A couple important points to consider amid the landslide of scandals that have hit in the Obama administration the last two weeks. The primary roots of Benghazigate aside, the IRS story is, perhaps, the more important issue for Americans to take into personal consideration. For decades the IRS has been the butt of jokes about being used as a political weapon against foes. And as this current chapter of proving that premise correct, the American people have to chew on some important items of food for thought.
First, in the 2012 cycle the pro-Obama political faction in this country (including the MSM) insosted the GOP was waging a “War on Women”. Funny that, given the vast majority of TEA Party and conservative activist groups were started by, staffed by, run by, and populated with … women. I’d say the democrat/Obama/IRS actions against the conservative groups over the last few years is the liberal’s/left’s “War on Women”. So, the next time your liberal friend(s) try to spout that talking-point, toss that back at them. And if they seem to find some sort of glee, justification, and satisfaction, or even dismissive-shoulder-shrugging, in a powerful federal government agency striking out against people on an “enemies list” whose politics they don’t agree with, ask those liberal friends how they would have felt if this happened to them (and other liberals) under a republican administration against liberal/democrat groups … or to try to destroy a political opponent and influence an election to their desired candidate. How about high school and college students studying the U.S. Constitution? Irony.
Now then, the real red meat that Americans must bite into, especially if they are sitting on the fence and assuming ObamaCare will be a grand and wonderful experiment with their healthcare. The IRS powers will increase greatly under ObamaCare, as the tax-handling government entity will have full control over businesses and our personal lives and well-being through (how/where/when/if/who will receive medical treatment) the government-run healthcare program will run … and the reasoning behind its future (and quite possible/probable politically motivated) IPAB healthcare denials…
The Internal Revenue Service scandal would be bad enough if the IRS just handled issues like collecting income taxes and granting nonprofit status. But the immensely powerful federal agency is about to become even more powerful with the arrival of national health care, and that makes the still-unfolding scandal even more troubling.
“When I hold town meetings, a great deal of distrust comes through about the size and increasing power of government,” says Republican Sen. Charles Grassley of Iowa. “The IRS targeting crystallizes that distrust in a very big way because of the IRS’ reach into taxpayer information. What’s happened heightens fears about how the IRS will handle taxpayer information and wield its power when it enforces Obamacare starting next year.”
The IRS is critical to Obamacare. The structure created by the Affordable Care Act requires the government to know about both the health care coverage (or lack of it) and the financial resources of every American. The IRS, which already knows the latter, was the only agency with the reach to do the job.
A look at the text of the health care law reveals that much of it consists of amending the Internal Revenue Code to give the IRS more power. When Obamacare goes fully into effect in January, every American will have to prove to the IRS that he or she has “qualifying” health coverage, meaning coverage with a list of features approved by Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. That will be done by submitting a document to the IRS, something like a W-2, to confirm coverage.
The IRS will also decide who is, and who is not, eligible for Obamacare’s subsidies. The law authorizes the IRS to share confidential taxpayer information with the Department of Health and Human Services for the purpose of determining those subsidies. And since subsidies don’t just apply to a relatively small number of the nation’s poorest citizens — under the law, they can go to a family of four with a household income of nearly $90,000 — they will affect a huge segment of the population.
In addition, the IRS will keep track of even the smallest changes in Americans’ financial condition. Did you get a raise recently? You’ll need to notify the IRS; it might affect your subsidy status. Have your hours been reduced at work? Notify the IRS. Change jobs? Same.
In the next few weeks, the details of the IRS’ apparent misconduct will be spelled out in a series of hastily arranged congressional hearings. Most of the discussion will focus on political nonprofits and the selective treatment they received from the IRS. For millions of Americans, the hearings will do what Charles Grassley noticed at those town meetings in Iowa: reduce their faith that the federal government will treat them fairly.
And that will mean even more anxieties about the coming of Obamacare…
Oh, and one more thought as the administration scrambles to appear as if they are taking (faux) diciplinary action against the IRS … This was too extensive for just a couple of “rogue”, eager-beaver, politically liberal IRS flunkies in Cincinnati. This was a calculated, widespread, full-blown political attack from the top of the party offices currently in power/majority control. The order was given.
Jim DeMint @ The Heritage Foundation: “Obamacare Is About Power”
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell via Newsmax: “IRS Can’t Be Trusted to Implement Obamacare”
American Thinker: “IRS Scandal: The Union Connection”
Washington Secrets: “Obamacare socks union health plans with 40% tax”