At CFIF, the issue of improving taxpayer privacy and protection against persistent abuse by the Internal…
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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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Bob Gates Anticipated Biden’s Ineptitude in 2014 Print
By Timothy H. Lee
Wednesday, October 12 2022
In an era demanding deftness and sobriety both domestically and abroad, we instead have a president whose policy choices somehow seem to inflame every crisis we face.

As halftime approaches in Joe Biden’s term and voters assess whether to press the brakes or the gas on his agenda in November’s midterm elections, it’s worth revisiting former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates’s 2014 assessment of Biden.

Gates, a moderate who served under both George W. Bush and Barack Obama, noted nearly a decade ago that Biden had somehow managed to bungle every significant issue before him:

The Vice President, when he was a Senator, a very new Senator, voted against the aid package for South Vietnam, and that was part of the deal when we pulled out of South Vietnam to try and help them survive.  He said that when the Shah fell in Iran in 1979 that that was a step forward for progress toward human rights in Iran.  He opposed virtually every element of President Reagan’s defense buildup.  He voted against the B-1, the B-2, the MX and so on.  He voted against the First Gulf War.  So, on a number of these major issues, I just frankly over a long period of time felt that he had been wrong.   

Well, that might finally explain Biden’s fetish-level efforts to befriend the mullahs of Iran.   

Unfortunately, Biden’s pathologies aren’t something on which Americans can just recreationally muse.  In an era demanding deftness and sobriety both domestically and abroad, we instead have a president whose policy choices somehow seem to inflame every crisis we face.   

Last week, Biden inexplicably stoked anxiety of nuclear “Armageddon” before an audience of campaign donors, while simultaneously amplifying that risk by taunting an increasingly unstable and desperate Vladimir Putin:   

Think about it.  We have not faced the prospect of Armageddon since Kennedy and the Cuban Missile Crisis.  We’ve got a guy I know fairly well, his name is Vladimir Putin.  I spent a fair amount of time with him.  He is not joking when he talks about the potential use of tactical nuclear weapons, or biological or chemical weapons, because his military is, you might say, significantly underperforming.  It’s part of Russian doctrine that they will not – they will not – if the Motherland is threatened, they’ll use whatever force they need, including nuclear weapons.   

In one careless dinner speech, Biden thus managed to both normalize Putin’s nuclear option and taunt him into using it.   

Indeed, Biden arguably normalized the prospect of invasion itself last January, when he suggested a muted reaction if Putin merely undertakes a “minor incursion” into Ukraine.  One month later, there Putin was.   

Last week also witnessed a slap to Biden’s face from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) whose members Biden deliberately alienated as a presidential candidate, which will deepen the inflationary pain that Americans are already suffering.   

Recall that during a 2019 Democratic primary debate, Biden openly promised to make America’s longtime ally Saudi Arabia “the pariah that they are.”  When retail gas prices ascended to intolerable heights as soon as he became president, however, Biden reversed course and clumsily attempted to cajole its leader in a visit last summer.   

And how did things work out for the supposed foreign policy master Biden?  Last week, OPEC instead announced that it would slash production by approximately one million barrels per day, which analysts estimate will boost oil prices from $80 per barrel to $100.   

Biden’s foreign policy incompetence thus succeeded in empowering Putin through higher oil prices, while also hitting American consumers every time that they buy gasoline.  Exacerbating matters, Biden has depleted America’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve to levels unseen since 1984 even as global crises mount.  And now gas prices are ascending again anyway.   

In a twist almost too bizarre for fiction, Biden is now bargaining with Venezuela’s socialist dictatorship to boost its oil production, while continuing his strict policy of antagonism toward domestic energy producers.

Robert Gates could’ve seen this coming.   

Unfortunately for Americans, Biden’s job performance in the realm of domestic affairs has been no better.   

As inflation continues to punish consumers, his recent “Inflation Reduction Act” will actually increase inflation through next year.  Worsening matters, that bill introduced drug price controls that will only serve to suffocate pharmaceutical innovation, not lower prices in any meaningful way.   

You’d think a man who claimed credit for Covid vaccines he had no role in helping create in 2020’s Operation Warp Speed would value American pharmaceutical innovation, not attempt to undermine it.    

Biden somehow also managed to alienate our European allies by including provisions that they consider protectionist.   

It’s easy to mock Biden’s bungling manner and obvious intellectual incapacity for the job he insisted on pursuing after decades of failure.  At bottom, however, Biden’s accumulating failures are policy-based.  Despite running as a moderate, he’s governed as a far-left radical.   

As a direct result, he’s now facing a red wave election that would bring it to a halt.

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?