Monday Brief

First Your Taxes, Then Your Health

May 20, 2013

The Foundation

“The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse.” –James Madison

Government

“It turns out that Sarah Hall Ingram, who served as head of the IRS office handling tax-exempt organizations between 2009 and 2012 – when the targeting was going on – is now head of the IRS division in charge of the IRS office policing Obamacare. … The IRS is assigned a lot of work by the Obamacare law. It will impose penalties on Americans who can afford health insurance but choose not to buy it. It will impose penalties on companies with more than 50 employees who work 30 hours a week and don’t provide government-mandated policies. It will give tax credits to non-affluent purchasers of health insurance on state exchanges. The IRS says it can also give tax credits to such people in states that have federally run exchanges, though many argue the law does not authorize that. In other words, the IRS is going to possess and process a large amount of information not only on your income but on your health insurance and perhaps your health. The IRS was given these tasks by the drafters of Obamacare because no other government agency had the capability to gain access to people’s personal financial information. They may have thought that taxpayers would trust an agency that they had gotten used to dealing with. That level of trust may not be as high as it was 10 days ago. Chilling effect, indeed.” –columnist Michael Barone

Essential Liberty

“The president, as usual, acts as if all of this is totally unconnected to him. He’s shocked, it’s unacceptable, he’ll get to the bottom of it. He read about it in the papers, just like you. But he is not unconnected, he is not a bystander. … It is not even remotely possible that all this was an accident, a mistake. Again, only conservative groups were targeted, not liberal. It is not even remotely possible that only one IRS office was involved. … What happened at the IRS is the government’s essential business. … Everyone involved in this abuse of power should pay a price, because if they don’t, the politicization of the IRS will continue – forever. If it is not stopped now, it will never stop. And if it isn’t stopped, no one will ever respect or have even minimal faith in the revenue-gathering arm of the U.S. government again. … This is not about the usual partisan slugfest. This is about the integrity of our system of government and our ability to trust, which is to say our ability to function.” –columnist Peggy Noonan

Re: The Left

“Imagine for a moment if black civil rights organizations, gay groups or teachers unions loudly complained to members of Congress and the press that the IRS was discriminating against them. How long would it take for the White House to investigate? Answer honestly: Minutes? Hours? … [Y]ou can be sure that the moment [Obama] heard credible allegations of political persecution of liberal groups – outfits with ‘progressive’ or ‘civil rights’ in their names – he would have moved heaven and earth to make things right. But when such allegations came from the right, the response from the president – and from a press corps that until recently acted like a king’s guard – ranged from smirks and eye-rolling to flat-out lies or virtual applause. … The time for democratic debate is always behind us with an administration that began with the mission not to let a crisis go to waste, for as Obama said in his second inaugural address, ‘Progress does not compel us to settle centuries-long debates about the role of government for all time, but it does require us to act in our time.’ Moreover, President Obama often insists we live in a country where the ‘government is us,’ where there’s no need to fear tyranny ‘around the corner’ because we could never be tyrannical against ourselves.” –columnist Jonah Goldberg

Opinion in Brief

“Mr. Obama had promised in his 2008 campaign to ‘fundamentally transform the United States’ and he kept that promise in 2010 when he used this most august, most formal occasion of our republic to deliver a blistering denunciation of the Supreme Court’s ruling in the controversial case of Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission. The black-robed Justices were seated before him as he tongue-lashed them. They had been invited as honored guests. But Mr. Obama wanted them there as props. He wanted to show the world that he was master in our house. … During the campaign, he had egged on his supporters, telling them to ‘get in their faces.’ The night of his 2010 State of the Union Address, Barack Obama got in their faces. … His arrogant and offensive behavior toward the Supreme Court of the United States … was the opening gun in the race to crush his opponents. It was not a great stretch for middle level bureaucrats at IRS to see that they would please this president if they made life miserable for his opponents. And they did.” –columnists Ken Blackwell & Bob Morrison

The Gipper

“The Founding Fathers established a system which meant a radical break from that which preceded it. A written constitution would provide a permanent form of government, limited in scope, but effective in providing both liberty and order. Government was not to be a matter of self-appointed rulers, governing by whim or harsh ideology. … To this day, America is still the abiding alternative to tyranny. That is our purpose in the world – nothing more and nothing less.” –Ronald Reagan

For the Record

“Liberalism’s agenda has been constant since long before liberals, having given their name a bad name, stopped calling themselves liberals and resumed calling themselves progressives, which they will call themselves until they finish giving that name a bad name. The agenda always is: Concentrate more power in Washington, more Washington power in the executive branch and more executive power in agencies run by experts. Then trust the experts to be disinterested and prudent with their myriad intrusions into, and minute regulations of, Americans’ lives. … His re-election theme – re-elect me because I am not Mitt Romney – yielded a meager mandate, and he used tactics that are now draining the legitimacy an election is supposed to confer. One tactic was to misrepresent the Benghazi attack lest it undermine his narrative about taming terrorism. Does anyone think the administration’s purpose in manufacturing 12 iterations of the talking points was to make them more accurate? … Because Obama’s entire agenda involves enlarging government’s role in allocating wealth and opportunity, the agenda now depends on convincing Americans to trust him, not their lying eyes. In the fourth month of his second term, it is already too late for that.” –columnist George Will

