Opinion

Luca Brasi Bureaucrats

by Lee Habeeb and Mike Leven – The ever-growing administrative state has power the mob could only dream of – 

It’s a great scene in the greatest movie sequel ever made, The Godfather: Part II. A U.S. senator from Nevada, on the mob payroll, is questioning a midlevel subordinate of the Corleone family testifying before a Senate committee on organized crime. The senator is trying to establish that the underling he’s grilling never received a direct order from Michael Corleone to kill anybody.

Senator: Was there always a buffer involved? Someone in between you and your possible superiors who gave the actual orders?

Underling: Right. Yeah. A buffer. The family had a lot of buffers. (Laughter)

President Obama didn’t need to order the bureaucrats of the IRS to do his bidding. His daily rhetoric laid the foundation. And he put into positions of leadership of our nation’s biggest bureaucracies some of the most partisan political buffers this country has ever seen — buffers with scant experience in the private sector and, in many cases, outright hostility to business. It was President Obama who made Van Jones a household name. And Elizabeth Warren. And Lisa Jackson. And Eric Holder. And Kathleen Sebelius. And Louise Lerner, who ran the tax-exemption office of the IRS — after she had racked up a sordid track record at the FEC, hounding the Christian Coalition and a conservative challenger to Senator Dick Durbin in the late 1990s.

Obama’s buffers make the Corleone buffers look like lightweights. They’re Luca Brasi bureaucrats with Ph.D.’s, and much more powerful weapons of intimidation than guns and knives. They have thousands of pages of federal regulations — and the power to interpret and enforce those byzantine regulations as they see fit, when they see fit.

While it’s true that this IRS scandal is no Watergate, and that President Obama is not Richard Nixon, the story may prove to be more damaging to the Left than Watergate was to the GOP. Watergate, after all, wasn’t about a party’s philosophy; it was about one man’s paranoia, and criminality.

The IRS scandal is about much more. It’s about lifetime bureaucrats who are unelected and unaccountable and who yield all kinds of power over ordinary Americans, including the power to punish or scare people with whom they don’t agree. And the power to abuse their power because . . . they can.

This story is really about the administrative state grown wild. And gone wild.

President Obama’s chief consigliere, David Axelrod, was on TV recently defending his boss, but he actually made the case against everything his boss (and the Left) believes and presented the best case imaginable for conservatives when he said this on MSNBC’s Morning Joe: “Part of being president is there’s so much underneath that you can’t know, because the government is so vast.”

This is precisely what our Founders worried about when they created the Constitution. They built a legal framework that was all about dispersal of power. The Left’s legal framework is all about the distribution of wealth, which requires concentrating power in the permanently entrenched bureaucracies of Washington, D.C. It is precisely what the tea-party advocates believe: that our administrative state has grown too unwieldy. And the IRS went ahead and proved it.

The worst offense in this IRS scandal hasn’t been the manner in which conservative organizations were targeted for review and blocked from participating in two election cycles. No, disenfranchisement of conservative nonprofits wasn’t the IRS’s biggest sin; it was the “outing” of conservative donors who were promised anonymity, and whose anonymity is protected by an important Supreme Court case.

Back in the 1950s, the NAACP was working hard to desegregate the South, and it was starting to gain traction in this effort. That’s when some Alabama government hacks hatched a scheme: Why not compel the NAACP to reveal its donor lists? Alabama tried it, and the NAACP declined. Alabama then turned around and hit the NAACP with a civil contempt charge, issuing a $100,000 fine for refusing to comply with state orders. Alabama’s intent was clear: to chill further donations and cut off the NAACP’s money supply. And money is the lifeblood of any corporation, even a nonprofit one.

Donors to the NAACP had good reason for wanting to remain anonymous. They feared personal reprisals and worried their businesses might be punished, or worse, especially if they were white Southern donors.

The Supreme Court saw right through Alabama’s attack on the First Amendment rights of free association and free speech. Alabama lost, the NAACP was vindicated, and the Court set an important precedent.

Flash forward 55 years and we have an out-of-control IRS that is illegally disclosing the identities of people who donate to organizations that support limited government and traditional marriage. And the IRS outed these individuals for the same reasons that the segregationists in Alabama wanted to out the NAACP’s donors. The IRS then took things one step further and actually targeted some of those donors with IRS audits.

That’s about as bad as bad can be.

And when the IRS goes after you, it’s worse than when a prosecutor goes after you for committing a crime. You’re not innocent until proven guilty; you’re guilty until proven innocent. The fines start. And the penalties. And the interest. And soon, your lawyer and your accountant are pleading with you to pay some money just to make the IRS meter stop running, even if you were guilty of nothing.

