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‘Is this still America?’

by on May 18, 2013

Congressional hearing turns into IRS smackdown as disgraced former commissioner and Treasury Inspector General face tea-party scandal questions

  • Appointee in charge of screening tax-exempt applications is now in charge of implementing new Obamacare taxes
  • Ousted Steven Miller defends himself, insists that targeting of conservatives was ‘foolish mistakes,’ not political gamesmanship
  • May 10 leak that launched the scandal was ‘prepared,’ Miller acknowledges
  • Former IRS commissioner testified last year that there was ‘absolutely no targeting’ going on
  • Democrats on the panel blame 2010 ‘Citizens United’
  • Supreme Court ruling for creating a flood of tax-exemption applications during an election year

The IRS under the Obama administration painted targets on the backs of conservatives beginning in 2010, and ousted acting IRS commissioner Steven Miller apologized to the House Ways and Means Committee on Friday. But members on both sides of the aisle were furious, and castigated him for the mismanagement and political gamesmanship the IRS engaged in on his watch.

Texas Republican congressman Kevin Brady had the harshest criticism for Miller.

‘Is this still America?’ he asked him.

‘Is this government so drunk on power that it would turn its full force, its full might, to harass, and intimidate, and threaten an average American who only wants her voice, their voices heard?’

‘The American public deserves better,’ Miller agreed. But both he and J. Russell George, the Treasury Department’s Inspector General for Tax Administration, insisted that no IRS employees engaged in political witch-hunting.


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