It's clear that the IRS has been unfairly targeting and mistreating more than 500 conservative organizations, especially if they use such words as "tea party," "liberty" or "patriotic" on their tax returns or tax-exempt applications. IRS then bogs them down with years of delays and demands for nosy and unnecessary information.
A House Ways and Means Committee hearing on June 4 exposed some of the IRS's obnoxious behavior. The representative of an Iowa anti-abortion organization applying for tax-exempt status said the IRS asked her about the content of her organization's prayers.
Sue Martinek of Coalition for Life of Iowa testified that the IRS asked every board member to sign a letter pledging in writing that they would not picket Planned Parenthood.
John Eastman, chairman of the National Organization for Marriage, said that the IRS leaked the organization's list of its best donors (a page in the tax return titled "not for public inspection"). The list was then published on the website of the Human Rights Campaign, a pro-gay organization which is the victim organization's "principal political opponent" on the marriage issue.
It's clear that the leak came directly from the IRS because the leaked page showed "internal IRS stamps," which exist only within the IRS. In another example, Karen Kinney, representing the San Fernando Valley Patriots, said the IRS gave her only 20 days to answer 35 items divided into 80 "sub-points of inquiry."
Lois Lerner, head of the IRS unit on tax-exempt organizations, took the Fifth Amendment when the House Committee tried to interrogate her.
Cleta Mitchell, a preeminent expert on political tax law, is representing nine conservative organizations that have been subjected to unusual delays and unlawful demands for confidential information. One of her clients has been waiting for approval of its nonprofit status since 2009.
Another serious problem is the wholesale stealing of U.S. military and industrial secrets and intellectual property by organized cyber hackers operating from China, Russia and India. But Obama was too scared to challenge China's president at their meeting last week.
Phyllis Schlafly is a national leader of the pro-family movement, a nationally syndicated columnist and author of Feminist Fantasies.
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