Monday, June 3, 2013

What Is Prez Obama Getting Right Lately? Enjoying the IRS Non-Scandal?

People filing tax forms in 1920
People filing tax forms in 1920 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
From Denny:  While the Republicans work zealously to manufacture non-scandals to grab media attention just what is the President really doing to correct government problems and on-going issues?

IRS Non-Scandal

My fellow media got all in a lather about the IRS "Scandal" because they really had nothing better to fuss about to try and drive advertising revenue.  Come on; we all love to hate the tax man.  That much the media knew would strike a chord with this story.  Even the Bible documents an historical hatred of government taxation.  None of us enjoy it.

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As a result of collecting taxes what we do enjoy is government spending on repaired roads, maintained  bridges (when Congress actually does their job, votes and releases funding), trains and buses for transportation to and from work or transporting our business goods.  We enjoy police security and fire departments to protect us and our homes.  We prefer clean drinking water and working sewage.  All of these infrastructure items are the not so glamorous trappings of a modern society enjoying a healthy economy.  Without taxes we sure can't do much, go anywhere or get help in a medical emergency.

Political Shenanigans to Derail Functional Government

The Republican Congress is still working over time to destroy what's left of the post office by preventing restructuring.  They are hell bent on destroying public education and public hospitals rather than fix their issues, all because they don't want to pay taxes to educate or restore someone's health.  What it amounts to is the Republican vision creates a largely uneducated huge underclass that will be forced to accept low wages, no public hospitals, excessively long working hours and poor living conditions just to work for $1 a day like in a third world country.  And people are actually still stupid enough to vote for this, sealing their own financial destruction?

The Republicans have succeeded in ridding their billionaire puppet masters of half of the middle class that has descended into poverty.  Of course, that once successful middle class contributed billions of dollars into the national and state treasuries, well stuffed coffers that have now shrunk dramatically as a result of low wages and millions of home foreclosures.

Here in Louisiana, even in the capital city of Baton Rouge, Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal has closed many public hospitals in favor of giving them over for a very cheap price to his political donors to run privately.  What that amounts to is that the poor cannot afford hospital care.  Nor can the working poor.  Not even the middle class can afford it any longer.

Republican governors have turned over public prisons to privately run prisons for a state profit.  All that was once state run and supported by tax dollars is now privately run - often still with tax dollars from the federal or state governments.  Here's the real rub:  the average citizen has lost control of these institutions along with correcting any abuses or corruption because they are no longer considered publicly owned and operated institutions.  It's a legal mess with the taxpayer getting the shaft.

What happened after complaints made to the IRS about targeting?

Which brings us back to the IRS "Scandal."  This is such a non-scandal.  Why?  Because of many reasons.  The main reason is that, according to the law for registering for non-profit status, the IRS has the perfect right to investigate any and all groups requesting this status or in possession of this status at any time.

Another reason it is a non-scandal is that the Republican Tea Party complaints went up the chain of command at the IRS, all the way to the Inspector General, as was revealed in the congressional hearings.  The IG did his job and investigated their complaints.  He generated a public report and IRS management corrected the politically perceived - but not illegal - issues.  The situational response was the usual slow development toward a proper resolution of any large government entity.  Then there was the usual frantic hair-pulling of deciding when and how to tell the President.

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Tax law regarding political groups

Keep in mind the IRS is tasked with making sure these non-profits are not allowed to do political activities the majority of the time.  When this corrupt Supreme Court foolishly opened the flood gates for unlimited political donations that could remain secret we all knew the Republicans would rush to that opportunity to take advantage as much as possible.  After all, Congress made sure that crookedness was now legal just like the insider trading bill where Congress and their aides can profit from insider knowledge - but it's a crime if the public does it.  Come on.

Suddenly, the IRS was inundated with hundreds of suspiciously obvious political groups demanding non-profit status.  The Tea Party was founded as a political group yet these many new groups claim they are not political?  Really?  The IRS was bound by law to investigate those suspicions.  In the end, all these crooks get their tax exempt status anyway.  The smart way around this is to not allow anyone to get tax exempt status in this country, most especially political groups and churches where the majority of abuses occur.

How did Obama handle the IRS' bad customer service?

