Wednesday, October 19, 2016 by JD Heyes
More evidence that Barack Obama has been the most ideological, corrupt, anti-constitutional president in history continues to emerge, but don’t expect the adoring and equally corrupt establishment media to point it out.
In recent days a non-partisan watchdog group released a report claiming the Obama administration may have breached taxpayer privacy laws in order to attack political opponents.
The report, released Oct. 12, was prepared by the staff of the Washington, D.C.-based Cause of Action Institute. It accused the White House of making “frequent and damaging use of the IRS as a political weapon.”
The group asserted that the Obama administration was not the first to do so, and recommended a number of changes to taxpayer privacy statutes and regulations aimed at preventing future presidents from breaking rules to favor their agenda (more on that noble goal in a moment).
In conducting their investigation, Cause of Action officials examined the legal barriers that are supposed to prevent such illicit use of the IRS in reviewing, disclosing and using private taxpayer information.
Under the Tax Reform Act of 1976, AMI Newswire reported, taxpayer information has to be protected and kept private. The law states it can only be revealed under certain, limited circumstances, and that any and all requests for review have to be documented.
However, investigators for the group found that no president has ever used the two disclosure requirements that are outlined in federal statutes.
Under the law presidents may submit written, personally signed requests to the Department of Treasury, which oversees the IRS, seeking specific information about an individual tax return. In his request the president must also clearly state why he is asking and what the information is needed for, as well as naming specifically with whom else he intends to share the information.
A second method which is normally used in the conduct of background checks for political appointees allows the secretary of the Treasury to disclose certain parts of an individual’s tax returns to designated White House officials. The IRS is required to notify the individual of the request for their information within three days.
There are also presidential reporting requirements to the congressional Joint Committee on Taxation.
However, as the group noted in its report, “no president has used either of these two pathways designed by Congress to be the exclusive means for presidential access to confidential taxpayer information.”
“The Cause of Action Institute report recommended that Congress should reaffirm and strengthen taxpayer confidentiality rules, and crack down on the use of consent forms that allow presidents to skirt existing legal reporting requirements,” AMI Newswire reported.
That’s all well and good, but the problem lies in congressional inaction in the first place. The Legislative Branch – comprised of members of both parties – has to be willing to hold the Executive Branch accountable using various constitutional authorities such as impeachment and the power of the purse.
If Congress won’t, then it doesn’t matter how many new laws are made; a president simply gets away with it. That’s how Obama has been allowed to become the most lawless president in history.