Political Futures

“If the media had acted like professionals in 2012, more of this new information would be old news by now. Voters could have made a decision between Obama and Romney with a fuller picture of how corrupt this administration truly is. By refusing to reveal that corruption, they brought that stain of corruption on themselves. Some reporters in this moment are sounding like professionals. But too many reporters are spending too much time pining about how scandals may harm Obama’s ‘legacy.’ Journalists shouldn’t be demonstrating great care for Obama’s historical reputation, like they’re the White House weed-whackers. Obama’s legacy is becoming apparent. He laughably claimed to be above politics, above partisanship and dirty tricks – when the facts are proving he’s really the dirtiest pool player in today’s politics. It’s Chicago-style politics, day and night.” –Media Research Center president L. Brent Bozell

Insight

“Without debate, without criticism, no administration and no country can succeed – and no republic can survive. … And that is why our press was protected by the First Amendment – the only business in America specifically protected by the Constitution … to inform, to arouse, to reflect, to state our dangers and our opportunities, to indicate our crises and our choices, to lead, mold, educate and sometimes even anger public opinion.” –President John F. Kennedy (1917-1963)

Reader Comments

“While I always find Mark Alexander’s commentary on Liberty and current events the best anywhere, his analysis on complicated threats to Liberty is better than any columnist anywhere. The Benghazi report last week, and now the outstanding overage of the Obama administration’s use of the IRS to target Patriot and Tea Party groups prior to the 2012 election, covers all the important points, puts them in the correct context, and dispenses with the rest. Too often the MSM does not distinguish between one element of a story and another, while chattering non-stop. I am thankful to a fellow Marine for introducing me to The Patriot Post 10 years ago when we were deployed for OEF. It should be required reading for every genuine Patriot!” –S/F, LtC., USMC

“While the IRS and phone tapping scandals are important, let’s not forget Benghazi. Methinks there may be an effort by the Leftmedia and this ‘most transparent administration evah’ to focus on the first two, hoping the latter will go away, in order to protect Hillary for 2016.” –Glen in California

“The IRS director was supposed to depart in June. What a terrible penalty to leave two weeks earlier than planned. When do these people start serving time in prison?” –Veritas in Reston, Virginia

“In the Navy there are ‘layers’ between the commanding officer and the deck-plate sailor. Yet, even when the captain is asleep in his rack and the ship runs aground due to the actions/inactions of that very sailor, the captain is still held accountable and is relieved of his command. Why is the military held to a much higher standard of conduct than their civilian overseers? Obama has the blood of at least six citizens on his hands at this point. How many more have to die because of politics?” –Brian in Virginia

Culture

“During the Revolutionary War, [Andrew] Jackson volunteered to fight. He was just 13 years old at the time. The British captured him and made him a servant for British officers. When one ordered Jackson to clean his boots, Jackson refused, and the officer slashed Jackson’s hand with a sword. When Jackson became president, he showed off the scar. Jackson had grit. … It shouldn’t surprise me that parents want to shelter their kids from all risk. The parents themselves live in a society where risk is less and less acceptable. We expect regulations to protect us from accidents. We expect police to protect us from every imaginable criminal threat. We demand welfare, unemployment insurance and bailouts to protect every level of society from economic risk. When something goes wrong, we sue. … Grit is the stuff of life. Greatness is often achieved only after repeated failure. … [P]assivity (and America’s welfare state) is a threat to our future. Everyone goes through pain and loss. We face obstacles. It’s the struggle to overcome obstacles that matters. That’s the stuff of life – and the route to happiness and prosperity.” –columnist John Stossel

Faith and Family

“When conservatives talk about a culture of responsibility, we’re not just talking about the personal responsibility of the individual in trouble. We’re talking about the personal responsibility of the rest of us toward that individual. … The left, so called ‘pro-choice’ activists, have an interesting concept of a culture of responsibility. That is to promote a culture that detaches sex from love and responsibility, that minimizes the central importance of family, that justifies youth sex, promiscuity, and the ‘hook-up’ culture. In short, a culture which encourages people to relate to each other in the same callous way as it encourages women to relate to the unborn children that often result from it all. … On the Planned Parenthood website, they call [crisis pregnancy] centers ‘fake clinics … that have a history of giving women wrong and biased information.’ These crisis pregnancy centers are financed and run by committed Christian Americans where women often, for the first time in their lives, experience love and meaning. The information they get, that Planned Parenthood calls ‘wrong and biased,’ is that life should be chosen over death and that responsibility is a community affair. It is not a given that we must live in a country of promiscuity, unwanted pregnancies, and abortion. We do have choice.” –columnist Star Parker

The Last Word

“This is the legacy of the Obama administration: blaming everyone else. It began with Bush. Then it became Congressional Republicans. Now it’s everybody within the Obama administration with the sole exception of the President. Michelle Obama is only moments away from being thrown under the bus should anything happen inside her ‘Let’s Move’ program. To call this unpresidential would be the understatement of the year. It is cowardly. Obama has spent his entire career leading from behind then jumping forward to take credit when things go right. … His entire presidency has rested on the pitch that Americans should trust him. If he hasn’t created jobs, that’s because he hasn’t had enough power to do so – trust him with more power, and he’ll take care of you. If he hasn’t lowered healthcare costs, that’s because Obamacare hasn’t been fully implemented by that discriminatory IRS – trust him with more power, and he’ll make sure you’re cared for. If the entire Middle East has been transformed into a Muslim Brotherhood hotbed, that’s because Obama hasn’t had bipartisan support for his foreign policy – elect him a Congressional majority in 2014, and he’ll fix the problem.” –columnist Ben Shapiro

Semper Vigilo, Fortis, Paratus et Fidelis!
Nate Jackson for The Patriot Post Editorial Team

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