159 Times to the White House We Go
As the IRS scandal continues to evolve, I found one piece of information that came out this week quite shocking. Former IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman, who led the IRS when much of the targeting of Tea Party and conservative groups, visited the Obama White House a whopping 159 times from January 2009 to November 2012.
Shulman’s 159 visits, compared to his predecessor who visited the Bush White House only once in four years, lead to many more questions concerning potential White House involvement.
When you compare Mr. Shulman’s 159 visits to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius’ 48 visits, one has to wonder: why? Secretary Sebelius is the chief implementer of Obamacare. You would think that she would be at the White House virtually every day trying to implement the government takeover of America’s healthcare system and President Obama’s so-called “signature” achievement. Not so much, it turns out. But the IRS chief during the same period of time visited the White House one out of every nine days. The IRS needs to come clean and explain each of Mr. Schulman’s 159 visits.
When asked by the House Government Oversight and Reform Committee last month why he visited the White House (then thought to be 118 times) so often, Shulman responded flippantly that he went to the annual White House Easter Egg Roll and met with White House staff on IRS budget issues. This classic dodge of a legitimate question posed by Democrat Congressman Gerry Connolly shows the breadth of this scandal. Of note, after Shulman’s dodge, Congressman Connolly reminded him that he was under oath.
The IRS needs to be totally separate from politics. As we saw during the Nixon era, when the IRS becomes politicized, bad things tend to happen with this abuse of power. That is why it is necessary for Attorney General Holder to appoint a special counsel to look into the IRS scandal. As we have seen the Obama Administration cannot handle investigating itself – just look at Benghazi.
President Obama has brought his brand of Chicago-style politics to Washington, and Americans are rejecting it. A Quinnipiac survey out this week showed that 49 percent of Americans disapprove of the way President Obama is handling his job. That same survey also reported 76 percent of Americans believe a special counsel is necessary to investigate the IRS. With Mr. Shulman making the White House a second home, a thorough and complete investigation that is separate from the Obama Administration must happen immediately.