One of America's leading authorities on technology and telecom policy, Motley is a writer, television and radio commentator, political and policy strategist, lecturer, debater, activist, and policy advisor to The Heartland Institute.
Latest posts by Seton Motley (see all)
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Late last week we learned that the Barack Obama Administration’s Internal Revenue Service (IRS) was subjecting conservative non-profit organizations to ridiculous levels of additional, extra-legal scrutiny.
The Administration’s immediate, reflex response was to lie about it.
The IRS apologized Friday for what it acknowledged was “inappropriate” targeting of conservative political groups during the 2012 election to see if they were violating their tax-exempt status. The agency blamed low-level employees, saying no high-level officials were aware.
Except just “targeting” – may not be true.
Except just “during the 2012 election” and just “low-level employees” – isn’t true.
Did the Administration tell the truth back then? Not so much.
In (then-IRS Commissioner Douglas) Shulman’s responses, he did not acknowledge targeting of tea party groups. At a congressional hearing March 22, 2012, Shulman was adamant in his denials.
“There’s absolutely no targeting. This is the kind of back and forth that happens to people” who apply for tax-exempt status, Shulman said at the House Ways and Means subcommittee hearing.
These sorts of things are why my late, great Grandfather called the IRS “The Assassins” – and wouldn’t let you call them anything else.
This is one fundamental part of why we who want less government want less government – the less government there is, the less there is to be used against us.
The IRS is one of the most powerful agencies in the federal government, with fearsome powers that the Department of Homeland Security can only dream of having. (Does DHS subject Americans to mandatory annual questioning about their personal lives, family arrangements, finances, business practices, travel, etc.?)
It has a history of being used as a tool of political retaliation, not only by the Nixon administration but at least as far back as Franklin D. Roosevelt. An agency with that kind of power, with access to sensitive information on every individual, business, church, charity, and school in the country, must conduct itself according to the very highest standards. The IRS does not.
So this is great news:
All of which casts a sinister pall on this:
The better for Big Government to eat you with, my Dears. And will the Leviathan contain its overreach to the IRS? Of course not.
Because Congress in many areas hasn’t yet addressed the gaping hole of protecting our data from Big Government, we are left exposed and subject to hay-yuge, illegal power grabs.
Like President Barack Obama’s illegal Network Neutrality order. Which gives the government access to the Internet’s spine – and with it every website there is and all the data contained therein….
Like President Barack Obama’s illegal Cyber Security Executive Order. The amount of data compiled in Cyber Security execution is massive – and Big Government wants at it:
Part of the reason lawmakers have not passed even voluntary cyber reforms is that businesses and many Republicans fear optional measures eventually could become mandatory.
The executive order did not allay those fears… (T)he Republican head of the House Homeland Security Committee expressed misgivings about the policy’s potential for mission creep.
Another “good start” towards ever growing Big Government grabs.
A privacy section in the documents outlines steps agencies must take to protect personal information while carrying out these activities. When private sector information is collected and shared with the government, concerns often arise that customer information will be exposed or abused.
Like the Obama Administration shutting down bailed out car company dealerships based upon campaign contribution data. Like local governments in New York turning over for publication gun registration data. Like then-President and First Lady Bill and Hillary Clinton’s illegally obtained 900 FBI files getting him out of an impeachment conviction.
And now the IRS’ panoply of assaults.
And does anyone seriously think that all of this is all there is?
Oh – and when the Leviathan isn’t taking our information, it’s using our coin to purchase it:
You want reform? Reduce the size, scope and sphere of influence of government – and they won’t have the juice to do most of these sorts of things.
[First published at PJ Media.]