Tuesday, May 14, 2013
Obama Is Guilty of a Failure to Manage His Administration
The Internal Revenue Service, the often-feared US federal agency that collects taxes, has been targeting US constitutionalists, tea party organizations, and other conservative groups for excessive scrutiny and harrassment by tagging certain names with codes to indicate that they should be subjected to thoroughgoing, but illegal, investigative techniques. The coded criteria were later expanded to include groups that promoted the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. In some cases, the IRS acknowledged, agents inappropriately asked for lists of donors. This is not the first IRS impropriety, but unlike other recurring IRS problems, this one attacks not just individual "enemies" but also a broad cross section of American citizens concerned about the growing unconstitutional actions of their government. One IRS function is to award non-profit tax status to organizations that engage in charitable, social and religious activities. But instead of treating those requests in an unbiased manner, IRS officials began tracking them and slowed up decision-making on their requests. This cuts to the heart of the American political ideal that government should be small and inobtrusive and that people should be treated equally within the context of government and law enforcement. Numerous congressional committees already are investigating the IRS for singling out tea party and other conservative groups during the 2010 congressional elections and the 2012 presidential election. The House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Oversight has demanded that the IRS provide by Wednesday all communications involving the words "tea party,""conservative" or "patriot." The committee also is demanding the names and titles of all individuals who were involved in targeting conservative non-profit groups for extra scrutiny. And today, the Justice Department has announced that it is opening a criminal investigation into the IRS targeting of these groups for extra scrutiny over whether they qualified for tax exempt status. Attorney General Eric Holder said the FBI is coordinating with the Department of Justice to see if any laws were broken. Holder's announcement came a day after President Barack Obama said that if the agency intentionally targeted such groups, "that's outrageous and there's no place for it." The agency blamed low-level employees in a Cincinnati office, saying no high-level officials were aware. Acting IRS Commissioner Miller said the agency has implemented new procedures that will "ensure the mistakes won't be repeated." Miller was informed on May, 3, 2012, that applications for tax-exempt status by tea party groups were inappropriately singled out for extra scrutiny. On July 25, 2012, Miller testified before the House Ways and Means oversight subcommittee, but again did not mention the additional scrutiny, despite being asked about it. ~~~~~ Dear readers, this is a huge disclosure that indicates the extent to which the US federal political bureaucracy under President Obama is uncontrolled. The Civil Service handles regular emloyment issues for permanent federal employees correctly enough. But, these permanent civil servants work in sections managed by presidential political appointees approved by Congress. It is at this level that policy formulation and management occur. These political appointees are connected to their secretaries and, through and with them, to White House staff experts and to the President. If we can stretch our credulity sufficiently to accept that the President did not directly order harrassment of his conservative opponents during two national election periods -- the President is still responsible. He likes to talk about being commander-in-chief. But he is also administrator-in-chief. So far, he has failed dismally in this part of his job. It isn't glamorous or headline-grabbing. UNTIL the administration fails. The Obama administration has failed. Miserably.