Libertarian Party of Washington: IRS Scandal Highlights Lack of Government Transparency

Posted on May 25, 2013 on the LPWA website.

By Michael Gray

Edited by: Sri Nimmagadda

From unwarranted wiretaps of Association Press reporters by the Department of Justice to government inefficiency and irresponsibility at Benghazi by the Executive administration, the Obama Administration is engulfed in scandal. Over the past few weeks, the White House has found itself under fire due to a new problem: the IRS targeting of conservative groups. This is one of the most pervasive accusations in play against the Obama Administration.

Since about a week ago, the Obama administration and the Internal Revenue Service found themselves in hot water when it was revealed that the IRS was targeting conservative groups affiliated with the Tea Party movement for intense scrutiny. Actions like these are violations of the Hatch Act passed in 1933, which prohibits government officials, entities, or organizations that are not involved in partisan positions from engaging in partisan or politically unfair behavior. The administration repeatedly asserted that it had no knowledge of the allegations or their veracity until this Monday, when it had a startling about-face.

The administration stated on Monday that senior aides had knowledge of the allegations ever since the week of April 22nd but decided not to tell President Obama. White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough’s decision to not tell President Obama until the IRS revealed the scandal themselves begs the question: Why was the president not informed before the story broke to the press?

Congressional Democrats are disgruntled behind closed doors over the disorganization of the White House staff. They make it known: the President should have been informed ahead of the public in order to condemn the actions of the IRS.

Breitbart reports that Obama donor Holly Paz became IRS director of tax exempt organizations after the 2008 campaign. This suggests that the Obama administration may be deeply ensconced within the IRS scandal as preemptive action against conservative groups may have been taken during the 2010 election cycle.

Republicans are taking an active stance against the issue.

“I think there’s going to be a gradual disclosing of various parts of this issue,” said Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah, the top Republican on the Senate Finance Committee.

“The inspector general’s audit – initiated at the request of members of Congress – was a good start, but it’s clear there’s much more that must be explored, including how this targeting was able to continue for so long without the administration acting to stop it,” said Brendan Buck, a spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio. “As the bipartisan investigation unfolds, it would be wise for the administration to offer less arrogance and more honesty.”

The implications of this event corroborate the conclusion that big government leads to big power, and big power does corrupt. The events that might unfold over the next few weeks will give us, the American people, more insight into the actions of one of the least transparent government administrations in American history.


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