VDH explains who’s targeted, and who is not:
Note that the IRS is not interested in leaking to Democrat senators or former administration official rumors about George Soros’s income or the details of the tax returns of Warren Buffett, Steven Spielberg, or Bill Gates. Instead, the Democratic majority leader in the Senate bragged that he knew (falsely as it turned out) that Mitt Romney paid no income taxes. And former high administration official Austan Goolsbee claimed (also falsely as it turned out) that he too knew that the Koch brothers were shorting the IRS.
Note that only liberal groups like ProPublica leak information about the confidential donor lists of conservative activists, apparently given their familiar arrangement with the IRS. So far IRS chiefs are not looking at prominent Democrat politicians for tax violations, although for a time — cf. Tim Geithner, Tom Daschle, Hilda Solis — that might have been a fruitful profile for inquiry. (One encouraging side note: if you are a suspect white, mature, well-off, conservative, heterosexual, Christian male, you can still obtain exemption from federal suspicion by loudly announcing that you also are enthralled by Barack Obama.)
And note that IRS applications of pro-Israel groups were routed to an anti-terrorist unit. And why didn’t the IRS Inspector General do his job? Because he was probably intimidated by the administration.
I hope the outrage continues to grow, and the president’s poll numbers continue to fall, for the next year and a half.
[Update a few minutes later]
The government is completely out of control:
…it’s unclear whether any serious form of congressional oversight of any part of our federal government is still possible. We have 2.84 million federal workers in 15 departments, 69 agencies, and 383 non-military sub-agencies. Private contractors increasingly function as offshoots of federal agencies; and, astonishingly, 83,500 of those private contractors’ employees have top-security clearances — including, until this month, one high-school dropout named Edward Snowden.
Jonathan Turley, a law professor at George Washington University, told a Federalist Society conference this month that the unelected, faceless bureaucracy “has become a fourth branch of government that has disrupted our constitutional framework and has a larger practical impact on the lives of citizens than all the other branches combined.” In a typical year, the number of laws that Congress passes is dwarfed by the number of new federal regulations that are issued by a factor of at least 15 to one. A citizen is ten times more likely to be tried by a federal agency than by an actual federal court, which means he’ll have far fewer legal protections.
Federal agencies are also given enormous deference in their interpretation of laws, and the Supreme Court expanded their power just last May when it ruled 5 to 4, in Arlington v. FCC, that agencies deserve deference in determining the jurisdictions of their power. In his dissent in this case, Chief Justice John Roberts quoted James Madison in the Federalist Papers No. 47 as warning that “the accumulation of all powers, legislative, executive, and judiciary, in the same hands . . . may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny.” Roberts then pointed out that “the accumulation of these powers in the same hands is not an occasional or isolated exception to the constitutional plan; it is a central feature of modern American government.”
Benghazi. The IRS targeting of conservative groups. Secret e-mail accounts used by top federal officials — such as former EPA administrator Lisa Jackson and Labor Secretary nominee Tom Perez — to conduct official business. HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius’s efforts to promote Obamacare with a private slush fund solicited from companies she regulates. Subpoenas for records of journalists. The NSA revelations.
How many warning signs — emerging virtually all at once — do we need to realize that the American people have lost control of their government? Not only that, but large sectors of the government have lost any ability to provide checks and balances or even monitor the bureaucracy.
We need a complete overhaul. This is exactly what the Founders feared.