 weeks ago
34 weeks ago Link To Comment
Howabout this. We love the law and enforce it. We're going to find out pretty damn quick just how corrupt the feds have become. Honestly? Abolish the IRS.

Mail your taxes in an envelope and let the burden of proof rest with the government. Keep taxes not just low, but very low. Who wants to go to jail over pennies. Our government has made taxation such a high stakes game that many are willing to risk the consequences because the reward is worth it.
Taxation should be a minor nuisance like cutting the grass or washing the car.
The government should go for volume--a low flat tax RATE from EVERYONE.
Then every American earns a say because every American becomes a taxpayer.
34 weeks ago
34 weeks ago Link To Comment
Would that more countries learn from the mistakes made by the US.

I have yet to receive an honest answer, from those who want gov't to be more powerful, to this question: Why should I trust gov't with as much information as they want?
34 weeks ago
34 weeks ago Link To Comment
Of course this is worse than Benghazi. Why is it always so hard for Republicans to tell when they're being gang-raped? One notes that federal retirees watching the clock on the way to The Great Croaking (plenty of 'em round here) seem especially perplexed. Indelicately, that's a convenient form of fretting/amnesia that smells like last week's fish.

For everyone else it's easy: it's your money they're guzzling at the IRS and throughout the bureaucracy.You decide.
How 'bout:
1/ de-unionize all federal employees;
2/ increase independent auditing; initiate flamboyant show trials g'teeing public humiliation for time-serving flunkies everywhere; (friendly media can acually DO something for a change)
3/ harrass, ahem, 'interview' flunkies' kids as they leave school ('Hey, Sally, why do people think mommy is a c***");
4/ cancel/reduce trougher pensions by at least 60pc;
5/ shoot when needed to encourage concentration.
...They won't give ground willingly, you know, they have to be forced.

Picking up someone else's thought from a couple of days ago:
What would Davy Crockett do? Well...
What would Rachel/Janet/Lois do?
Who do you think would win?

Those are the easy questions.
The hard one: Is it worth partition/schism/unilateral declarations of independence, given the perils of the untested route to constitutional amendment or secession? More specifically, Mark Levin (The Liberty Amendments, Amazon #1) has a powerful analytical mind and is a true and rare friend of freedom, but he's a little late in the day. So what d'you do?
One thing is clear: the present mess is unstable and unacceptable.
34 weeks ago
34 weeks ago Link To Comment
Absolutely tear down the IRS and start over. The new IRS should concern itself only with numbers and not with the private beliefs of anyone. No one, even the richest among us should pay more than a 10% tithe to support the government.
34 weeks ago
34 weeks ago Link To Comment
Cui bono? The Junta itself leaked the IRS scandal apparently to try to knock Benghazi off the front page. The only way that makes sense to me, since you're right, the IRS thing is more compelling to most people, is to keep any Benghazi stink away from Hillary Clinton, the Junta's annointed successor. In any event, there's nothing much the Republicans can do about the IRS matter except grumble; it's a phony, partisan "scandal" after all and there isn't even a hint of any real FBI or other law enforcement investigation of it. Maybe some state AG should stop snoring long enough to see if s/he can find a state law cause of action; after all many state taxes are based on one's federal taxes.

I believe the Junta now has the mechanisms in place to win any close election. I believe all the fawning stories about the dedicated volunteer computer geeks and selfless college students who built the OFA databases are just a legend to cover for the Junta mining NSA data; they can now build "voters" and vote them at will without risk of getting caught by poll workers or troglodyte Republican DAs - so long as the election is close. If the Junta's candidate is trailing by ten or twenty points in the polls, they can't credibly steal an election while maintaining the illusion that we still have free and fair elections and a Constitutional republic.

Hillary can't have enough stink attach to her that she falls too far in the polls. Right now people who believe as I do can be dismissed as right wing nuts. If HRC is trailing by ten or fifteen points in the polls but ekes out a win, maybe even MN-style by counting them until they get it right, even somnulent Republican governors and AGs might be roused to action and we wingnuts might start shooting; can't have that and maintain the illusion.

I believe we were doing something very bad in Benghazi and I believe that HRC was up to her ears in it. If the Junta wasn't acting as an agent of the Muslim Brotherhood, what would it have done differently? If our policy in the entire MENA wasn't to turn over every regime friendly to the US and not overly hostile to Israel to the Brotherhood and radical Islam, what would we have done differently? The Saudis and Kuwaiti knew they were next and in concert with the Russians have thwarted us in Syria and now Egypt. That said, the Soros Junta has undone everything US policy in the ME had accomplished since the Yom Kippur War. $50 Billion in aide to Egypt has been flushed and the Egyptian Army is right back where it was under Nassar; looking to Russia. No government in the MENA, nay the World, will ever trust the US again for decades if ever. Just as in South East Asia we have abandoned an ally and everyone who sided with us is going to die. I believe the Soros Junta's objective was to eliminate the US as an actor capable of a unilateral action in World affairs; they have succeeded and they intend to not allow the US to rebuild its power and prestige. The feckless Carter brought on Reagan; they'll do everything in their power to see that that doesn't happen again.
34 weeks ago
34 weeks ago Link To Comment
" I believe all the fawning stories about the dedicated volunteer computer geeks and selfless college students who built the OFA databases are just a legend to cover for the Junta mining NSA data; they can now build "voters" and vote them at will without risk of getting caught by poll workers or troglodyte Republican DAs-"

I think you've given me a new term, 'vote laundering.'
34 weeks ago
34 weeks ago Link To Comment
How do you say IRS in Russian?

KGB
34 weeks ago
34 weeks ago Link To Comment
So Benghazi was a (criminal) event but the IRS is a (criminal) campaign? Therefore the one-off is not as bad as the ever-present? Is that what you are saying? If so you have got the two things out of perspective.
The constitution says the POTUS can be impeached if he "assists the enemy on the field of battle". He can also be impeached for "gross misdemeanors". Which is worse? The one which takes life.
Oppression, theft, false imprisonment, slander and many other crimes may be bad. But death is final. There is no comeback. If the POTUS kills you its all over.
If we allow the POTUS to kill us then what is worse? Better to let him steal our money than our lives.
If we do not defend each other against a traitor then how can we defend each other against the enemy?
If the Armed Forces are led by a traitor then we are just waiting for a new attack. Why so passive? Why don't we resist evil?
In criminal law if you can prevent a murder but you refuse to stop the murder, then you are an accomplice. In military law if the enemy attacks and you can beat the enemy but you refuse to beat the enemy, then you have assisted the enemy.
34 weeks ago
34 weeks ago Link To Comment
The mother of all scandals is the one which is the bane of every citizen's existence - the onerous and unquenchable IRS! In fact, aside from NSAgate, IRSgate is the arena which EVERY American can identify with and wants nothing more than to vanquish.

So, as the scandal mushrooms, it becomes a rallying point for all to coalesce around - http://adinakutnicki.com/2013/08/06/irsgate-smokin-hot-e-mails-when-will-the-peoples-nightmare-end-commentary-by-adina-kutnicki/

This nightmare will end when individuals become so fed up they will find ways to 'punish' this same beast which gives them incessant heartburn. Think outside the box....

Adina Kutnicki, Israel http://adinakutnicki.com/about/
34 weeks ago
34 weeks ago Link To Comment
Tax reform will not go near far enough, we need to _REPLACE_ the tax code.
34 weeks ago
34 weeks ago Link To Comment
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