Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Obama Issues Statement on IRS Abuse of Power

So now we know what exactly it takes for the White House press corps to actually hold this White House responsible for its actions.  It takes a violation of their own First Amendment rights for journalists in Washington, D.C. to finally be curious about the workings of Team Obama.  It took the discovery that the Department of Justice was demanding phone records from the Associated Press in pursuit of a source of alleged national security leaks to stiffen the spine of the White House press corps and demand some answers about other scandals, too.

It has been a very bad week for Barack Obama and his loyalists.  With the work week barely half way complete, President Obama was forced to come out before those who cover his every move after 6:00PM and issue a very brief statement on the ever growing scandal concerning the IRS.  He issued no apologies to those conservative groups targeted since 2010.  He took no responsibility - "the buck stops here" was never uttered.

He claimed he was angry over the abusive practices in place used by the IRS to target conservative groups and deny them tax exempt status. He, however, never really either sounded angry or looked angry.

"I've reviewed the Treasury Department watchdog's report, and the misconduct that it uncovered was inexcusable," Obama said in a statement at the White House. "It's inexcusable, and Americans are right to be angry about it, and I'm angry about it."
He said the acting commissioner of the IRS submitted his resignation to Treasury Secretary Jack Lew and that resignation has been accepted.

President Obama fired acting IRS Commissioner Steven Miller on Wednesday, two days after claiming it was an "independent" agency. That was certainly a rapid re-education. But Mr. Miller shouldn't be the only fall guy, because the 54-page report released Tuesday by the Treasury Inspector General of Tax Administration makes clear that the tax agency tried to quash the political speech of groups opposed to Democrats during a Presidential election.Beginning in early 2010, the report says, IRS officials in Cincinnati began using "inappropriate criteria that identified for review Tea Party and other organizations applying for tax-exempt status based upon their names or policy positions instead of indications of potential political campaign intervention." The Cincinnati workers also developed a spreadsheet that was dubbed "Be On The Look Out" with key words to target conservative groups.Over the next 18 months those groups found their applications delayed, and they were served with aggressive and burdensome questionnaires as part of the process of applying for tax-exempt status. Of the 170 groups that got requests for extra information, the Treasury report finds that 98 or 58% of the requests were unnecessary.

President Obama stated three points in his brief statement Wednesday night - timed beautifully to coincide with the end of the evening news shows - which were: 1. Hold responsible parties accountable. Acting Comm of IRS resignation accepted. 2. Put in place new safeguards. 3.Work with Congress in oversight.  
If he is to hold people accountable, he'll need to fire a few more people than the one he's fired so far. What does it say that he hasn't bothered to appoint a full commissioner to the IRS, going into his second term, anyway? The IRS expands to even larger numbers with the implementation of Obamacare.
Also, it was not the lack of laws that caused this abuse of power. It was the lawbreakers that are responsible for this scandal. The laws are already there.
This president has proven to be completely lacking in leadership skills.  He has been incredibly partisan in his speech, including commencement addresses to recent college graduates.  He is thin-skinned and unable to separate criticism of his political philosophy and policies from himself.  Every criticism is considered a personal attack.  HERE is a good summary of the verbal challenges Barack Obama has issued to the loyal followers in dealing with Republicans or conservatives or any opponent. It is, therefore, rather a stretch to believe his honesty as he calls once again for a united front from all Americans to confront any issue.
This scandal grows by the day.  Barack Obama's very bad week is not over. The AP scandal continues as well as the Benghazi cover-up story.

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