JANICE DEMBOSKY: Rep. Shuster's letter misrepresents the facts
U.S. Rep. Bill Shuster’s constituents received letters, dated June 27, 2013, in which he boasted — not about what he has done to move the country forward — but what he has done to hold the country back.
Rep. Shuster states that the IRS breached the public trust, citing the IRS’ BOLO (Be-On-the-Look-Out) memo to its employees, targeting certain groups requesting tax-exempt status while camouflaging their political activism with the words “public service.” Two terms they were to be on the lookout for were “tea party” and “patriot,” which could be political fundraising groups not entitled to tax exemption.
Therefore, concluded Shuster, the IRS cannot be trusted to implement the Affordable Care Act by taxing those who refuse to buy health insurance by 2014, which the law will require of everyone.
What he does not tell you is that also included in the Be-On-the-Look-Out memo was the word “progressive,” which proves that the IRS was targeting Democrats as well as Republicans. Either way, the IRS is doing the job it is assigned to do — making sure that groups that request tax-exempt status are entitled to it.
Why did Rep. Shuster not mention the “progressive” label that was also targeted? Why was he passing on misleading information? Does he live in the alternate universe of propaganda with which the Fox Network brainwashes its regular viewers?
A representative’s job is to listen to his constituents and to educate them about what is true and what is not. Rep. Shuster is in Washington –— the center of where everything in politics happens, where the investigations go on and where the results are published. Why is it that I who live in the political hinterlands know more about what is in the IRS’ BOLO memo and the Affordable Care Act than my own representative?
Republican obstructionists thought they had smoking guns when they heard about the BOLO memo, Benghazi and NSA data collection. They have been disappointed in every case. The only smoke is coming from Republican obstructionists spinning their wheels.
Forget trying to stop Obamacare, Rep. Shuster. The American people already like the parts of the bill that have been implemented. When it is fully implemented in 2014, they will come to love having health care for all, just as the people of Massachusetts did. Go to work on a jobs bill, Rep. Shuster. Unemployment is coming down; the deficit is coming down. The correlation is clear.