AGENCY STILL TRYING TO SILENCE THOSE WHO SUPPORT FREEDOM, FREE MARKETS
|| by RON PAUL || This week the Justice Department announced it would not charge former Internal Revenue Service (IRS) official Lois Lerner with contempt of Congress. Some members of Congress requested that Lerner be charged with contempt after she refused to testify at a congressional hearing investigating her role in denying or delaying the applications for tax-exempt status of “tea party” and pro-limited government organizations.
Cynics might suggest it is not surprising that a former government official would avoid prosecution for refusing to tell Congress about how federal employees abused their power to help the incumbent administration. These cynics have a point, but the problem goes beyond mere partisanship. Government officials are rarely prosecuted for even the most blatant violations of our liberties. In contrast, federal prosecutors routinely pursue criminal charges against whistleblowers. For example, the only American prosecuted and imprisoned in relation to the government’s use of torture was whistleblower John Kiriakou!
While some officials like Lois Lerner who find themselves at the center of a high-profile scandal or partisan dispute can expect harsh treatment from Congress, this is the expectation, not the rule. Executive branch officials usually receive deferential treatment from members of Congress. I recall one hearing on government surveillance where a representative actually apologized to a government official because Congress had the gall to ask that official to testify about the government’s ongoing surveillance of the American people.
In contrast, private citizens called before Congress are harangued and even bullied. Congress should stop using the hearing process to intimidate private citizens and start using it to intimidate those government officials who are threatening our liberty. For example, Congress should continue to investigate the IRS’s ongoing attempts to silence organizations that work to advance free markets and individual liberty.
My Campaign for Liberty organization has had to battle an IRS demand that it hand over personal information regarding some of its top donors. The IRS is either ignoring, or ignorant of, the numerous precedents protecting the right of organizations like the Campaign for Liberty to protect their members’ privacy from government officials.
The IRS is drafting a new regulation that would empower the agency to revoke an organization’s tax-exempt status if that organization sends out a communication to its members or the general public mentioning a candidate for office by name sixty days before an election or thirty days before a primary. By preventing groups from telling their members where candidates stand on issues like Audit the Fed and repeal of the PATRIOT Act, this anti-First Amendment regulation benefits those politicians who wish to hide their beliefs from the voters.
Since the IRS’s power stems from the tax system, the only way to protect our liberty from this agency is to eliminate the tax code. Promising to end the IRS is a popular applause line for politicians wishing to appear as champions of liberty. This week, John Koskinen, the current IRS commissar, responded to these cries to end the IRS by pointing out that shutting down the IRS would deprive Congress of the revenue needed to fund the welfare-warfare state. Koskinen has a point. Congress cannot shut down the IRS until it enacts major reductions in all areas of government spending.
Politicians who vote for warfare abroad and welfare at home yet claim they want to shut down the IRS should not be taken seriously. Freeing the people from the IRS’s tyranny is one of the best reasons to end the welfare-warfare state and return the federal government to its constitutional limitations.
Ron Paul is a former U.S. Congressman from Texas and the leader of the pro-liberty, pro-free market movement in the United States. His weekly column – reprinted with permission – can be found here.
If the government goons were with RonPaul, and his stupid crap…he’d be all for government intimidation. His protege FITS is nothing but an underwear drawer bandit…who cannot wait to splash the details of private lives all over the internet….to intimidate those he hates, politically….
What? Thats the silliest thing Ive heard in a very long time. There are YouTube Videos from 30 years ago of Ron Paul saying EXACTLY what he is saying now [including in this article]. He and others have been vocal on this issue for decades. Sorry bub, but one little smear ad is obvious & silly. Ron Paul has personally used his power in congress to help people wrongly affected by IRS code for years. The proof is in the pudding. Ron Paul had the chance to side with the elite political establishment in 2012 when his presidential campaign was large, impactful & well funded,BUT, hes chose not to side with them. Instead he just kept beating the same drum “that a large federal government will result in much corruption & the loss of liberty for the people”. That is exactly what is happening to us. Our government is becoming tyrannical. Not full blown yet but very close.
Can we find that picture of the pro-football player peeing on the IRS building?
Congressman Paul (the older) has been championing a canceling of the IRS mandates for more than a decade.
This week the Justice Department, a wholly owned partner in Obama Inc where no “Minority”, Democrat or Democrat ally can do any wrong, announced it would not charge former Internal Revenue Service (IRS) official Lois Lerner with contempt of Congress.
There fixed it for you.
This too is outside of the framework of congressional mandate to try and convict for “contempt” those in the administration who seek to deceive or mislead congress.
One would think that the administration was running the entire show. … Oh Bummer?
You’re right – it is outside the Congressional mandate which is why one would expect that the freaking Justice department, a wholly owned partner in Obama Inc where no “Minority”, Democrat or Democrat ally can do any wrong, would do something about it.
There’s no doubt she’s guilty as hell, the real concern is just how far up the chain the breadcrumbs would lead…
All good reasons to reject Lynch as just another one. Just another administration flunky for the “progressive” taxsuckers.
I look forward to a loving,kind & just IRS under Republican leadership.
Your point is valid, but under Democrat leadership, they don’t even bother reaching for the phone to phone it in. They have always been used as a stealth domestic terror weapon by both parties. That only reenforces the need to abolish.
