“You are the Internal Revenue Service. You can reach into the lives of hard-working taxpayers and with a phone call, an e-mail or a letter you can turn their lives upside down. You ask taxpayers to hang onto seven years of their personal tax information in case they are ever audited, and you can’t keep six months’ worth of employee e-mails?” Paul Ryan
Media bias is one thing, but government bias toward individual American citizens is another; and in this case they go together. We’re in dangerous territory, not to mention it being a disservice to millions.
Everyone is affected by IRS tax codes and all working citizens – even liberals – are (supposedly) susceptible to potential scrutiny including a dreaded IRS audit. Some may be able to look past the truth relating to Benghazi, Fast and Furious, “green energy” scandals, government waste and fraud, ObamaCare, Common Core, the national debt, and a list of other subjects, but shouldn’t we care about what the IRS has done – and still may be doing to people just like you and me?
Similar to the press, the IRS is responsible for serving all people in the country, not just the ones they agree with politically, but where the media is concerned, too many have been on a hiatus of sorts since Barack Obama was elected in 2008. When Democrats are in charge in Washington, the media seem to relax and enjoy the run, but when Republicans run things, the media holds them accountable and their work ethic returns with greater intensity, endurance, and persistence leaving no stone unturned in their investigations and political reporting.
The Internal Revenue Service scandal actually began back in April 2010, but as evidence mounted and cover-ups were unable to be sustained any longer, the dam finally broke wide open by May 2013. As I reviewed details of the IRS investigation, I was reminded of the level of indisputable corruption within the Agency as well as the many lies told in an attempt to delay the truth from being revealed.
Sharyl Attkisson reported in September 2014 computer crashes caused the IRS to lose emails from five more employees who happen to be under investigation by Congress in the case involving the targeting of conservatives. At this time, more than twenty IRS employees have allegedly had their computers crash which caused the deletion or the loss of their emails as well as hard drives. Apparently, only conservatives and Republicans in government agencies are required by law to back-up their data on external hard drives.
A Senate subcommittee report confirmed the findings that “the IRS picked conservative groups out of normal processing, forced them to answer intrusive questions about their behavior and demeanor at meetings, and delayed their applications for multiple years.” The investigation uncovered no evidence liberal groups received the same inappropriate treatment conservative groups received. Two of the IRS agents involved worked in a Cincinnati office processing applications for tax-exempt status, and the most well-known computer crash victim is former IRS Exempt Organizations Division Director, Lois Lerner.
Under Lerner’s watch, from April 2010 to April 2012, the IRS placed holds on the processing of hundreds of applications for tax-exempt status from organizations known to be conservative. We now know some of the labels that were flagged by the IRS for special attention were those with “Tea Party,” “Patriots,” “Take Back the Country,” “We the People,” or “9/12” in their names. During those two years, the IRS only approved four applications from conservative groups while giving a green light to those whose names included “Liberal,” “Progress,” “Progressive,” or “Equality,” to name a few.
By intimidating conservative groups and limiting their ability to freely campaign and mobilize for a cause or candidate, the IRS indirectly affected the outcomes of elections across the United States. The impact of this illegal activity still has some residual effect on conservative organizations today. Many fair minded citizens believe IRS activity had an influence on the 2012 Presidential Election; we just don’t fully know to what degree.
In February of 2014, it was also learned of the already-existing nonprofits flagged for IRS Surveillance, 83% were conservative. The government monitored the group’s activities, their websites, and other publicly available information. Moreover, other sources reported even citizens donating to tea party-affiliated groups were audited ten times more than average Americans.
But one of the most glaring facts revealing Democrat-control and corruption is that of all the groups the IRS selected for audit, 100% of them were conservative.
On top of the proof the IRS used “inappropriate criteria” to review applications from tea party and other conservative groups, House Ways and Means Chairman, Dave Camp (R-MI) stated:
“We now know that the IRS targeted not only right-leaning applicants, but also right-leaning groups that were already operating as 501(c)(4)s.”
In April 2014, TownHall.com’s Katie Pavlich reported that Judicial Watch released documents showing IRS officials, including Lois Lerner, not just silencing conservatives, but also discussing the possibility of bringing criminal charges against tea party groups for engaging in “political activity.” In fact, the documents showed Lerner wanted to bring charges against someone and make an example out of them in order to intimidate or squelch all of the groups in the tea party movement.
According to House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, Lerner had a database (1.1 million pages) of tax exempt organizations sent to the FBI just before the 2010 midterm elections. It should concern most Americans that Obama’s DOJ, the IRS, and the FBI were working together to advance a scheme to criminally prosecute conservative organizations!
Even in the face of these facts, Democrats insist it was just another phony scandal Republicans were trying to extend as the November 2014 Midterm elections drew closer. Former Attorney General Eric Holder has turned down numerous requests from congressional Republicans for a special prosecutor. One of the most detailed and extensive timelines revealing the order of events relating to the IRS targeting of conservative groups is on the website of Discover the Networks, a resource you will most likely want to bookmark and research. Check out this extensive timeline and make up your own mind.
Sadly, the IRS saga continues and conveniently for Democrats in power, the whole truth will never be fully known due to the successful cover-up by government as well as the media’s minimizing of the truth. In all honesty, what kind of outcome do you suppose we would have had in this scandal had there been a Republican president in the White House and the targeting was done to liberal groups? The media would have reported on the story quite differently.
CBS was a day late covering the Lerner missing emails development and rather than give air time to the fact the IRS lied about her hard drive crashing when it was actually just “scratched,” the story appeared only on the CBS News website. NBC was the least interested in keeping its viewers informed on the developments as they failed to mention the story for an entire month!
Geoffrey Dickens at Newsbusters reported that none of the networks mentioned the latest details in the IRS scandal and summed up the network negligence in one sentence:
“The saga of Lois Lerner’s missing emails took a bunch of twists and turns this past week, but you wouldn’t know that if you only got your news from the Big Three (ABC, CBS, NBC) networks.”
The fact our First Amendment rights are being threatened should concern every one of us who cares about free speech and expression, whether that be religious or political. In the midst of all this, the IRS actually proposed new regulations at the end of 2013 that would prevent 501(c)(4) groups from engaging in political activity. It seems they were not affected by the investigation or perhaps they hadn’t heard about it.
What have we learned? The IRS has operated as one of President Obama’s most powerful weapons to divert, intimidate, and punish his opposition. This corrupt government agency is no longer just collecting taxes and keeping records of revenue, nor is the IRS “serving” all Americans the way we would like to think.
This is not just about politics, it is about the freedom to share our views including the good news of salvation through Jesus Christ. The effort we make to speak the truth is a God-ordained endeavor. Striving for integrity and truth in media is important, and as Christians our ultimate aim must be living for and obeying God. How soon will it be before our government punishes us for our faith and forces us to choose? It’s here; believers are already being discriminated against and silenced so we better raise awareness while we can.
Sharyl Attkisson, Associated Press, “IRS Says it has Lost Emails from 5 More Employees, 9/5/2014
Robert Wilde/Breitbart “IRS Targets Tea Party and Conservative Non Profits for Audit,” 2/12/2014
Katie Pavlich, “Breaking: New Emails Show Lois Lerner was in Contact with DOJ About Prosecuting Tax Exempt Groups,” 4/16/2014
Discover The Networks, THE IRS SCANDAL: TIMELINE
Geoffrey Dickens, “Networks Refuse to Report Latest IRS Scandal Revelations,” 7/28/2014