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IRS Has Little or No Constitutional Training

May 23, 2013

Fourth graders  celebrated Constitution Day by recognizing the rights, privileges and responsibilities of U.S. citizenship

I thought every American could recite at least the first two amendments of the constitution.

A whole class of Ohio 4th Graders know more about the constitution than Doug Shulman, the IRS Commissioner who was at the helm when his IRS employees violated several constitutional amendments of United States.

Background:

During the House Oversight Committee’s second IRS hearing on Wednesday, Rep. Kerry Bentivolio (R-MI) asked former IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman if he knew the first, second and 19th Amendments to the Constitution.

Rep Bentivolio was trying to determine if the IRS required any Constitutional training at all. The answer is clearly a no. No there is absolutely no training at all. And worse yet from the top down everyone in the IRS needs formal constitutional training. 

Here is the text of the embarrassing exchange where the former head of the  IRS proves he knows nothing about the rights of US citizens.

“Did you study the Constitution?” Bentivolio asked.

“I went to law school,” Shulman responded.

“You went to law school. Did you study the Constitution?”

“I believe I took Constitutional law, but I’m not prepared to take an exam at this time,” Shulman said with a chuckle. “Meaning I’ll answer any of your question but I can’t promise that I’m an expert.”

“Well, you know the First, Second Amendment and one of my favorites, the 19th, right? You know those?” Bentivolio asked.

“Excuse me,” a seemingly confused Shulman responded.

“You know those amendments. The Constitutional amendments,” Bentivolio said matter of factly. “You know the First, you know the Second, and you know the 19th.”

“I don’t necessarily have the Constitution memorized, sir.”

“Okay, well, they’re pretty general in what each one is. Like the First Amendment is the freedom of the press, freedom of religion, and freedom to petition the government for a redress of grievances. First Amendment, right?”

“I really can’t recite the Constitution, sir,” Shulman concluded.

I’m appalled! The former head of the IRS may have been involved in the infringement of Tea Party groups’ constitutional rights by not approving their legal right for tax exempt status ! Specifically denying applications on the basis of Tea Party politics may be denying Tea Party groups’ rights of free speech (1st Amendment), the right to bear arms (2nd Amendment) and perhaps even the right to vote on the basis of sex (19th Amendment). (Addl’ Ref: Face of the Tea party is female)

Here we have evidence of repression of Tea Party political groups from the most powerful agency of the executive branch.

The constitution of the United States is law. The IRS is part of the Executive Branch of government. Essentially if the buck stopped with the president, as it did when Truman held office, the president would responsible for failing to have his people uphold the constitution.  The president needs to do the right thing. Heads need to roll at the IRS, criminal charges should be considered for those involved.

Instead no one is responsible, no one is held responsible, heck no one even knows the laws they are sworn to uphold! Is it a coincidence that those being denied were political enemies of the Obama administration?

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