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Quote of the Day: Taxpayer Privacy and IRS Abuse

At CFIF, the issue of improving taxpayer privacy and protection against persistent abuse by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) remains among our most important missions.  Among the abuses that we've chronicled is the case of convicted criminal Charles Littlejohn, who rejoined the IRS in 2017 with the specific purpose of illegally breaching and leaking the private tax returns of Donald Trump and other Americans to radical left-wing organizations like ProPublica.

In The Wall Street Journal this week, one of those victims speaks out on his own experience and the need for greater taxpayer protection against this recurring problem that should terrify all Americans of every political persuasion.  Ira Stoll, whose tax information was passed to ProPublica, even helpfully details how…[more]

May 29, 2024 • 11:28 AM

Liberty Update

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“I Did That!” Left Begins to Blame Biden for Inflation Print
By Timothy H. Lee
Thursday, May 19 2022
[N]ow even leftists are realizing that the emperor has no clothes on inflation and other crises.

As the cavalcade of national crises lengthens, Joe Biden increasingly casts himself as a modern-day King Canute.  

Canute, who lived from 995 to 1035 and ruled Denmark, Norway and England, was widely adored as a wise king who preserved order.  According to legend, however, his courtiers’ fawning reached such excess that he decided to teach them a lesson by commanding the seas to halt their rise.  When tides continued their advance and Canute’s orders obviously proved futile, he turned to his adoring followers and announced, "Let all men know how empty and worthless is the power of kings."  

In similar spirit, Biden now pleads powerlessness to avert or fix the crises rapidly accumulating under his watch.  

The catastrophic Afghanistan withdrawal?  Not Biden’s fault.  Since when are foreign affairs or national defense a presidential responsibility?  

Record high gas prices?  Also not Biden’s fault.  Just because he targeted oil and gas drilling, transport, storage, refining, purchasing, sale, exchange and taxation from literally his first day in office, how does Biden bear any responsibility for rising gas prices or the surrender of U.S. energy independence?  

Inflation?  That’s “Putin’s Price Hike.”  Before that, inflation was a “high-class problem.”  Before that, Biden confidently insisted that it was merely “transitory.”  Before that, it wasn’t happening at all.  

In contrast, a Covid pandemic that nobody saw coming in 2020 was somehow Donald Trump’s fault.  But the fact that these foreseeable disasters accumulate unendingly under Biden are purely coincidental.  

Even the political left, however, isn’t buying the Biden Administration’s rationalizations anymore.  

This week, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos responded to a Biden Administration call for higher taxes by tweeting, “[T]he administration tried hard to inject even more stimulus into an already over-heated, inflationary economy and only Manchin saved them from themselves.  Inflation is a regressive tax that most hurts the least affluent.  Misdirection won’t help the country.”  

Over at left-wing Vox, Senior Politics Correspondent Andrew Prokop took a much deeper dive in an analysis entitled “Biden’s American Rescue Plan Worsened Inflation.”  Prokop quotes an array of left-leaning economists in his analysis, acknowledging the painful reality that, “Wages, when adjusted for inflation, have seen their most dramatic yearly drop in 40 years.”  Even more powerfully, Prokop illustrates how the U.S. stands as an outlier compared to the rest of the developed world:  

[R]egarding the exact amount of inflation, the US stands out.  And it started to stand out shortly after President Biden took office.  From 2021 onward, what’s known as “core inflation” has been significantly higher in the US than in other wealthy countries.  (Core inflation is a common metric that excludes food and energy prices, which tend to be volatile, to try to get a better sense of general price levels and inflation in an economy.)  

The US did a lot more stimulus than these other countries, and now it’s seeing a lot more core inflation.  And the stimulus that most stands out is Biden’s $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan – because it was enacted after more than $3 trillion had already been spent to stimulate the economy under Trump, with one big chunk of that being approved just three months prior.  

That distinction between the U.S. and other advanced economies is crucial, because the Covid pandemic, “Putin’s Price Hike,” supply chain disruptions and other global forces affect nations across the world.  Because inflation is so much more pronounced in the U.S., however, it highlights how policies deliberately pursued by the Biden Administration and Pelosi-Schumer Congress have made the situation worse here than elsewhere.  

And as Bezos points out, the Biden-Pelosi-Schumer agenda only seeks to exacerbate matters by raising taxes, increasing regulation and spending even more.  

By now everyone but Joe Biden himself has seen those “I Did That!” stickers affixed to gas station terminals across the country, pointing to the price indicator.  A historic majority of surveyed Americans believes that the nation is on the wrong track, with even left-leaning Pew Research Center observing that, “By a wide margin, Americans view inflation as the top problem facing the country today.”  

And now even leftists are realizing that the emperor has no clothes on inflation and other crises.  

Time is running out for the Biden Administration to either get its act together to spare American consumers from further misery, or suffer what may be an unprecedented electoral punishment in November.

Notable Quote   
 
"Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger says Democrats have tipped their hand to their desire to unleash noncitizen voting by opposing his state's citizenship verification in court and he is urging elections chiefs in other states to fight such lawsuits.Georgia's citizenship verification system has prevented noncitizens from getting on state voter rolls, but the state had to defend it in court…[more]
 
 
— Natalia Mittelstadt, Just the News
 
Liberty Poll   

Which would be the most useful for voters: a televised presidential debate that only includes Trump and Biden or one that adds Kennedy?