Gowdy Takes on IRS + More – Daily Digest

Posted on Tue 06/24/2014 by


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“It is … [the citizens’] choice, and depends upon their conduct, whether they will be respectable and prosperous, or contemptable and miserable as a nation. This is the time of their political probation; this is the moment when the eyes of the world are turned upon them.” –George Washington, Letter to the Governors, 1783


Gowdy Takes on IRS

Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) hit IRS Commissioner John Koskinen with a question the bureaucrat couldn’t answer Monday: “You have already said multiple times today that there was no evidence that you found of any criminal wrongdoing,” Gowdy said. “I want you to tell me what criminal statutes you have evaluated.” Befuddled, Koskinen replied, “I have not looked at any.” Gowdy fired back, “Well then how can you possibly tell our fellow citizens that there’s not criminal wrongdoing if you don’t even know what statutes to look at?” Gowdy repeated the question, and Koskinen again admitted, “I reviewed no criminal statutes.” The only hope for the IRS is smoke and mirrors. We’re glad at least Gowdy isn’t going to take it.

Lame Excuses to the IRS

Admit it: After the IRS’s excuse that it “lost” Lois Lerner’s emails, you wanted to, come tax time, tell the IRS that your hard drive crashed too, so it shouldn’t expect your check. A bill in the U.S. House would allow just that. Rep. Steve Stockman (R-TX) introduced “The Dog Ate My Tax Receipts Act” (TDAMTRA), a bill that allows taxpayers to use the same lame excuses as the IRS. In a statement, Stockman said, “The United States was founded on the belief government is subservient and accountable to the people. Taxpayers shouldn’t be expected to follow laws the Obama administration refuses to follow themselves. Taxpayers should be allowed to offer the same flimsy, obviously made-up excuses the Obama administration uses.” Among the excuses, taxpayers could say they “Traded documents for five terrorists” or that documents were left “in [a] gun case sold to Mexican drug lords.” Say, that sounds like the list we made two days before Stockman introduced his bill. More…

VA Study Shows Disarray

Sen. Tom Coburn, M.D, (R-OK) released a study on the state of the Veterans Affairs hospitals. It shows a culture where VA employees behave as if they are above the law and mismanage billions of dollars, while Congress is absent from overseeing the bureaucracy. Since 2001, the hospital system has paid out nearly $1 billion in malpractice claims, according to the study titled “Friendly Fire: Death, Delay and Dismay at The VA.” More than 1,000 veterans have allegedly died due to VA negligence. “This reports shows the problems at the VA are worse than anyone imagined,” Coburn said. “The scope of the VA’s incompetence – and Congress’ indifferent oversight – is breathtaking and disturbing. This investigation found the problems at the VA are far deeper than just scheduling. … As is typical with any bureaucracy, the excuse for not being able to meet goals is a lack of resources. But this is not the case at the VA where spending has increased rapidly in recent years.” More…

Who Pays ObamaCare’s Tab?

On Monday, Gallup said citizens using the ObamaCare exchanges to get health insurance are less healthy than the national average. Fifty percent of the population is healthy – the definition of average – while only 38% of the new ObamaCare enrollees are of average health or better. The numbers last week show the vast majority of these plans, about 90%, are subsidized by the great Nanny, who picks up 76% of the health care bill for these new enrollees. But this is just the beginning. The Daily Signal reports that only 3.4 million of the eight million people to sign up for ObamaCare did not have health insurance in the past – the government hoped for 26 million. Currently, the Obama administration is picking up the tab while the healthy are keeping their distance. In the coming months, we can expect to see premiums rise with the added burden. More…

9.4 Jobs

Perhaps Barack Obama slipped, or perhaps he merely stated what reality feels like when it comes to the economy and employment. Trying to boast of his economic record, he said, “[O]ur businesses have created jobs for 51 consecutive months, 9.4 new jobs in all. But we all know somebody out there still looking for work.” We all know Obamanomics have utterly failed to restart our economy. Last quarter’s GDP growth was negative, while unemployment remains persistently high. So while 9.4 jobs isn’t literally accurate, it sure belies the feeling.

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Hillary’s Wealth Isn’t the Problem

The American Dream is to enjoy the fruits of Liberty – to succeed in your endeavors, earn financial security and raise a family. Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. Yet humans are by nature covetous of the gains of others, and a certain political party has made a platform out of fomenting and exploiting that envy. This is why we can’t have nice things.

Bill and Hillary Clinton were masters of class warfare while in the White House, using it to push massive tax hikes on the “wealthy” in 1993. In 2001 and 2003, Republicans cut those taxes, albeit with an unfortunate sunset provision Democrats seized in order to raise those taxes again in 2013. Democrats made the “rich” paying “their fair share” their standard talking point. Of course, these taxpayers already more than paid their share, but that wasn’t really the point.

Meanwhile, since leaving the White House the Clintons have quite successfully cashed in on their political celebrity to the tune of more than $100 million – not to mention Bill’s ample pension plan and benefits. That leaves Hillary walking the difficult line between being truly wealthy and connecting with the average American.

