'American Ideal'- The Shutdown Season

John Ransom
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Posted: Oct 05, 2013 12:01 AM
'American Ideal'- The Shutdown Season

Here’s a good idea: Let’s assemble the crew at America’s Got Talent or American Idol and let each department head or secretary in the federal government get up on stage and make the case why they are so darned important before we agree to fund their activities for another year.

We can call it American Ideal.

We can have the folks at Citizens Against Government waste, who have identified “557 recommendations that would save taxpayers $580.6 billion in the first year and $1.8 trillion over five years,” act as panelists for the show. The live audience can be Tea Party “terrorists” and “arsonists,” as Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi call them.

And if we can’t do that, could we at least make the employees of the IRS stand naked on stage while we throw rotten vegetables at them? We can ask Congress—both chambers—to join them.

I am absolutely, 100 percent in favor of getting rid of the IRS today. Do not wait, do not pass go; do not let them collect $200 dollars.

Increasingly people I know—conservatives—feel like they are being targeted by federal regulators, not because they have done anything wrong, but because of their political views.

It’s happened with people I know in banking and people I know in financial services. And I see it happening in the news as well.

This week Dr. Ben Carson spoke out about an IRS audit that just coincidentally happened after he spoke out about Obamacare during the National Prayer Breakfast, which Obama attended.

“The latest revelation came Thursday from Dr. Carson,” reports the Washington Times, “the renowned neurosurgeon who told The Washington Times that he was targeted for an audit just months after he gave a speech in front of President Obama that challenged America’s leadership. The agency requested to review his real estate holdings and then conducted a full audit.”

Of course liberals are suspicious that the rest of us are suspicious of these actions by the IRS. Perhaps it’s because they don’t get audited.

Writes David Zurawik, TV columnist for the Baltimore Sun, Carson’s hometown paper:

Ben Carson is back on Fox News and knee deep in innuendo again against the Obama administration.

The former Johns Hopkins neurosurgeon is suggesting that he was targeted by the I.R.S. for remarks made at a prayer breakfast in February that were critical of President Obama, who was in attendance at the event.

But check out the video from Carson's appearance Wednesday on Bill O'Reilly's show and note the way he worms out of a direct answer when the host asks him point blank if he believes he was targeted for his remarks -- or the timing of the alleged audit was a coincidence.

And then, note the way he calls something that he just acknowledged might or might not have happened for the reasons he said it did an event that is "much more serious than Watergate or Iran-Contra or even Benghazigate."

Yeah, except we already know that the IRS did use the power to audit political enemies, which of course is a felony. It may or may not have happened to Carson, but what about the people it did happen to?

Additionally, the IRS, in a political move designed to irritate taxpayers, announced that they’d be collecting money but they would not be processing refunds during the government shutdown.

Got it.

Essential: collecting money from taxpayers for the government. Nonessential: refunding money to taxpayers for their families.

This is the usual expectation the taxpayers and voters and citizens have when it comes to government.

Government: essential. Families: non-essential.

It was long suspected that Richard Nixon used similar auditing tactics that Carson is complaining of. It was one of the reasons Nixon had to resign.

Let’s be honest here: The only reason why Obama’s gotten away with such things is because the GOP is frightened of the backlash created by attacking the first black president in American history with serious crimes.

But that doesn’t mean that the president’s going to get off scot-free.

From USAToday:

So last week, while most of the country was talking about football or fears of a government shutdown, Rasmussen released a poll that should worry everyone -- but especially incumbent Democrats in Congress. According to Rasmussen's survey, most Americans think the IRS broke the law by targeting Tea Party groups for harassment, but few expect it to be punished. Fifty-three percent think the IRS broke the law by targeting the Tea Party and other conservative groups like the voter-integrity outfit True The Vote; only 24% disagreed. But only 17% think it is even somewhat likely that anyone will be charged, while 74% think that criminal charges are unlikely.

So we have a situation here where trust in the government is at an all-time low at the same time, not coincidentally, government intrusion into our lives is at an all-time high.

How it will end I’m not sure, but this will end badly, I guarantee. Kind of like a marriage you know is destined to break up.

And the recriminations will be just as great.

It’s too bad that the country will end up breaking stuff a lot more consequential than just wedding china, like our economy, our healthcare system, the 40-hour workweek, our energy complex, and likely a host of other things that the government is keeping from us.

In the meantime, “newsmakers,” like David Zurawik, seem “perplexed” by Americans shrugging off the government shutdown.

I suspect it’s because folks like David Zurawik live in failed states such as Baltimore, Washington, New York, Boston, Detroit, Chicago, and Los Angeles, dependent on government schemes to prop up their non-sustainable, urban lives. The rest of us live lives that are sustained by our families, not by the federal government.

The media elite and the folks in DC don’t seem to understand a very basic premise: When you get rid of that pain in the neck, you hope it never returns, especially under Obamacare.

“When you have got rid of a boil on your neck,” Lord Salisbury observed of one particularly troubling member of his government, “you don't want it back.”

Our necks are fine now, thank you.

We are busy enjoying a pain-free life.

Oh, and stocking up on rotten vegetables for next November’s electoral edition of American Ideal.