I suspect that many Americans — especially those who have complicated returns — would prefer a frontal lobotomy to an audit.

Get accused by the government of a crime — say, robbing a fruit stand — and all kinds of rights are there to protect you, including the presumption of innocence. But when the IRS comes a-calling, everything is flipped. That’s why most Americans fear the one arm of the administrative state they know best: Internal Revenue. Because the government has all the power, and the citizen is at its mercy.

But for businesses across America — in industries such as energy, health care, pharmaceuticals, and automobiles — the administrative state is a force of nature they must deal with every day. The big federal agencies that regulate their part of the market are their IRS. And all across America, general counsels of companies that do business with the EPA, DOJ, FDA, and others are at the mercy of bureaucrats who can grind their businesses to a halt, fine them, accuse them of misdeeds, and make a general mess of their day-to-day operations.

Sometimes, the corporations deserve the scrutiny. But just as often, they don’t. The calculation innocent companies must make is this: Is fighting the bureaucrats who rule over your business every day, and who hold sway over your reputation, worth the legal battles? Is the loss of money and time — and the potential damage to your reputation — worth it?

To many general counsels of American companies, the answer is a resounding no. So they agree to settlements even when their clients are innocent. And they do it because it’s easier, cheaper, and more practical than facing the uncertainty of a prolonged, expensive legal battle.

That’s power the Mafia wishes it had, the kind of fear a Tony Soprano wishes he could instill.

Too many bureaucrats have too much power over the day-to-day lives of ordinary, law-abiding citizens. When the administrative state comes knocking at your door, it is the worst day of your life. And it is because you know — and the bureaucrats know, too — that they have the power to make your life miserable. They can make you an offer you can’t refuse.

Out of expediency and plain old common sense, too many Americans reluctantly submit to that power. So they pay — only to live the next day a little poorer, a lot more timid, and much more cynical about government and its ability to tyrannize its own people.

That is the real story behind the IRS scandal: the power faceless bureaucrats have to ruin the lives of ordinary Americans, and with little oversight or accountability.

Americans have every right to ask some fundamental questions about this sad state of affairs: Who polices this administrative police state that David Axelrod described as so vast as to be unmanageable? And who punishes it when it commits crimes against its own citizens?

Where are the new Woodward and Bernstein valiantly digging to expose this kind of story? Where are 60 Minutes and Frontline? And the rest of the fourth estate? Where is the Innocence Project? Will John Grisham write a novel about the silent victims of the ever-growing and ever-more-powerful administrative state?

It would make for a great piece of fiction. If only it weren’t so real.

 

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Kevin Seitz
7 years ago

Welcome to the United Soviet States of Amerika… one nation, under surveillance, without liberty, with injustice for all.

barbara morea
7 years ago
Reply to  Kevin Seitz

wonderful summary of what this administration has done to our country

Wendell Keith
7 years ago

You have to remember that most of the voters are educated by “Government” schools. Curriculum is dictated by the “Government”. Prayer is restricted by the “Government”. If we are going to win our country back all parents are going to have to be aware of what their kids are being taught in school and make sure their kids are not hearing just one side of each issue. History books have been changed due to political correctness and has changed the telling of events to suit “Government” dictates. We need to start with ourselves, to be more aware parents and grandparents. If the kids of today graduate with the correct knowledge of our past, which was economically great up to F. D. R.’s time, but socially pretty bad, then in about 20 years we might crawl back to greatness again. We sure can’t do it if we elect these kind of people again. Satan is in charge of all non-christians and Jesus is King of all Christians since his Resurrection. The more Christians this country has the better it will be. Looks like Satan is winning the popularity contest.

robert collins
7 years ago

Normally I’m not a pessimist but after Obam bam was elected for a second term I knew this country was in big trouble.It is more than apparent that we have several generations that have no idea or knowledge of our Constitution nor of how our Government was designed to function. Unfortunately,Obam bam does and has circumvented every government department with his {czars} and almost complete control of one government body. That body ran off from its duty to the American people,a Constitutional and capital offence.If dereliction of duty is not a capital offence,then what is? This administration has rubbed our(middle class,blue collar,white collar,illegal,ect.)noises right out of the Constitution and not a one of our elected officials has taken appropriate action because they don’t have the guts to stand up for what is right.Everyone of them must have a very shoddy past to have that kind of fear!! I don’t know,somebody else did it but I’ll plead the Fifth!! So long Bill of Rights and Constitution——–!

