Impeachment Helps the Democrat Cause
by JBS President John F. McManus
Hardly a day goes by without someone or some group insisting that President Obama should be impeached and removed from office. Reasons for such a step include the President’s use of executive orders to make law, his refusal to enforce existing law, spying on citizens by the National Security Agency, the debacle in Benghazi, IRS targeting of conservative groups, and more. These and other Obama deficiencies are real.
But impeachment by the House isn’t likely to be followed by conviction in the Senate. The Republicans in the House can approve impeachment with a simple majority vote. But getting two-thirds of the Senate (67 in number) to convict their president isn’t realistic. The Senate is currently top-heavy with Democrats and expecting them to oust their party leader is expecting something that isn’t realistically possible. And practically everyone who clamors for impeachment knows this.
So why is there so much discussion about impeachment? Two answers follow. The first is that some Republicans feel that calling for such a process impresses voters in their districts. Incumbents seeking reelection or ambitious outsiders hoping to win nomination and election for a House or Senate seat believe that the public is disgusted with Obama to the point where they want him removed. If pressed about the possibility of success, even these impeachment pleaders would have to admit that the goal they seek is unlikely to be achieved. In almost all cases, these GOPers are playacting while getting some media attention which is their real goal.
The second reason why impeachment is being discussed is that Democrats themselves are raising the issue. They want to paint Republicans as deeply partisan ogres who are ganging up on a wounded president. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi recently pointed out that some Republicans (John Boehner for one) are even planning to sue the president “on a path to impeach” while she and fellow Democrats are busily working to “create jobs.” White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest claims that some Republicans are “hoping to get into office to impeach the president” soon after they win election. But even MSNBC’s Chris Hayes suggested that impeachment talk might “be a masterful stroke of Democrats running a false flag operation.”
Occasionally, realism surfaces. Congressman Steve Stockman (R-Texas) has labeled calls for impeachment “foolish.” He believes that Mr. Obama and his advisors want the impeachment process to move forward because it will fail while it generates sympathy for the president. He believes that this “is the only chance the Democrat Party has to avoid a major electoral defeat” in November.
Congressman Steve Scalise (R-La.), the newly named House Majority Whip who recently replaced primary loser Eric Cantor, notes that Democrats are capitalizing on talk of impeachment with fund-raising appeals. He adds that Democrats “will do anything they can to change the topic away from the president’s failed policies.”
Summing up: Impeachment by the House will not lead to conviction and removal of the President by the Senate. And Democrats dearly want calls for impeachment to continue because they help the Democrat cause.
Forbes Calls for Defunding the IRS: A Better Solution Exists
by JBS President John F. McManus
Another of the many scandals coming out of Washington deals with heavy abuse of power by the IRS. In years gone by, IRS threats against American citizens were employed by Presidents Franklin Roosevelt, Kennedy, Johnson and Nixon. Steve Forbes states in Forbes magazine that the previous illegal use of the IRS to target political enemies amounted to small potatoes compared to what has occurred since 2010. The Editor-in-Chief of the magazine that bears his name says that the Obama administration has used the tax-collecting agency to wage a mini-war against “ordinary citizens who have spontaneously come together in countless organizations to fight the current administration’s egregious policies and threats to liberty.” He’s absolutely correct.
As a result, Forbes calls for defunding of the IRS with the only reason for its continued existence being “a handful of clerks to process refunds.” He doesn’t say what government agency would be left to collect legitimate “taxes, duties, imposts and excises” as noted in Article I, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution. Obviously, there has to be a collector of properly levied taxation.
But Forbes is certainly correct in pointing to illegitimate power possessed by the IRS. Over many years, countless Americans have refused to be involved in organizations – or even to speak out as an individual – to oppose harmful government programs and policies. Many Americans won’t openly admit their fear of being audited by IRS snoops should they speak out or send donations to groups the administration doesn’t like. But doing so should be an unquestioned right of anyone. This effect of the IRS is why this agency’s overriding power is more useful for the federal government as a “people controller” than as a revenue collector. In other words, the IRS has all but cancelled for many the First Amendment’s guarantee that raising one’s voice or financing some group is a God-given right. No law has been passed to abrogate everyone’s right to oppose government programs and policies. But none is needed so long as a threat from the IRS continues to hover over anyone who might otherwise be involved in opposing a multiplicity of government’s outrageous activities.
Yes, the IRS is government’s hammer to be used against virtually anyone or any group. A reining in of this power is absolutely necessary. Let us suggest, however, that the best way to accomplish this goal is repeal of the Sixteenth Amendment, the personal income tax. Then, no American could be cowed into silence because of fear of being audited. Then, many more Americans would be willing to fight against their own government’s many threats to liberty.
Steve Forbes is right to point to IRS abuses. But there’s a better way of removing its power. If more Americans could be made aware that canceling unconstitutional federal agencies would result in paring down the government to 20 percent its size and 20 percent its cost, then the Sixteenth Amendment could be repealed and America would again be the land of the free.