So, did President Obama handle the IRS "Scandal" well?  Well enough.  He would have been better served if he had released the story quickly and all at once instead of in dribbles which only made him look incompetent and disorganized.

The President did replace the acting commissioner who was on overload running his own department as well.  The President released the IRS IG's report and corrected any targeting sensitivity, though it was clear the political groups should have been under a close scrutiny.  Republican political groups are notorious for skirting every law they can bend, chew to pieces, under fund for enforcement, all to ensure their crookedness succeeds at every turn as they grab for power in every situation.

The Republicans have never had any invested interest in running government properly to benefit the American people.  Republicans vigorously promote wage inequality, sexual assaults and rape as no need for justice, women as second class citizens, gay folks as aliens in need of deportation, illegal immigrants as things and black people as deserving of racist derision.

Republicans are found to be lying just about every time they open their mouths.  It's disheartening that our national and state politics have deteriorated to this lowest level where the public can no longer trust.  If ever there was a country in need of a true spiritual revival it's America, starting with the conservative "Christians" who love to hate and declare everyone outside of themselves as subhuman.

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What else has President Obama gotten right instead of wrong lately?  

Well, there's the controversial ObamaCare, a first step toward what should have been a public health option.  It would have been so much smarter and a lot less expensive on the average person to go that route but Obama bent to the will of the Health Insurance Lobby. Bet he regrets that decision after seeing how badly this plan has been realized.

As a result, few can truly afford health insurance in America since it has skyrocketed by thousands per year. Small employers are experiencing a tough time providing any coverage for their employees.  The average American is now spending $3,000 to $7,000 more annually to provide coverage for their families as employers increasingly refuse to absorb the majority or even part of the coverage plan.  They just throw an expensive plan out at their employees and say, "Here. Now you deal with it."

The Affordable Care Act is where Team Obama has fallen down miserably for the average working American and small business owners.  It's great for those with pre-existing conditions to be able to acquire health care but that's all.  No one said they could afford it.

By now the President should have rolled out a plan to lower pricing significantly to give Americans a financial breather.  For seven years the average American has been hit by job loss, wage cutbacks, huge insurance hikes, high medical costs - even when the lucky ones have maintained jobs and not suffered losses from weather related issues.

So, yes, President Obama got it right to begin the process of overhauling the health system.  It's now time to take the next step to make it financially feasible for the entire country.  He might want to consider delaying the enforcing of certain provisions in the law for another couple of years until his team can iron out the financial hardship for the now impoverished middle class.  Asking the IRS to enforce the Affordable Care Act could also be a real nightmare.

As to the IRS Scandal all it involves is a lack of consistent oversight by committed leadership.  The employees appointed themselves to overly aggressive scrutiny when it would have been wiser to iron out a proper procedure to investigate these groups in a more professional manner.  The President cleaned the slate by appointing a new commissioner who can oversee the agency full time, hopefully avoiding further messes - ok, until the next time.

Of course, to hear the silly Republicans tell it, the next time has occurred.  The thing is the $50 million spent on those silly 226 IRS conferences over several years occurred under the Bush Era leadership.  The Republicans have a bad habit of appointing themselves as kings in any federal agency where they find ways to lavishly spend taxpayer monies.

Remember the CIA mess under President Bush?  They were using taxpayer monies for prostitutes and gambling.  Those guys were political appointees that never had any training or experience working in the intelligence environment.  In short hand, they were Romney's "moochers."

Which brings me to why I've pressed the President and Team Obama so much the past few years.  Team Obama spends far too much time focused upon political optics instead of running the government.  When they first came into office five years ago the President promised a top down review of every federal agency to reduce waste in government spending.

Well, why not talk about all those accomplishments to the press?  Every day come out with the agency studied and the waste nixed.  While you are at it, Team Obama, how about rooting out the Bush Era Moochers' federal contracts?  Those "speakers" for the IRS conferences and other federal agencies are the usual suspects that burrowed into the free money trough during the Bush Era.  Find them and cut those ridiculous contracts throughout the government.  There are far too many political cronies dining on the taxpayer dime.  In this economy the public seriously resents it and it's past due time it was slashed out of the national budget.

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