John E Coleman
7 years ago
Reply to  robert collins

When Was the Last time anyone Caught ” OBAMA ”
Doing Anything Right ??

barbara morea
7 years ago
Reply to  robert collins

If I had school age children today, I would probably be arrested. There would be a revolution outside of the school that attempted to put its progressive mark on any one of my children. These idiot liberal instructors forget who pays their salary. The conservative taxpayer is not represented. Maybe we should stop paying taxes until these evildoers are forced to shut their mouths regarding politics and start teaching these kids their basic reading and math skills. No wonder the state of education is so behind in this country. Our educators are more concerned with passing on their liberal agenda, then doing the job they were hired to do. Any teacher who forces their religious or political opinions on our children should be fired. Get rid of tenure and treat them like any other employee. Do the job, or lose it!

Russ White
7 years ago

FAIR TAX, FAIR TAX, FAIR TAX.
No more IRS.
No more corporate taxes…corporations come running back to the U.S. for the NO TAX atmosphere. Jobs become available overnight.
No more income taxes….what you make, you bring home.
No more social security or fica taxes.
EVERYONE pays tax whenever something is purchased…..Addicts ( when not stealing), rich people , poor people,
everyone pays. Not just the very rich and or middle class.
THERE ARE NO LOBBYISTS because there are no loopholes to throw scads of money to congressmen for.
It takes away the power of Congress to tax indiscriminately, or to favor their “buddies”.
OH, DID I MENTION ….NO MORE IRS….NO MORE IRS….NO MORE IRS.
The president of the United States can no longer order audits against those it deems “enemies”.
FAIR TAX, FAIR TAX, FAIR TAX

Jacquie Doty
7 years ago

Wise or afraid people no longer want to challenge this criminality because they fear the now obvious reprisals.
What did John Roberts do that made him an easy target for blackmail in the Obamacare debate?
What donor want s to be harasses by the IRS for contributing to Obama’s enemies list?
To what degree are we all under scrutiny by Prism and other snooping entities?
This Country is done, folks. Finished. Kaput!

Laura S
7 years ago

Hey, all you Posters! If you have any leanings toward Christianity and believe the Scripture which says, “If My people, who are called by My name, will humble themselves and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, forgive their sin, and heal their land,” be aware that Christians and churches throughout the U.S. will be praying individually and corporately on June 30th as part of Call2Fall in answer to this appeal from Scripture.
Let’s fall on our knees! Let’s beg our Heavenly Father to forgive us and heal this land! “My people have committed two sins: They have forgotten Me, the fountain of all life, and have dug for themselves cisterns which can hold no water.” I don’t know about you, but I cannot fix this nation’s mess through my own paltry efforts. I’m tired of digging cisterns which can hold no water. Let’s appeal to the Maker and Sustainer of the Universe… and at the same time, WORK as He enables us, to bring about change. Jesus said, “Without Me, you can do nothing.”

As for the Fair Tax which eliminates the IRS and gives everyone the opportunity to pay their fair share, let’s do it!!!!

Ron G
7 years ago
Reply to  Laura S

Laura, thank you for a well written post. I agree 100% with every sentence you wrote regarding God’s wrath upon our country IF we do not fall on our knees or prostrate face down and BEG for forgiveness for turning away from Him. There is hope of salvation for our country but only through God. Thank you once again for sharing your feelings. God bless.

Lowell
7 years ago

Please, if you have not read the two “Fair Tax” books by Neal Boortz & John Linder, do so. They are both small books, well written, & easy to read. The flat tax would still leave the IRS and Washington in control-not good. The Fair Tax eliminates the IRS, and everyone pays because it is an inclusive consumption tax on NEW goods & services. The income tax would be abolished, and huge numbers of businesses that went out of the U.S. to avoid the tax burden would return. Again, please read those books-or either of them-you will become a fan and a supporter of this great idea.

LiberalsLackLogic
7 years ago
Reply to  Lowell

Lowell, thanks for that info. I love the fair tax idea; the more you buy, the more you pay. Unfortunately, the liberals will whine (just like they always do) that it isn’t “fair” for the poor people because they’ll always pay a bigger percentage of their income for whatever they choose to buy.

I wish we could divide this country in two . . . the liberals could keep the IRS and the “I’m-entitled-to-free-stuff, ban all guns” crowd, and the rest of us can get back to following the Constitution and our forefathers’ vision of how a great, free Constitutional republic nation should be run.

To Laura S. — this Christian conservative (and her husband) thank you for the June 30th prayer info.

