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Bryan Preston

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April 15, 2014 - 8:41 am

The government says it has stopped one of its illegal activities, according to the Washington Post.

The Social Security Administration announced Monday that it will immediately cease efforts to collect on taxpayers’ debts to the government that are more than 10 years old.

The action comes after The Washington Post reported that the government was seizing state and federal tax refunds that were on their way to about 400,000 Americans who had relatives who owed money to the Social Security agency. In many cases, the people whose refunds were intercepted had never heard of any debt, and the debts dated as far back as the middle of the past century.

“I have directed an immediate halt to further referrals under the Treasury Offset Program to recover debts owed to the agency that are 10 years old and older pending a thorough review of our responsibility and discretion under the current law,” the acting Social Security commissioner, Carolyn Colvin, said in a statement.

Hm. That “discretion under current law” may be a major caveat. The confiscations without warning that were taking place were allowed because someone — we still don’t know who — snuck a change of the statute of limitations into the 2008 farm bill. So from that perspective, “current law” allowed Treasury to do what it was doing.

But children are not obligated to pay their parents’ debts from their own assets, according to the Federal Trade Commission. Treasury was violating that in taking the children’s tax refunds. And there’s the matter of due process, which the federal government was just ignoring outright. Someone should face prosecution for violating Americans’ rights.

Along with the Washington Post’s Marc Fisher, who deserves credit for reporting the government’s actions in the first place, Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley deserves credit for taking the issue on from Congress.

In a letter to Treasury Secretary Jack Lew on Monday, Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa) said that government agencies were apparently “not properly notifying individuals or allowing them to inspect records of the debt they supposedly owe, which are violations of the law.”

Grassley said that although Congress did authorize the government to seek payment on old debts, the law “says nothing about allowing the government to offset payments from an individual to pay debts not in his or her name. It is unclear where the government has that authority.”

The senator said that Congress created a rigorous system to ensure that debt collection is handled transparently but that “it appears that agencies are abusing this system.”

Well, we have an abusive government that beats up on law-abiding citizens.

Bryan Preston has been a leading conservative blogger and opinionator since founding his first blog in 2001. Bryan is a military veteran, worked for NASA, was a founding blogger and producer at Hot Air, was producer of the Laura Ingraham Show and, most recently before joining PJM, was Communications Director of the Republican Party of Texas.

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Stealing accumulated wealth by targeting specific citizens and then robbing them of their funds is not really any different than stealing citizens rights by targeting specific political groups and depriving them of their liberties.

The outrage of this contemptible assault on certain citizens is now an established pattern and practice of high crime activity by a seditious group running this government.

Departmental agencies are being used to go on a rampage. A supervisor at the DOJ's Civil Rights Division has said that civil rights do not belong to white people.

The IRS has targeted only certain people for abuse.

The EPA and Bureau of Land Management is stealing land and selectively enforcing its laws to punish a certain group of people.

This is NOT a pattern and practice that should be resisted by The Ministry of Stern Notes.

Citizens of this nation are under assault by the government. This isn't a Ruby Ridge matter or a Waco matter. This is sedition in the heartland.

There ought to be an independent prosecutor assigned to investigate EACH AND EVERY instance. No exceptions. And a separate investigation team assigned to report to a REPUBLICAN administrator and an overseer.

I nominate Jeff Sessions to lead the program. Trey Gowdy to be the liaison between the prosecutors and the people and if this administration blocks the investigation, then the people should pay to conduct their own.

The government is now officially acting as an abuser of a certain group of citizens. Stern Notes aren't the answer to this any longer.
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