Our self-proclaimed ‘elites’ have so rigged the system that taxpayers pick up the tab for their crimes:
The federal government in recent days has been issuing settlement checks to 100 right-of-center groups wrongfully targeted for their political beliefs under the Obama administration’s Internal Revenue Service, according to an attorney for the firm that represented plaintiffs in NorCal v. United States.
“This is really a groundbreaking case. Hopefully it sets a precedent and will serve as a warning to government officials who further feel tempted to discriminate against U.S. citizens based on their viewpoints,” Edward Greim, attorney for Kansas City, Missouri-based Graves Garrett LLC told MacIver News Service.
About $2 million of the [$3.5 million] settlement goes to cover the legal costs of five long years of litigation. IRS attorneys attempted delay after delay, objection after objection, trying to use the very taxpayer protection statutes the plaintiffs were suing under to suppress documents.
The agency has admitted no wrongdoing in what a federal report found to be incidents of intrusive inspections of organizations seeking nonprofit status. Greim has said the seven-figure settlement suggests otherwise.
An IRS spokesman declined to comment.
Disgraced former bureaucrat Lois Lerner led the IRS division that processes applications for tax-exempt groups. A 2013 inspector general’s report found the IRS had singled out conservative and tea party organizations for intense scrutiny, oftentimes simply based on their conservative-sounding or tea party names. The IRS delayed for months, even years, the applications, and some groups were improperly questioned about their donors and their religious affiliations and practices.
Lerner claims she did nothing wrong. In clearing her of wrongdoing, an Obama administration Department of Justice review described Lerner as a hero. But she invoked her Fifth Amendment right in refusing to answer questions before a congressional committee. The plaintiffs in the class-action lawsuit took the first and only deposition of Lerner, a document that the former IRS official and her attorneys have fought to keep sealed.
Exactly how would this court settlement be a ‘warning’ to government officials? The public face of the IRS scandal, Lois Lerner, was allowed to retire with full pension and has the IRS still fighting to keep her testimony in the lawsuit secret “for her own safety.”
Former IRS executive Lois G. Lerner told a federal court last week that members of her family, including “young children,” face death threats and a real risk of physical harm if her explanation of the tea party targeting scandal becomes public.
Such legal stalling tactics by the IRS account for nearly 2/3 of the settlement cost. Meanwhile, where does the settlement money in this case come from? The IRS budget? Guess who provides that. That’s right: we, the American people do. Nor is this an unusual event. We still don’t know the names of Congresscritters who used taxpayer money to pay off various accusers of sexual or discriminatory improprieties. While there was enough of a blip of outrage that Congress allegedly prohibited that practice going forward, the identities of those who previously made the payoffs are still protected.
Finally, despite mouthing such support for all the Federal employees not getting paid during the partial government shutdown, many Democrats in Congress went to Puerto Rico this weekend to party with lobbyists instead of seeking a deal with Trump. Why is Congress still getting paid unless they’ve had the conviction to refuse their paychecks during the standoff? They certainly haven’t done their job! Maybe this will cause all the minions in Mordor and elsewhere to reconsider their reflexive support of the donkeys. I’m not holding my breath, however.
The “Father of the Constitution,” James Madison, wrote in Federalist #51, “You must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place, oblige it to control itself.” (Emphasis added) When the penalties of government misconduct are transferred to the governed, what obliges those in government to control themselves? There is a saying, often erroneously attributed to Thomas Jefferson, that “Where the people fear the government, you have tyranny. When government fears the people, you have liberty.
Does our governing class show any signs of ‘fearing the people,’ or consequences for their actions? Are you beginning to see why we have a Second Amendment, and why it is under such attack by these same miscreants? Our founders were wise enough to realize Leviathan can slip the bounds of any constitutional shackles they could devise. The Second Amendment provides a final safeguard should all else go wrong.
Sadly, if we have to avail ourselves of that safeguard, the entire country will still be paying for the sins of others.