Two weeks ago, she infamously lamented, “[W]e came out of the White House not only dead broke but in debt. We had no money when we got there and we struggled to, you know, piece together the resources for mortgages for houses, for Chelsea’s education – you know, it was not easy.” Lifestyles of the poor and downtrodden.

Realizing how out of touch she sounded, she’s been trying to “clarify” ever since. This week, she argued that she and her husband are just like you – working to make ends meet. “[W]e pay ordinary income tax,” she said, “unlike a lot of people who are truly well off – not to name names – and we’ve done it through dint of hard work.” Even CNN’s hosts couldn’t help but laugh at that one. And as National Review’s Rich Lowry observed, “[I]t seemed pretty clear that Hillary was contrasting herself with Mitt Romney. It was striking, then, that she said she and Bill have earned their wealth ‘through dint of hard work.’ What she was implying is that investing in and turning around companies is some sort of valueless, rigged financial game, while getting enormous book advances and speaking fees based on your political celebrity is the definition of honest labor.”

Furthermore, the Clintons have done everything they could to avoid paying as much tax as possible. And it’s amusing that she considers herself not “truly well off” with only $100 million when Barack Obama and the Democrats were pushing tax increases on “millionaires and billionaires” earning $200,000 a year.

Even Chelsea Clinton is getting in on the act. The Clintons’ 34-year-old daughter said recently, “I was curious if I could care about [money] on some fundamental level, and I couldn’t.” Translation: Money was plentiful and I needn’t worry. Not to hammer the younger Clinton, but she’s not helping her mom right now.

In related news, Joe Biden claims he’s the one who’s downright poor. “Don’t hold it against me that I don’t own a single stock or bond,” he said Monday. “I have no savings account. But I’ve got a great pension and I’ve got a good salary.” (Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who has a stock portfolio of about $8 million, said in 2012 that no member of Congress should own stocks, so at least Biden’s following her advice.) That’s Biden’s way of taking advantage of Hillary’s missteps as he explores his own possible presidential bid.

Again, the issue here isn’t the Clintons’ or Biden’s wealth. It’s still a (somewhat) free country and they’re welcome to earn what they can. The issue is hypocrisy. The Clintons amass a tremendous fortune on the basis of nothing but their own fame, while pretending to share the average American’s struggles and attacking those who build wealth slowly through hard work, perhaps in a small business. (It’s worth noting the Obama tax increases of 2013 don’t hit the Clintons; they primarily penalize those like the small business owner.) Hillary should simply own up to her wealth, show a little gratitude and humility, and move on. Instead, she clumsily tries to pretend she’s something else entirely.

Who Is Kevin McCarthy?

House Republicans elected Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) House majority leader Thursday, as he easily deflected a challenge by Idaho Rep. Raul Labrador, put forth as an alternative by more conservative Republicans. McCarthy faces questions about whether he has the bone fides to hold together the Republican caucus and represent the values that congressional conservatives find lacking in party leadership.

Read the rest here.

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Abolitionist Frederick Douglass: “Those who profess to favor freedom and yet depreciate agitation, are people who want crops without ploughing the ground; they want rain without thunder and lightning; they want the ocean without the roar of its many waters. … Power concedes nothing without a demand; it never has and it never will.”

Cal Thomas: “Obama’s approval ratings continue to plummet while polls showing that voters think the country is on the ‘wrong track’ seem to be on the rise. Republicans should focus less on scandals and policy failures and begin promoting a positive, inspirational and motivational message that reminds Americans of who we are, where we came from and what we can be again. Rather than settle for a Democratic nanny state, Republicans should feature in their speeches, political ads and conversations the virtues of liberty and the benefits and personal satisfaction that come from the power within each of us to make decisions that can improve any life far better than government. Telling America’s story might inspire a younger generation to reach back and consider the values that sustained this nation in the face of numerous challenges. Good history is worth repeating. … Meanwhile, God save us from popular opinion and from politicians whose only convictions come in a courtroom.”

Economist Thomas Sowell: “The Constitution cannot protect our rights if we do not protect the Constitution. Freedom is not free, and the Constitution is just some words on paper if we do not do anything to those who violate it. What can ordinary citizens do? Everything! Theirs is the ultimate power of the ballot that can bring down even the most powerful elected official. … When someone who has violated the Constitution repeatedly gets re-elected, then the voters are accomplices in the erosion of protection for their own freedom. Laws without penalties are just suggestions – and suggestions are a pitiful defense against power. … If Republicans do not win control of the Senate in this fall’s elections, a Senate controlled by Majority Leader Harry Reid can confirm judges who will have the power to extend Barack Obama’s agenda and complete the dismantling of Constitutional government. Barack Obama can, as he said before taking office, fundamentally ‘change the United States of America.’ Far from being a lame duck president, Obama can make this a lame duck democracy.”

Comedian Argus Hamilton: “The White House refused to take sides in Iraq’s civil war Thursday as government troops fell back again. The next day the advance on Baghdad miraculously halted. It turns out all those abandoned U.S. military vehicles used by al-Qaeda rebels were made by General Motors.”

Semper Vigilo, Fortis, Paratus et Fidelis!
Nate Jackson for The Patriot Post Editorial Team

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