Phil Kerpen

It seems every major scandal, abuse of power, and spectacular failure in President Barack Obama's administration happens, we're told, without the president's knowledge.

When Lois Lerner first confessed to improperly targeting tea party groups via a planted question at a conference, she blamed it on "rogue agents" in Cincinnati.

We later found out that Lerner herself had sent an email that said: "Tea Party Matter very dangerous. This could be the vehicle to go to court on the issue of whether Citizens United overturning the ban on corporate spending applies to tax exempt rules. Counsel and Judy Kinell need to be in on this one... Cincy should probably NOT have these cases."

By "counsel," she meant Obama-appointee William Wilkins, the IRS chief counsel. And according to Carter Hull at the IRS Technical Unit in Washington, that's indeed where he was told to send all the tea party files for review. Hull said he had never seen anything like it in his 50 years at the agency.

And when the Treasury Inspector General conducted his audit, he notified the White House weeks before Lerner's bizarre confession and scapegoating of Cincinnati.

Yet the president knows nothing. He learned about it by watching the news.

Same story on the bizarre decision to launch healthcare.gov on October 1 even though it was obviously not ready.

As early as March 14, Henry Chao, the Chief Deputy Information Officer at CMS - the tech lead on the project - said: "The time for debating about the size of text on the screen or the color or is it a world-class user experience, that's what we used to talk about two years ago... Let's just make sure it's not a third-world experience."

A month later, even that modest ambition was already in doubt. April 17, the top Democrat on the Senate Finance Committee and one of the law's chief architects, Max Baucus, famously said to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius: "I just see a huge train wreck coming down."

He wasn't the only one who saw it. By July it was widely reported the exchanges were in serious trouble. The Obama administration had given up on verifying subsidy eligibility and announced subsidies would instead be handed out on the "honor system." It was a massive red flag for anyone paying attention.

Every significant conservative group saw what was coming, joining an August 6 letter urging a one-year delay because: "With the clock ticking to open enrollment on October 1, it is abundantly clear to members of the Repeal Coalition that the structure at the heart of PPACA is simply not ready."


Phil Kerpen

Phil Kerpen is president of American Commitment, a columnist on Fox News Opinion, chairman of the Internet Freedom Coalition, and author of the 2011 book Democracy Denied.

American Commitment is dedicated to restoring and protecting America’s core commitment to free markets, economic growth, Constitutionally-limited government, property rights, and individual freedom.

Washingtonian magazine named Mr. Kerpen to their "Guest List" in 2008 and The Hill newspaper named Mr. Kerpen a "Top Grassroots Lobbyist" in 2011.

Mr. Kerpen's op-eds have run in newspapers across the country and he is a frequent radio and television commentator on economic growth issues.

Prior to joining American Commitment, Mr. Kerpen served as vice president for policy at Americans for Prosperity. Mr. Kerpen has also previously worked as an analyst and researcher for the Free Enterprise Fund, the Club for Growth, and the Cato Institute.

A native of Brooklyn, N.Y., Mr. Kerpen currently resides in Washington, D.C. with his wife Joanna and their daughter Lilly.