Every day I am waking up with a headache these days. It could be due to the stress of the big “move,” which should take place within a couple of months. Or, it could be due to the outrageous news stories that AOL thoughtfully drops on my home page, just to keep me informed. I’ll admit that I stupidity got myself invested in that Jodi Arias trial and now I have to see it through to the end. The story about the killing of Hofstra student, Andrea Rebello, hit close to home as a parent of young ladies close to her age and one of whom attended Hofstra. Then there was the Oklahoma tornado that caused devastation of the magnitude that reminded me of Sandy, whose victims are still waiting for relief. And the story of the Boston bombers, whose act of terrorism reminded me of 911 and how vulnerable we still all are. I really can’t escape hearing about the news unless I go live with the Amish and give up TV and internet. That’s not gonna happen.
Today I poked around my news page to see what all the IRS drama is about. I ask my husband a few questions too, since he has been voting Republican. It seems the IRS has been targeting non-profit conservative groups, like the Tea Party. They want to make sure they are complying with the codes for non-profits organizations and if not they have to pay their fair share of taxes. That is the gist of what I learned. Apparently, President Obama says he learned of it in the news, like everyone else. Some people will believe him, others won’t. I choose to take the President at his word until there is concrete evidence that proves otherwise. So, let the investigation begin!
The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform formed a committee to get to the truth. However, I get the feeling we are off to a bad start. There is a Senator, Max Baucus, from Montana, who suggested in 2010 that non-profit groups be reviewed to see if they are complying with their tax-exempt status. However, Baucus recommended only Republican and conservative organizations be investigated. And guess what? Baucus is now leading the current IRS hearings to get to the bottom of their illegal targeting practices. If that isn’t strange enough, Lois Lerner, the official who heads the IRS tax-exempt division and who disclosed the IRS targeting practice, was subpoenaed to be questioned at the hearing. Lois came with her attorney to defend her actions. She told her version of what she wanted everyone to hear and then, when questioned by the committee, she invoked her 5th amendment rights. The IRS insists that they weren’t doing anything wrong or illegal. If that’s the case, why invoke the 5th amendment? Meanwhile, there are emails which may or may not clear of the mystery of who was behind this targeting practice, which they feel began n 2010. Maybe they should ask Baucus?
Acting IRS Commissioner, Steven Miller, who resigned a few days ago, apologized for the IRS for “mistakes” made and stated he was not personally involved. And he also added, that he did not find evidence that the targeting was politically motivated. What? Did I just type that right? How can it not be politically motivated when only certain political organizations were “targeted?” That fact alone is evidence to their motivation, or did I just fall off a turnip truck?
Let me end this blog by saying I am not a fan of the Tea Party by any means. Their views are too extreme for me. However, I am against illegal practices of any kind. Corruption is corruption. The end never justifies the means. If the IRS wants to review non-profits, then review all non-profits across the board. Frankly, if I were in charge of the IRS, I would try to get rid of the whole tax-exempt status category. Every organization should pay something. Maybe those who can prove they use their money for humanitarian efforts like curing disease, disaster relief, helping the poor, should get a tax break. But all political organizations shouldn’t get any breaks. The rules for tax-exempt status need a complete overhaul.
I hope they get to the truth of what went on in the IRS and who was behind it. When things like this come out, it makes me think what other things are they doing or have they done that are illegal. It’s ironic that an agency of the government, that makes you sign your tax returns under penalty of perjury for false statements, is itself invoking its 5th amendment rights.
P.S. If I have gotten any facts wrong, just ignore it. I'm not going to waste too much of my time of politics.