One year ago, ProPublica published illegally leaked IRS data on America’s wealthiest taxpayers. The “newsroom” said it obtained the information from “an anonymous source,” thanks to the ease with which people with access to information can secretly copy and transmit it with a few mouse clicks.
ProPublica piously claimed its actions were meant to advance “tax fairness” and help Congress and the Biden administration pay for all the trillions of dollars lavished on Covid and Build Back Better, by making it harder for the über-rich “to avoid tax burdens borne by ordinary citizens.”
But as I’ve noted previously, their approach is hideously complicated. Assets that increase in value from some retroactive mythical or arbitrary acquisition price would get taxed whopping amounts. If assets later depreciate, the wealthy will require credits or refunds for billion-dollar unrealized losses. Worse, the initial 700-1,000 ultra-rich would likely balloon to millions of taxpayers, as happened with the Alternative Minimum Tax, under this accountant, appraiser, auditor and lawyer appreciation legislation.
The IRS and Justice Department say they are deeply concerned, devoted to protecting taxpayer information, and committed to getting to the bottom of the data theft scandal. But the perpetrators have yet to be identified, prosecuted or punished – and ProPublica certainly hasn’t been canceled by or banished from Facebook or Twitter.
Indeed, ProPublica published more stolen confidential data this year. Again, no accountability for the perps – any more than there was for Lois Lerner, who used the IRS to target conservative groups and obstruct their tax-exempt certifications, so that they could not engage in activities that might have affected the outcomes of multiple elections.
Congressman Jim Jordan (R-OH) says the ProPublica saga is just “one more example of the government being weaponized” against the American people. However, only the chairs of relevant committees can demand that the IRS Inspector General brief Congress, the IRS told Jordan, and those Democrat chairs have little interest in doing so.
The saga also further documents how “public servants” too often assist “progressive” Democrats, Big Media, Big Tech and Big Academia in driving far-left economic, energy and “social and climate justice” agendas – employing the full heft of the Deep State and wealthy corporations.
Yet some still say they’re baffled that so many distrust and despise the IRS and Federal Government.
Despite the gravity of these data thefts, the anniversary was barely mentioned in most news media. Nor were other anniversaries. Five years ago this month, a former Bernie Sanders volunteer tried to gun down Republican congressmen during baseball practice. Six years ago, Antifa thugs and arsonists were ramping up their multiyear assault on 2016 election results, America’s democracy, police stations and courthouses, people’s homes and livelihoods, and conservative families in their favorite restaurants.
What did get extensive attention was the partisan House of Representatives inquisition into the January 6, 2021 “violent attack” on the Capitol, in an “attempt to prevent certification” of the 2020 election results. President Trump and others have been charged with “high crimes and misdemeanors” and “engaging in insurrection or rebellion against the United States,” despite asking his supporters to “peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard.” It’s a good distraction from our economic and energy problems.
Some of President Trump’s rhetoric was certainly intemperate, and some marchers certainly broke windows and entered the Capitol. However, the only serious violence was the unjustifiable killing of Ashli Babbitt by Capitol Hill policeman Michael Byrd, and Speaker Pelosi (D-CA) clearly failed to ensure adequate security that day.
But if some of President Trump’s language rose to the level of “inciting violence,” what are we to make of other rhetoric? Then-Senator Kamala Harris declared that the “mostly peaceful” Black Lives Matter and Antifa protests are “not gonna stop before Election Day, and they’re not gonna stop after Election Day.” She also supported a Soros fund that helped bail rioters out of jail.
Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA) demanded “No peace, no sleep!” for Trump officials. “If you see anybody from that Cabinet in a restaurant, in a department store, at a gasoline station,” she ranted, “tell them they’re not welcome anymore, anywhere.”
Standing outside the Supreme Court, Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) warned: “I want to tell you Gorsuch, I want to tell you Kavanaugh: You have released the whirlwind, and you will pay the price. You won’t know what hit you if you go forward with these awful decisions.”
The far-left group Ruth Sent Us published the home addresses of conservative Supreme Court justices, and even the school attended by Justice Amy Coney Barrett’s children. An anti-Israel Boston-area Boycott Divest Sanction (BDS) outfit posted maps of Jewish organizations it wants to “disrupt.”
The consequences are predictable. Violent protests rage on, with more promised if the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade. Jane’s Revenge extremists is firebombing 20-some pro-life churches and pregnancy counseling offices in multiple states. And a pro-abortion gunman arrested at 1:00 am outside the Kavanaugh residence told police he intended to assassinate the Justice. (The NY Times and other liberal papers barely covered the murder plot.)
Threats and protests following a leaked draft of a Supreme Court decision reversing past abortion rulings prompted the US Senate to unanimously pass legislation protecting the Justices’ families. But Speaker Pelosi sat on the measure for five weeks, including a full week after the attempted assassination. It finally passed the House with 27 Democrats voting against it, including five Squad members.
Our system cannot abide blatantly different standards of justice and discourse. It’s flat-out illegal to threaten or intimidate judges or justices, to advance desired decisions. And censorship of unwanted opinions and inconvenient facts brings dictatorship and disastrous policies.
But the Democrat-run Congress and Executive Branch are clearly taking America down this path, weaponizing government institutions, imposing different rules and standards against different classes of citizens, and colluding with print, electronic and social media to control information and debate.
This final problem is rapidly metastasizing. Press Secretary Jen Psaki admitted the White House is collaborating with social media companies to censor alleged COVID “disinformation,” while government agencies ramp up “disinformation research and tracking” – and flag “problematic posts that spread disinformation,” so that Facebook, Twitter and YouTube can cancel and delete them.
Having already succeeded in getting social media to silence those who question climate crisis claims, White House climate adviser Gina McCarthy now wants Big Tech titans to cancel anyone who says “green” energy and other climate “solutions” will harm the environment and living standards. Even pointing out limitations of lithium-ion batteries is “disinformation” that threatens public health, she says.
Meanwhile, the Department of Homeland Security has proposed a Disinformation Governance Board that might forge “public-private partnerships between DHS and Twitter” – the better to combat disinformation about masking, vaccines and other “serious homeland security risks,” say internal DHS emails.
The Left clearly intends to gain full control, and will not settle for less. If it cannot achieve its ends via ballot boxes (no matter how stuffed or harvested they might be), then agencies will connive with print, electronic and social media – in clear violation of First Amendment prohibitions against government abridging freedom of speech. Failing that, it will resort to cartridge boxes and Molotov cocktails.