STAFF NEWS & ANALYSIS
Serpentine! … Senators Franken and Schumer Avoid IRS Questions
By Staff News & Analysis - May 24, 2013

Sen Al Franken (D-MN) was using such a circuitous "serpentine" walking pattern in an effort to avoid TRN's Jason Mattera's tough question that he inadvertently body checked one of his own staffers in the process. The absurd weaving to avoid the tough inquiry even brought the senator to laughter at one point as the beleaguered staffer tried to run interference for Franken by claiming that he doesn't talk to national press. – Breitbart

Dominant Social Theme: The Democrats are shocked about IRS abuses. Shocked!

Free-Market Analysis: Turns out that Democratic Senators Chuck Schumer and Al Franken were among a number of top Dems that sent letters to the IRS demanding investigations of conservative groups.

This issue has exploded in the past week as it became clear that the IRS had indeed targeted constitutionalist-type entities for further investigation regarding their tax-exempt status. This video bears testimony to how controversial the issue has become. The Senators in question dodge the questioner or simply walk away as fast as possible.

Seeing the reactions of these two (click the image at the end of this article to watch the Breitbart video), one is reminded again that government is the application of force and that those close to government have an undue advantage over the rest of us. Certainly, this is understandable when it comes to politicians. They are elected to exercise the awesome power of the state. But too often, as this video shows, they abuse that power.

Here's how Fox News puts it:

Letters from 10 high-profile Democrats to then-IRS commissioner Doug Shulman pressured the IRS to investigate nonprofit politicking, even threatening legislation to change IRS standards if the IRS didn't act.

The letters show how elected officials pressured the IRS during an election season, fearing opponents were unfairly using the tax law to raise money to their advantage.

Shulman testified yesterday that back in March 2012, there was "absolutely" no special targeting of conservative groups going on. "At no time, to the best of my memory, was I ever given the impression that these [IRS employees] were only [looking closely] at conservative groups," Shulman told Congress on Wednesday.

IRS official Lois Lerner has already publicly apologized for the IRS's targeting of tax-exempt applications by using key words such as "Tea Party" and "Patriots."

The timeline of the events show top-ranking Democrats were sending a flurry of letters to Shulman, demanding that the agency act, and act fast.

Democrats' Letters to the IRS

The letters to Shulman date from September 2010 through August 2012, and are from Democrat senators including Max Baucus, Carl Levin, Charles Schumer and Al Franken, as well as Rep. Peter Welch.

"We write to urge the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to investigate whether any groups qualifying as social welfare organizations under section 501(c)(4) of the federal tax code are improperly engaged in political campaign activity," wrote Vermont Democrat Welch to Shulman in March 2012.

Seven senators, including Schumer and Franken, complained to Shulman in March 2012 that "lack of clarity in the IRS rules" is to blame, threatening "legislation" to enact bright-line rules.

Strangely enough, Schumer and Franken have a point when it comes to certain IRS rules, as we have written previously. IRS guidelines for nonprofits have been positioned in such a way as to give the IRS maximum discretion when it comes to such cases. The idea, of course, is to create yet another weapon that politicians can use to threaten the rest of us. The vaguer the law is, the more important the gatekeepers become. It has nothing to do with law and everything to do with patronage.

Watching Schumer and Franken frantically dodge questions, one is reminded again that the problem really is with the size, breadth and intrusiveness of the sociopolitical system itself – not just in the US but throughout the West.

After Thoughts

The current IRS scandal is a symptom. The expansive and ruthless nature of Leviathan is the cause.

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