IRS and Us
Recently many citizens completed the task of sending the tax owed the Federal government for 2013. Although this task probably doesn’t excite patriotic passions in anyone, most of us are resigned to accept it as a necessity. At a minimum we enjoy the protection it affords. And although the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has never conjured admiration lately it seems they may be creating more fear than necessary.A May 14, 2013 report by the Treasury Inspector General identified an inconsistency in the way political groups were treated by the IRS along the lines of political leanings. It states the IRS "used inappropriate criteria that identified for review Tea Party and other organizations applying for tax-exempt status," at a rate much higher than left leaning applicants. IRS personnel had testified before Congress, approval delays were due to the increased number of conservative group applications. The Inspector General did not agree. While Senators Shumer, Durbin, and others corresponded with the IRS, saying Tea Party groups are dangerous, IRS employees in a Dallas office were violating the Hatch Act by openly campaigning for Obama. In April of 2012, Human Rights Watch, a gay rights advocacy group, posted on its web site confidential documents submitted to the IRS by the National Organization for Marriage. This is still under investigation, despite the President’s assertion of “not even a smidgen of corruption.” It appears the IRS could be becoming a weapon for use against political enemies. If you respected them before, do we now have reason to fear them even more? On February 21the Federal Communications Commission cancelled plans to conduct ‘critical information needs’ study which was to include questions to news outlets about how editorial content decisions are made. It appears the program was cancelled over concerns about the implications of the Federal government critiquing private media organizations. It seems to us the Federal government is behaving in a manor damaging to their own credibility. If this behavior continues unchecked we the citizens could suffer.