Obama Audits Me. Who Will Audit Him?
As I predicted would be the case early on in Barack Obama's administration, I got my audit notice from the Internal Revenue Service last week. That's just the way it works in recent Democratic Party administrations — the IRS is used as a political attack dog against its "enemies."
During Bill Clinton's administration, my news organization was singled out for a nine-month-long IRS proctological investigation, suggested in a memo from the White House and signed by Clinton personally. The agent who conducted the investigation admitted it was "political" and asked matter-of-factly in one meeting before witnesses, "What do you expect to happen when you go after the president of the United States in an election year?"
This time, the IRS is coming after me personally with a demand for a review of my 2009 tax filing. Think about this: We have a treasury secretary who is a known tax cheat.
Just before Barack Obama named Timothy Geithner to be his treasury secretary, the then-president of the New York Federal Reserve Bank quickly and quietly paid $26,000 in back taxes and interest due since 2001 and 2002.
Asked about the propriety of nominating a treasury secretary who was a major tax scofflaw, Obama characterized the eight-year tax evasion as "an innocent mistake."
Geithner's tax evasion can be called many things — grand larceny, highway robbery, white-collar crime, racketeering, thievery, swindling, cheating, defrauding, plundering the public treasury, fleecing and/or looting.
However, to call it "an innocent mistake," as I wrote back then, "gives us an idea of just how perverted Obama's standard's of justice will be for the next four years."
I also asked, "Will Geithner and Obama be as forgiving of ordinary American citizens who make such 'innocent mistakes'?"
I also mused, "The silver lining beneath this dark cloud is that for the next four years, we can all count on mercy from the IRS. If we fail to pay our taxes and we're caught, I suppose we can all count on getting the Geithner treatment. I'm sure he will give us all the kind of grace he got. Right? Yeah, right."
Of course, audits can be a good thing when they are applied fairly and without the motive of political vengeance. But you and I both know that's not the case in America — not any more. Nobody is auditing Obama.
You might recall how the White House announced last year that Barack Obama donated the $1.4 million given to him for winning the Nobel Peace Prize to 10 charities. For the smitten media, that ended all questions about the propriety, legality and tax consequences of Obama's acceptance of a $1.4 million gift from a foreign state. Should it have?
Article I, Section 9 of the Constitution, known as the emolument clause, states: "And no Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under them, shall, without the Consent of the Congress, accept of any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince or foreign State. ..."
Most Americans may not realize, as I did not until very recently, that the Nobel commission is elected by the parliament of Norway. That means that the peace prize is made by a commission representing the legislature of a foreign state. There's little question the award amounts to an emolument — at nearly $1.4 million and a priceless gold medal.
Back in 1902, the U.S. attorney general advised that even "a simple remembrance" qualified as an emolument — "any present of any kind whatever." In 1993, President Bill Clinton's legal counsel affirmed that finding and explained that the text of the clause does not limit "its application solely to foreign governments acting as sovereigns" — but even when foreign governments work through other devices and organizations.
There's little question that if I accepted money from a foreign state, I would face serious tax consequences — even though I hold no public office in the U.S. So I might choose to do what Barack Obama did. Instead of actually touching the money, I might instruct the foreign donor, in this case the Nobel commission, to dole out the money directly to my favorite charities.
Do you think that would end questions about my involvement with a foreign government by federal authorities? I sure don't. Nor should it. This would likely be seen as a way for a foreign government to empower an American citizen to play Santa Claus.
I suspect I would be audited for directing the way foreign funds would be spent.
And that's why it is Barack Obama who should be the first one audited this year, not me. Not a guy who accepts no public money from the U.S. government or any foreign government. Not a small-business owner who created private-sector jobs while Obama was destroying them. Not a member of the group labeled derisively by Obama's "occupation" agents as "the 1 percenters." (These 1 percent, who are actually responsible for filling the government's coffers with tax revenue to pay for so many extra-constitutional programs.)
Where's Obama's audit for the $1.4 million he got from a foreign government last year? Not only did he accept a $1.4 million award from a foreign state, but he also clearly orchestrated a clever attempt to avoid paying any taxes on it. He didn't just tell the Nobel commission that he couldn't accept the money under the law of the land. He accepted it conditionally — that he be permitted to direct its use. If I did that — and didn't pay any taxes on the money — I would likely be headed to jail.
But Obama got to have his cake and eat it, too. His White House, the people's house, announced to the world that Obama had donated $1.4 million to 10 charities. But, in fact, he merely directed how that money would be spent.
If you, Herman Cain or I did that, believe me, there would be multiple federal investigations of our actions. Yet Obama does this right out in the open and no one questions it. In fact, he gets accolades for being generous, as if he were giving away his own money. Do you see my problem here? But it gets worse.
What about the priceless gold medal? Where is that? Why haven't we seen any mention of it in the press? Where are the White House announcements of what happened to it? Where was that donated? Who is the recipient?
The president of the United States is the top executive of the law. He's supposed to be a good example to the rest of us mere peons — the people who employ him.
Where's the gold medal? Maybe it's stashed with the real birth certificate. How does Obama get away with directing how foreign money is being spent and taking the credit for it?
And now the Obama administration is directing tax audits. As I predicted long ago, I have no doubts that it will follow the blatantly illegal pattern of the Bill Clinton administration and use tax audits against its political enemies — real and perceived.
If we were all equal under the eyes of the law, it would be Obama who got the first audit notice this year. He'd be asked to explain how and why he arranged personally to direct the spending of $1.4 million in foreign funds. He'd be asked to explain who got the priceless gold medal from the Nobel commission. He'd be asked to explain why he accepted a prestigious prize from a foreign government when the Constitution expressly forbids it.
But that's not the way things work in America any more. So I, like so many other law-abiding American citizens working in the private sector and exercising my First Amendment rights, will just bend over in preparation for the coming proctological exam.
To find out more about Joseph Farah and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.
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