Just who is watching the watchmen?

The number of scandals is really starting to pile up, prompting some in the mainstream media to suggest that the president has lost control of his administration.

The criticism is coming from sources one wouldn’t expect. In response to the recent IRS scandal Piers Morgan said this to comedian Penn Jillette on his CNN program: “I’ve had some of the pro-gun lobbyists on here, saying to me,‘Well, the reason we need to be armed is because of tyranny from our own government,’ and I’ve always laughed at them. But, actually, this is vaguely tyrannical behavior by the American government, I think what the IRS did is bordering on tyrannical behavior.”

It’s good to know that the mainstream media is beginning to realize that there is such a thing as a border.

With regard to the IRS scandal, the implications are far reaching. As everyone now knows, the IRS has admitted to discriminating against organizations because of their political views. If they deemed an organization to be “right wing” or “tea party,” IRS policy made it much more difficult, if not impossible, to be recognized as tax-exempt. Hard to believe this could happen in America.

The IRS or Internal Revenue Service is not a government agency. It is often referred to as an “independent agency,” like the Federal Reserve, but unlike the Federal Reserve, there is no act of Congress that created it. However it does fall under the purview of the Treasury, and it is, in effect, their collection agency. Last year, the IRS began hiring thousands of new agents — most estimates put the number at 16,500 — to

prepare for the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.

In case you didn’t know, Obamacare grants the IRS massive new authority to implement its complex and bureaucratic regime.

Sarah Hall, who served as commissioner of the office responsible for tax-exempt organizations between 2009 and 2012 has since left that part of the IRS and is now the director of the IRS Affordable Care Act office, according to ABC News. So let’s see now, the commissioner who ran the unit that has admitted to being politically biased for the period during which the misdeeds occurred is now going to oversee more than 16,000 newly hired agents to implement Obamacare. What could possibly go wrong?

In addition to its despotic behavior in the realm of politics, the IRS also engenders concerns regarding privacy. They not only want your money, they want to know everything about you. To that end, The IRS has recently spent more than $1 billion of taxpayer money to beef up its data-mining capabilities.

If that weren’t enough, there is a lawsuit in California that claims that the IRS seized the medical records of 10,000 people (including every judge in the state) in violation of their 4th Amendment rights.

Also, the IRS recently lost a case in the Sixth Circuit Court Appeals Court that centered on the Fourth Amendment. In United States v. Warshak the court ruled that the IRS must obtain a warrant to read private emails, but the IRS has not said if it now obtains warrants everywhere or only in the Sixth Circuit. The Fourth Amendment protects us from unreasonable search and seizure. Is the IRS not bound by the Constitution?

The U.S. House of Representatives voted to repeal Obamacare in its entirety earlier this month. However, that is probably as far as that legislation will go. Here in West Virginia, our state government has passed legislation authorizing the Obamacare exchanges and Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin recently opted to expand Medicaid in our state, paving the way for the implementation of Obamacare.

Meanwhile, an article appeared in the Wheeling Intelligencer this past Monday, May 20th. The headline read: “Obamacare Ends Local Doc’s Career.” According to the article, after 43 years and 6,000 patients on the books, Dr. Jose J. Ventosa Jr. is closing his pediatric practice in Glen Dale, but it’s not what he wants to do. “I don’t want to retire, but I cannot afford Obamacare. To be able to operate under Obamacare I will need to computerize my patient records which would mean hiring at least two more people and cost more than $40,000 plus upkeep.”

My own doctor has told me the same thing. The great French economist Frederic Bastiat, writing more than a century ago, warned about the unintended consequences of government action. Fewer than one in three West Virginians are in favor of Obamacare. Apparently our elected officials are about as accountable to us as the IRS.

 

—Elliot Simon writes from

Harpers Ferry

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