That is fantasy island, can I go visit you there? :)
Only if you’re wearing a thong.
Oh gosh, I might get kicked off that Island. Better go nude ;)
That’s a republican attitude … Kicked off or kicked in the balls?
LOL – Well, I’m no Hillary so not sure what they are going to kick at, maybe some sand between the legs? Huh? :)
How about a Tea Party leadership? … Or a libertarian leadership?
Screw the TP, they have done enough damage. libertarian – maybe. I prefer an Independent thinker.
While I agree Lois Lerner should be fired and loved her squirm under the scrutiny of Trey Gowdy.
All the IRS is doing in this case”The IRS is drafting a new regulation that would empower the agency to revoke an organization’s tax-exempt status if that organization sends out a communication to its members or the general public mentioning a candidate for office by name sixty days before an election or thirty days before a primary. By preventing groups from telling their members where candidates stand on issues like Audit the Fed and repeal of the PATRIOT Act, this anti-First Amendment regulation benefits those politicians who wish to hide their beliefs from the voters.”
Is mostly enforcing the regulations that are already on the book. Tax exempt entities are not supposed to endorse politicians. They can talk about issues, but part of the guidelines for becoming a tax-exempt organization states they are not supposed to endorse. Let me see if I can find current regulation.
You mean that all the IRS is doing is “drafting a new regulation” that would have to be OKed by congress? … and the Supremes … and The People … And would they all approve that? … Or will this have to be yet another “executive order”?
The IRS law has always been the same, they are only enforcing it. I “might” be able to dig up an old version in email? But for years this has been a debate and the rules aren’t changing. That is spin, spin, spin.
Listen, I donated to RP at one time, I receive daily notifications of the “ongoing” saga. It is nothing more than hype and an attempt to raise funds. I hate to say that, because I do love his message of Liberty, but he IS a politician.
Surely Ronbo has not become a grifter ala Gingrich and Palin?
“The Restriction of Political Campaign Intervention by Section 501(c)(3) Tax-Exempt Organizations
Under the Internal Revenue Code, all section 501(c)(3) organizations are absolutely prohibited from directly or indirectly participating in, or intervening in, any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for elective public office. Contributions to political campaign funds or public statements of position (verbal or written) made on behalf of the organization in favor of or in opposition to any candidate for public office clearly violate the prohibition against political campaign activity. Violating this prohibition may result in denial or revocation of tax-exempt status and the imposition of certain excise taxes.”
That’s very interesting. I just recently did a check of that seeking to find the real 501(c)3 status of the likes of “mediamatters.org” and “move on.org” and for some peculiar reason both “about” pages are unavailable online.
They are, I pulled them several years ago when I was HARD right and they said the same thing. I wanted to stick up for TP, but they were out of line. I thought at that time I was a “liberal” Christian, one who believes in tolerance (until Christians felt the need to add me to a group called Liberal Christian is an Oxymoron for the sole purpose of hating on me, not because what I did, but because I was tolerant).
The IRS code has as long as I can remember said, you cannot be tax exempt and endorse candidates. Yes, you can discuss issues, but not endorse. Otherwise, all these exemptions given to Churches would allow them to dictate law by the blind followers. They still do it, but it isn’t legal.
If so, how does Karl Rove manage that?
You’d have to ask him, I don’t have a direct line nor any contact :)
Honestly Eddy, I wish groups would stay the hell out of the way and force individuals to either find information and vote their conscious, or simply not vote.
I detest these organizations that try to influence vote. Too often they are dumber than the general populace, but people will listen to them because they doubt themselves. Sad, but true.
The South Carolina subsidiary of the IRS is as bad as it gets. They target political enemies of Democrats, they lie, and they do as they damned well please in setting time tables and audits. The relationship with the SC IRS department and the Bill Nettles – I owe my political life and my children’s financial security to Jean Toal – are as cozy as Democrats can get. It is a pathetic situation right here at home.
SC subsidiary of the IRS? how can someone so dumb spell so correctly?
Probably the same way idiots forget to capitalize the start of a new sentence.
And you have NEVER done that?
Never claimed I haven’t.
Then again, I don’t make it a habit of going around calling people “dumb” either.
Fair enough. We all get too tense in political situations. I find that I try to be nice, but I get the hell bashed out of me by people calling me dumb, liberal, stupid, don’t know what I am talking about, and the list just goes on and on.
I missed the diss on capitalization when someone else was dissing on the originator. We all get in a hurry and if I am typing from a phone, good grief, my grammar/capitalization/punctuation take a back seat. But my “dumb” comments are always spelled correctly :)
Auto correct is always out to get you, especially on i devices.
I am not taking up for anon, but you know what they are likely talking about. http://www.irs.gov/uac/Contact-My-Local-Office-in-South-Carolina
Or perhaps SC Dept. of Revenue?
None of these poor, persecuted political organizations is being prevented “from telling their members where candidates stand on issues”. In fact, none of them were required to apply for tax-exempt status in the first place.
But they were not satisfied with just being able to collect unlimited amounts of money with no disclosure of donors. No, they wanted tax-exempt status as well, and then bitched about the IRS questioning them about whether they were complying with the requirements for tax exemption.