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IRS engaged in 'outrageous abuse of power' warns top Democrat

Thursday, May 16, 2013 by: J. D. Heyes
Tags: IRS, abuse of power, Obama administration

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(NaturalNews) After years of political gridlock in D.C., lawmakers of competing parties are finally coming to agreement on one thing: The Obama administration is rife with corruption, as a spate of scandals which have rocked the White House since the president's second inauguration indicate.

It's hard to know which scandal - "Operation Fast and Furious," Benghazi, the Justice Department's tapping of Associated Press reporter phones or the IRS targeting conservative groups - is the most serious, but the one that seems to be the most uniting, in terms of condemnation, is the latter.

Republicans are understandably outraged because Obama is a Democrat and, well, the two parties differ greatly, both philosophically and politically. But the IRS scandal has raised the ire of top Democrats as well, and that doesn't bode well for a president who now seems to be losing at least a portion of the establishment media as well for being too arrogant, aloof and dishonest with them.

Bipartisan criticism - at last

Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont. (a primary author of Obamacare, by the way), head of the Senate Finance Committee, has promised his panel would conduct a "full investigation" into who was responsible for the targeting of conservative , "Tea Party" and "patriot" groups and if they were targeted specifically because of their political beliefs.

"These actions by the IRS are an outrageous abuse of power and a breach of the public's trust. Targeting groups based on their political views is not only inappropriate but it is intolerable," said Baucus in a statement - perhaps acutely aware that, under a Republican administration, the same thing could happen to liberal groups in the future if lawmakers from both parties don't nip this in the bud.

"Americans expect the IRS to do its job without passion or prejudice. We need to get to the bottom of what happened here. ... The IRS will now be the ones put under additional scrutiny," he said.

Obama himself seemed genuinely peeved. If reports are true - and the IRS has admitted they are - the president vowed, "I've got no patience with it. I will not tolerate it."

Though he was actually asked by a reporter at his weekly press conference about the Justice Department's seizing of AP reporters' phone records, Rep. Steny Hoyer, D-Md., a top House Democrat, nonetheless took a firm stance on the IRS scandal:

The IRS activity was inappropriate, inconsistent with our policies and practices as a country, very concerning, needs to be reviewed carefully We need to ensure that this does not happen again, and we need to find out how long it continued, when it was stopped. It is my understanding - there was a front-page story on this at the [Washington] Post - it's my understanding that [IRS official] Lois Lerner, who was apparently overseeing this, at some point in time found out about this...

Republicans respond as well

As I said, Republicans are predictably incensed as well, but just because the GOP is the opposition party does not make their criticism less worthy or credible:

-- Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Mich.: "The conclusion that the IRS came to is that they did have agents who were engaged in intimidation of political groups. I don't care if you're a conservative, a liberal, a Democrat or a Republican, this should send a chill up your spine. It needs to have a full investigation."

-- House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio: My question is, who's going to jail over this scandal? Someone made a conscious decision to harass and to hold up these requests for tax-exempt status. I think we need to know who they are and whether they violated the law. Clearly, someone violated the law.

-- All 45 Republican senators, in a letter to the president: "The American people deserve to know what actions will be taken to ensure those who made these policy decisions at the IRS are being held fully accountable and more importantly what is being done to ensure that this kind of raw partisanship is fully eliminated from these critically important non-partisan government functions."

It is said that how Obama reacts to the myriad of scandals now facing him will be a true test of his leadership. I say that a true leader would never be engulfed with a myriad of scandals in the first place.






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