ONTIME
7 years ago

Reform, repair and reogranization is what this nation needs to do with elected officials, their appointees, goverment agencies, entitlements and subsidies and it has to begin somewhere.

We can begin to make inroads to term limiting no retirement, the political officials and their appointees, it is a matter of using the law and the Constitution to make the case and putting WTP in a stronger position for reformation. There is nothing in the Constitution that says repair and maintenance of this Republic is fast or easy, perish the thought. But the battle will be no less excruciating than that our founders had to go through to form the basis for this Republic and forge a nation and government where freedom of voice, choice, self reliance and representation where of primary import. Having that something that is worthwhile is never going to be fast or easy, it has to be earned and the ensuing battles and arguments for regaining the rule of law and restoring the majesty of our Constitution is more than worthwhile, our forefathers called it providence and I believe them.

Doug Thompson
7 years ago

I think the only way that things are going to change in this government is to either eliminate it or separate ourselves from it. Either way it will not be an easy task. Colorado may have the right idea in some northern counties forming a new state. A new republic. Sounds strange, but maybe worth pursuing.

ONTIME
7 years ago
Reply to  Doug Thompson

The beginning of the Constitution is the blueprint for reorganization and reform..

Charles Romer
7 years ago

It’s not Obama and his minions that we should most fear. The excerpt below explains it best .
Bottom line: As a nation we can survive Obama but we will not survive Obama’s supporters.

“In the Soviet Union, to keep things moving according to plan, the government eventually killed 55 million of its own citizens. In China, 36 million.

To kill in those numbers required the obedience of many. Said British philosopher W.K. Clifford, “There is one thing more wicked in the world than the desire to command, and that is the will to obey.””

Read the whole piece here. The context is interesting: http://spectator.org/archives/2007/08/21/mugabes-fatal-conceit/print

Good Grief
7 years ago

On Wednesday June 19 Tea Party Patriots and groups all across the country are gathering in DC for a rally called “Audit the IRS” I hope this is the beginning of the move to close the institution down and go to a move akin to the Flat Tax which will knock the intimidation and some power from the hands of our government. This could be a turning point for our country. See you there.

Tony Costa
7 years ago

We need to impeach the whole lot of them

Neva Roa
7 years ago

George Soros owns Obama just like he controls a lot of the US news media, Progressive Insurance and heavens knows what else.Anyone who knowingly feeds his businesses is part of the problem. The only way to get rid of him is to hit him hard in his pocketbook and that is difficult because he’s one of the world’s richest men. He nearly destroyed Great Britains economy and he’s working hard to make the US a third world country. Don’t help him along.

Doug Thompson
7 years ago
Reply to  Neva Roa

Your comment hit the nail on the head. I cancelled progressive as my insurance as soon as I heard about Soros. I know little me didn’t do much damage to his empire, but the two mites my policy cost is better spent elsewhere.

KarenFaye
7 years ago
Reply to  Doug Thompson

“PROGRESSIVE INSURANCE” IS JUST THAT…… just another Soros entity. We even turn off the commercials for Progressive — Flo can take a flying leap!!!! Same with the Geico lizard ; Government Employees Insurance Company. Yeah, right……. They need their own insurance, too?????

Marcella Dellaposta
7 years ago

Right on, Chuck. We tried to warn people about him and they wouldn’t believe us. The founding fathers very wisely understood that everyone should not have the right to vote.

Duke DeLong
7 years ago

When I was young, I remember how anxious Dad would get at tax time. That fear of the IRS has always been there. Dad wasn’t anxious because he was doing anything wrong. He was nervous that he wasn’t doing everything just right. The son of a farmer, an army veteran, and a blue collar worker his entire life, Dad loved America; and he wanted to make certain that he wasn’t cheating Her (and, yes, the IRS was scary even back then). Dad was afraid that he might not pay what he owed to the government. The IRS prays on folks who built this country. The entire IRS needs to be absolved and reconfigured with a new, simple, flat tax in place…a flat tax that requires everyone to pay something…yes, everyone. Even those receiving government freebies should be required to “kick back” their ten to twelve per cent just like everyone else. Then, everyone would have “some skin in the game”.

Love you, Dad! Happy Father’s Day! If you were still with us, you would be so sad to see what has happened to the great country that you defended and loved!

Mickie
7 years ago

I remember the rumor several years back that Obama was just the “front” for a group who wants to radically change this country. He was the great looking guy, with a winning smile, great campaigner, smooth talker, very charasmatic who could be elected and all he’d have to do is bring in the money — and this group would be in control of everything. I wonder if this isn’t true — that — whoever these people are — they are the ones who have told him who to put in power because they know that those they put in power will do their bidding. Maybe Obama honestly did not know about what the IRS was doing — maybe he is out of the loop — but he is doing his job of bringing in the money. My prayer is that this country can recover from all this.

