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By Donald Lambro
Growth spikes are little more than trend-free anomalies
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Topic - Lois Lerner
I am utterly fed up with this administration's incompetence. It is costing us honest, hardworking taxpayers billions and billions of dollars. It's not just the inept leader of the "free" world who was elected without having any governing experience and appears to spend all his time campaigning, golfing, mixing it up with Hollywood celebs and denying any responsibility for whatever debacle du jour happens to get past the mainstream-media fortress. It's also the federal employees who are not doing the jobs that they are paid handsomely to do ("The nonessential spy," Comment & Analysis, Nov. 7).
In an increasingly familiar scene, a high-ranking former agency official went to Capitol Hill Wednesday and pleaded the Fifth Amendment.
The government watchdog Judicial Watch filed a lawsuit against the Internal Revenue Service, insisting the agency release previously demanded documents made under a Freedom of Information Act request that would clarify how conservative groups were screened for nonprofit status.
House Republican investigators Wednesday accused the woman in charge of the IRS' Obamacare compliance office of having leaked private taxpayer information to the White House, saying that calls into question the agency's trustworthiness in administering the new health care reform law.
Disgraced IRS agent appears to be a fast learner
"Are you now, or have you ever been, a conservative?"
The targeting of conservatives by the Internal Revenue Service is old news. We have that on the word of the Internal Revenue Service, for whatever the word of the IRS is worth.
Three months after it became clear that the IRS started targeting conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status and after President Obama installed new leadership to try to fix the agency, dozens of groups are still awaiting a final decision or, in some cases, have withdrawn their applications out of frustration with the process.
Documents show that Lisa P. Jackson, as EPA chief, told a lobbyist to shift their conversations to her "home email" account rather than using official government accounts, in a move that appears to contravene the intent of federal sunshine laws.
House investigators this week said they want to see communications between the Federal Election Commission and the IRS that could shed light on whether the two agencies colluded to target conservative organizations, as questions about the IRS targeting scandal expanded.
Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, Maryland Democrat, is vigorously attempting to shift the deck chairs on the Internal Revenue Service's Titanic to make it seem like the IRS committed no wrongs in the targeting of conservative groups seeking nonprofit status for their organizations ("Treasury IG needs to explain scope of IRS investigation, Rep. Elijah Cummings says," Web, July 12).
It turns out the "rogue agents" at the Internal Revenue Service field office in Cincinnati weren't quite so rogue after all. Democrats had hoped some low-level minion at the agency would serve as the fall guy in the expanding snooping scandal.
The chief watchdog who discovered the extra IRS scrutiny of conservative groups on Thursday rejected Democratic efforts to portray his investigation as partisan, saying Internal Revenue Service officials withheld key information about a lookout list for some liberal groups until last week.
IRS employees have told congressional investigators that they were ordered by the agency's Washington office to give extra scrutiny to tea party groups' applications for tax-exempt status, according to excerpts from interviews with the employees that were released by House committee chairmen Wednesday.
As part of his powerful screeds against English rule, Founding Father Tom Paine had this to say about the king's appetite for his subjects' tax money: "There is scarcely a necessary of life that you can eat, drink, wear or enjoy, that is not there loaded with a tax. Even the light from heaven is only permitted to shine into their dwellings by paying eighteen pence sterling per window annually."
She said she did hear reports in 2012 of problems, but saw her own boss and the inspector general already looking into the matter, so she kept her focus on the health care law.
Asked about whether she knew about the IRS targeting of conservative groups during her time as Ms. Lerner's boss, she said she had "no recollection" of hearing about the incidents.