By Karl Ushanka
My tax returns for the first two years I sold my Commie Obama hats (2008 and 2009) were audited by the Cincinnati office of the IRS.
When the IRS scandal story broke on May 10, I had no reaction – partly because I felt it was par for the course when this Democrat Party holds the executive branch, and partly because my audits were in the distant past and were all but forgotten.
I find myself getting more agitated, however, as more information comes out about the abuses of Obama’s IRS. There are some real victims – 500 and counting. And don’t forget, just five days before the IRS news broke, our president had this advice for the graduates of Ohio State University:
“They’ll warn that tyranny [is] always lurking just around the corner. You should reject these voices.”
Receiving an IRS audit notice is quite a shocking experience. I had never been audited in my 30-plus years as a taxpayer. Any logical person will fear a faceless government bureaucracy that has the power to seize assets with little oversight. Receiving two letters from them in August 2010 was quite disconcerting. It turns out many were struggling with the IRS that month.
I cannot imagine what one would feel after receiving an audit notice from today’s overtly politicized IRS. If you haven’t noticed, comrades, we are getting closer to that knock on the door.
Were my audits in response to errors in my returns? Did my political activism influence the audit penalties? “Yes” to the former and, considering current events, I think it is “Yes” to the latter.
First, there were errors. When I moved from California to Cincinnati in 2008 I switched from using the services of an accountant to the online service TurboTax. I did not properly record the inventory numbers for my stock of Commie Obama hats and Leninade (a red-colored soft drink with a brilliant yellow hammer and sickle on its label).
I took responsibility for these errors. Needless to say, an honest mistake was made, and I was quick to get it fixed.
But there is something rotten at the IRS. It is an agency with systemic flaws that can lead to politicized abuses of power. This is no longer a theory. Unlike other government entities, the IRS has a low threshold for justifying the seizure of property. They have that authority.
Further, with all my bias on display here, I have come to believe that most non-military government employees are sympathetic to the political party that grows the government, and thus their careers and pensions, at the fastest rate possible. This is why I attend every tea party protest. I want a government so small that not even the most Marxist government bureaucrat has time to target me.
Cincinnati may be ground zero in the current IRS scandal, but I’ll also remind you that Cincinnati was the first major city to host a large tea party protest. Only days after CNBC’s Rick Santelli screamed for the need for a 1773-type tea party, Cincinnati hosted an estimated 5,000 concerned citizens downtown on March 15, 2009. Here is my video from that day.
Think about how early this was in Obama’s administration. Two months after Obama is inaugurated a crowd takes over a city block in protest. And these were not your typical “Stop the [profit-making activity]!” career protesters. This was still three weeks before Homeland Security released its policy on right-wing extremism and four weeks before the big tea party rallies on April 15.
Let me be clear – I’ve put my IRS audits behind me. I’m not writing today to share the victim spotlight. These groups have had it bad. All I did was lose some sleep and write a check. Yes, there were mistakes in my 2008 and 2009 returns, but the current scandal suggests that the IRS bureaucrat in Cincinnati who refused to waive the penalties in my case did so for political reasons.
I have since worked with accountants who regularly represent clients in audits who have told me the IRS should have waived those penalties. And this is why I now believe I was punished in the same manner as the tea party groups requesting tax deferment and the Romney donors who have been harassed with audits.
The IRS did not ask me for the content of my prayers nor my Facebook information. But when the errors in my tax returns were exposed as honest mistakes and we requested the penalties be dropped, the answer was a cold hard “NYET!” Could it be because of the answers I did provide?
Question: Explain the business. What products or services do you provide?
Answer: I sell Commie Obama hats and Leninade soft drinks. The Soviet-style hats were made in China. The soft drink is bottled in California.
Question: Who are the buyers of your products or services?
Answer: The buyers are politically active conservatives in the U.S. who believe President Obama wants to redistribute wealth, grow government, increase the nation’s debt and raise taxes.
Question: Where do you sell your products or services?
Karl Ushanka blogs at Ushanka.us and can be reached at [email protected]