Olmstr
7 years ago
Reply to  Mickie

Mickie,
Those were not rumors those were facts you were hearing. If Oblamer is not the one running the country as you suspect, then why do people like you keep voting for him? The campaigner in chief is only good for the money aspect and I am having a hard time believing there are so many ill-informed people that keep doling out the donations for this clown.

KarenFaye
7 years ago
Reply to  Mickie

Obama is nothing more than a puppet and a stooge for those really in charge – and those we should fear. Slowly, folks are waking up and realizing what is happening to this country – albeit a bit late. If Americans don’t put a stop to this festering cancer on America, Barry and Michele will ride off into the sunset richer, no wiser, but knowing that another will take their place and continue the “transformation” of what once was a great country.

KarenFaye
7 years ago
Reply to  Mickie

A President that can stand at a podium and say, “God Bless Planned Parenthood” and endorse the murdering of a fetus born outside the womb — is no better a person than the Nazi’s of Hitler’s regime. Adolf would be proud of Barack.

KarenFaye
7 years ago
Reply to  Mickie

Is your last name Mouse??????? Obama not only knew what was going on in the IRS, NSA and Benghazi, he masterminded them. Please allow reality into your world.

Chuck
7 years ago

You say obama is not worse than Pres. Nixon but I disagree totally. What Nixon did was illegal and wrong, but just a petty theft to find out how to ensure an election victory w/o getting cheated out of it like Joe Kennedy did to him in WVA and Chicago (imagine that) in 1960. We are now facing way much worse – actual tyranny by our fellow citizens whose salaries we pay, whipped into a lefty fervor by a psychopathic narcissist, just like 1930s Germany.

Lydia Boylan
7 years ago
Reply to  Chuck

I agree with Chuck, Obama is much worse than Nixon. Nobody died as a result of Watergate or even Lewinskigate, yet one President resigned and the other was impeached. Four Americans died as a result of Benghazi, yet “what difference does it make” and “that was a long time ago”! This from an administration who seems to have protected the Fort Hood shooter! He should have been executed for treason, especially since now he says he was protecting the Taliban. Wake up America, I think we need another revolution!!!

Doug Thompson
7 years ago
Reply to  Lydia Boylan

Let the REVOLUTION begin!!

KarenFaye
7 years ago
Reply to  Lydia Boylan

When you have a closet Muslim turned Christian in the White House, what do you expect? His Arab Spring is a joke on all of us. We need to send the Obama’s packing – prayer rugs, golf balls and all. Now they propose to spend $60-100 million on a trip to Africa???? ONLY IF IT’S ONE WAY, FOLKS, ONE WAY!!!

TheMitz
7 years ago
Reply to  Lydia Boylan

“President Biden” is beginning to have a nice ring to it. How comforting it would be to have a real American sitting in the Oval Office for the next three-and- one-half years. We would not be subjected to fancy rhetoric, and we could depend on an occasional blooper, but be assured of American values. They need only leave BHO and Michelle in Africa for awhile – due to the sequestration.

Raymond Paskauskas
7 years ago

I am grateful to know my deceased parents did not live to see the Obama regime get elected in the United States. Little wonder that Obama got elected in 2012, while the IRS intimidated his opponents and thwarted an unfettered election campaign. My parents endured both the Soviet, Nazi and resumed Soviet occupations (1940-1945, 1945-1991) of their Lithuanian homeland and fled to the West as wartime refugees to settle first in Canada (1948) and then emigrate to a free America (1962). They loved Ronald Reagan who ultimately defeated Gorbachev’s USSR which collapsed in 1991. What country has Obama helped to liberate? It appears Obama has been turning the USA into a soft tyranny under the dictates of his unelected bureaucrats in the IRS, EPA and more. I suspect a number of states would have to secede from the Federal government to preserve the Constitution and our founding fathers’ American values. Where is our press except for brave exceptions like Fox News and independent talk radio shows? How soon will the Left and liberals determine how to snuff out their defiant voices?

Richard
7 years ago

Most bureaucrats are liberals, who have waited for years for the perfect environment in which they can operated in a manner that hurts the right. They have found it in Obama, and have really run with it as we are discovering daily. The rat’s nest needs a thorough flushing out!

Luca Brazzi - - - - - - -
7 years ago

they never get it right – – – – – – –

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