First, it’s been a long time since I last posted; August 14 of 2014 to be exact!
I’m going to tell it like it is; I’m not good at blogging! I am a lousy writer and a WORSE typist; however, I think I am pretty good at researching and even better at expressing my opinions. Sometimes I don’t have much to say, others I’m running from something I do not like, and then there was tax season, etc. Let’s hope the writing and typing improve and when there is something to say I do not run scared of the writing or typing so I can try and share some information and maybe my opinions.
My subject today, as it has been for a couple posts in the past is the Internal Revenue Service, or IRS, but maybe from a slightly different perspective. In essence, I feel Congress has made a terrible choice in empowering a Special Committee to investigate the tragic events of Benghazi as opposed to the IRS.
In my opinion, the IRS is a disheveled mess right now! Frankly, the issues with the IRS have been percolating for years, but as I see it, the top blew off the smelly mess when Lois Lerner tried to preempt the Treasury Inspector General’s Report on the organization’s targeting of conservative groups.
For anyone out there that wants to “abolish the IRS”, I believe you can forget it. The IRS is all we have, it plays a VERY important role in this country’s operation and it has to be restructured, not removed.
As I said, the mess came to the forefront in 2013 when Lois Lerner blew the cover off the issue, making it a public as opposed to a private one. It was addressed by President Obama; however, I personally feel he had a lot to do with the “targeting”; a “political” issue which I would rather not go into here. To quell the outcry, on August 1, 2013, President Obama nominated John Koskinen to be the next commissioner of the IRS. Koskenin was to be the permanent replacement for acting commissioner Steven Miller who was sitting in for Douglas Schulman after he had completed his term as IRS Commissioner from March 2008 to November 2012.
The targeting of conservative groups brought to light by Lois Lerner and later substantiated by the Treasury Inspector General took place under Schulman’s watch, which doesn’t say much for his oversight, or if he was aware but ignored it, but the agancy’s problems are much deeper than its targeting of certain groups: service on the decline, tax scams on the rise, audits on the decline, etc., etc., etc. The IRS was in need of a complete overhaul and John Koskinen certainly appeared to be a very good selection to get the job done. I mean, as Wikepedia reports, the man graduated magna cum laude with a BA in physics from Duke University in 1961 where he was a Phi Beta Kappa; graduated cum laude with an LLB from Yale Law School in 1964 and did post graduate work at Cambridge University, Cambridge, England from 1964 to 1965. He also served as President of the U.S. Soccer Foundation, Deputy Mayor of the District of Columbia, Deputy Director for Management of the Office of Management and Budget and President Clinton’s Chair of the President’s Council on the Year 2000 problem. Prior to entering gvernment service, Koskinen worked for 21 years as Vice President, President, CEO and Chairman of the Palmieri Company, a general management consulting firm that specialized in large scale restructurings, working on the turnaround of the Penn Central Transportation Company, Levitt and Sons, the Teamsters Pension Fund, Mutual Benefit and Equity Programs Investment Corporation. If there was a better person to ovehaul the IRS, he or she would have been hard to find at the time, and on 12/20/2013, the Senate voted 56-39 for cloture of the nomination, cutting off a Republican led fillibuster, and Koskinen was confirmed in a 56-36 vote. However, I believe the Republican led filibuster spoke volumes about the downside of John Koskinen.
As printed in a Washington Free Beacon Staff Report dated 06/23/2014, Koskinen has been a staunch democratic supporter over almost 40 years, starting in 1979 with a $1,000 contribution to Gary Hart as a Democratic candidate for the Colorado Senate. Since that time, he has contributed:
- $19,000 to the Democratic National Committee between 1988-2000;
- $3,000 to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee since 2008;
- $2,000 between 2004 and 2006 to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee; and
has made contributions to the Democratic candidate for President since 1980, including $2,300 and $5,000 to Obama in 2008 and 2012 respectively and $3,800 to Hillary Clinton for her various political campaigns.
With the palmares of John Koskinen, you would expect him to jump in, roll up his sleeves and get to work on restructuring the behemoth organization known as the Internal Revenue Service. As it turns out, I believe his VERY STRONG association with the Democratic Party and being in charge of one of the largest and most influential agencies in the federal government has led him down the path of protecting, not restructuring the entity. I believe this just might have been the reason the Senate Republicans were filibustering his appointment at the outset.
This is where Congress could have made a huge difference, appointing a Special Committee or even a Special Prosecutor to investigate the IRS and its problems as opposed to the Benghazi catrastrophe. Don’t get me wrong. Benghazi was a sad, disgraceful event in this country’s history and a bold statement on Hillary Clinton’s inability to manage effectively, and I do not mean to be “short-sighted” about the families that lost loved ones in Benghazi; however, the events of Benghazi do not touch virtually every American citizen in a personal way, where the acts of the IRS do. Frankly, in my opinion, the Special Committee on Benghazi is being staged on more of a political than a citizen front and I sincerely doubt much new can come from it; however, I also believe if the same amount of focus and effort were put on the IRS and its retched demise, so much more could be done for the country and its citizens. There’s just too much there, in my opinion. Lerner claiming the 5th in front of Congress, after she first asserted her innocense; Koskinen claiming ALL of Lerner’s e-mails had been lost, but as time goes on, more and more appear to actually be coming to light; the Justice Department refusing to investigate Lerner for contempt; i.e.: taking a blind eye as opposed to another set of eyes to the situation; in my opinion, Koskinen orchestrating a “Blue Flu” during tax season. I realize this is all “conjecture”, “circumstantial evidence” at this point; however, where there’s smoke, there’s usually fire, and I feel there is A LOT of smoke here. Congress HAS TO do its job and move forward on this IRS mess.