Thursday, May 16, 2013

The Heavy Hand of Government is Going to Get Lighter ... President's Comments on IRS Debacle and Removal of Acting IRS Commissioner

The heavy hand of government is about to get lighter. The pendulum of politics swings as the mood of the voters changes.

Politics sucks and politicians seek power. It's a big game but there are rules to the game. When the rules to the game are broken in a serious way by one side, the other side cries foul and seeks to gain the advantage. And that, my friends, is why I always say that politics sucks.

Government is not about serving We the People; it's about serving the elitist political ruling class by attacking the opposing party. The Remocrats and Depublicans are equally guilty from time to time, as history clearly demonstrates.

That said, this opportunity to redirect the attention of government from itself and its politics to serving We the People is real and should not be underestimated.

Accordingly, we will choose to believe that good things will result from the current example of the "public choice" theory in action. The public choice theory simply says that politicians and government officials, along with voters, generally chose to act in their own individual self interests.

Thus, politicians and government officials do not necessarily act in the best interests of those whom they represent or purport to serve. Politicians and government officials are playing the game of politics for their own benefit.

That said, to win the game, they have to win the votes. And that's where We the People have a big role to play in influencing how the political game is conducted. Now's such a time when we'll be more actively engaged than usual, and that's a good thing -- actually, it's a great thing.

So let's get started. It's all about power. And in America the source of the power was, is and always will be held by We the People. It's ours to give and ours to take away from those we elect to serve us. But we're not always vigilant about it and sometimes we "overdelegate," thereby inadvertently encouraging and allowing government "overreach." This is one of those times.

English historian and moralist Lord Acton said this in 1887, "Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men." Long before that, British Prime Minister William Pitt said this in 1770, "Unlimited power is apt to corrupt the minds of those who possess it."

Our politicians and government officials possess only those powers We the People give to them. They're just people, too. A nation of equals, remember?

The following contains exactly what President Obama said late yesterday afternoon about the IRS fiasco and the resignation of the Acting Head of the IRS in the Transcript of Obama's Remarks on IRS Misconduct:

President Barack Obama delivers remarks on the Internal Revenue Service at the White House in Washington, D.C., on May 15, 2013.

Statement by the President
East Room
6:21 P.M. EDT
THE PRESIDENT:  Good afternoon, everybody.  I just finished speaking with Secretary Lew and senior officials at the Treasury Department to discuss the investigation into IRS personnel who improperly screened conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status.  And I look forward to taking some questions at tomorrow’s press conference, but today, I wanted to make sure to get out to all of you some information about what we’re doing about this, and where we go from here.

I’ve reviewed the Treasury Department watchdog’s report, and the misconduct that it uncovered is inexcusable.  It’s inexcusable, and Americans are right to be angry about it, and I am angry about it.  I will not tolerate this kind of behavior in any agency, but especially in the IRS, given the power that it has and the reach that it has into all of our lives.  And as I said earlier, it should not matter what political stripe you’re from — the fact of the matter is, is that the IRS has to operate with absolute integrity.  The government generally has to conduct itself in a way that is true to the public trust.  That’s especially true for the IRS.

So here’s what we’re going to do.

First, we’re going to hold the responsible parties accountable.  Yesterday, I directed Secretary Lew to follow up on the IG audit to see how this happened and who is responsible, and to make sure that we understand all the facts.  Today, Secretary Lew took the first step by requesting and accepting the resignation of the acting commissioner of the IRS, because given the controversy surrounding this audit, it’s important to institute new leadership that can help restore confidence going forward.

Second, we’re going to put in place new safeguards to make sure this kind of behavior cannot happen again.  And I’ve directed Secretary Lew to ensure the IRS begins implementing the IG’s recommendations right away.

Third, we will work with Congress as it performs its oversight role.  And our administration has to make sure that we are working hand in hand with Congress to get this thing fixed.  Congress, Democrats and Republicans, owe it to the American people to treat that authority with the responsibility it deserves and in a way that doesn’t smack of politics or partisan agendas.  Because I think one thing that you’ve seen is, across the board, everybody believes what happened in — as reported in the IG report is an outrage.  The good news is it’s fixable, and it’s in everyone’s best interest to work together to fix it.

I’ll do everything in my power to make sure nothing like this happens again by holding the responsible parties accountable, by putting in place new checks and new safeguards, and going forward, by making sure that the law is applied as it should be — in a fair and impartial way.  And we’re going to have to make sure that the laws are clear so that we can have confidence that they are enforced in a fair and impartial way, and that there’s not too much ambiguity surrounding these laws.

So that’s what I expect.  That’s what the American people deserve.  And that’s what we’re going to do.

Thank you very much."

Summing Up

That's a start.

More to come.

Undoubtedly, much, much more.

Thanks. Bob.

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