This Is Your Brain on Big Government
The dangers of America’s bloated, bullying state are inescapable.


Deroy Murdock

If Obama’s Rose Parade of scandals gives you a headache, here’s why: This is your brain on Big Government.

The deteriorating developments on Benghazi, the IRS, the Justice Department’s Associated Press probe, health secretary Kathleen Sebelius’s Obamacare shakedown, and the “Affordable” Care Act’s unaffordability all offer a vivid, daily tutorial on the costs and pitfalls of unlimited government. The dangers of America’s bloated, bullying state are inescapable.

Big Government often hammers its foes.


As horrified Americans have learned, the IRS targeted at least 471 conservative organizations for tough treatment. As the IRS’s inspector general explained, these included self-identified “Tea Party” and “patriot” groups and those “focused on government spending, government debt, taxes, and education on ways to ‘make America a better place to live.’” The IRS reportedly approved zero tea-party tax-exemption applications between February 2010 and May 2012. Across 27 months of malign neglect, some applicants abandoned their ambitions.

Meanwhile, the IRS inappropriately asked these groups for donors’ lists, their public-policy opinions, and the names of board members’ relatives who might seek public office.

A chilling Politico story explains that a “special unit” at the IRS has scrutinized Jewish institutions. It asked one: “Describe your organization’s religious belief system towards the land of Israel.” A pro-Israel group called Z Street complains that the IRS inquired whether its activities “contradict the Administration’s public policies.”

Big Government usually helps its friends.

“As applications from conservative groups sat in limbo, groups with obviously liberal names were approved in as little as nine months,” USA Today reported Tuesday. These included Bus for Progress and Progress Florida.

According to the Daily Caller’s Charles C. Johnson, the Barack H. Obama Foundation — directed by Abongo Malik Obama, the president’s half-brother and best man at his wedding — filed IRS Form 990s for 2008 through 2010 in May 2011. It then scored 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status on June 26, 2011, retroactive to April 30, 2008. The reputedly Virginia-based foundation won this valuable designation without registering with state authorities. Evidently, IRS officials did not care that, as the Daily Caller stated, Abongo Obama “was accused of being a wife beater and seducing the newest of his twelve wives while she was a 17-year-old school girl.”

IRS also sent ProPublica, a liberal news organization, the confidential, unapproved nonprofit applications of nine conservative groups. ProPublica redacted financial information and then published six of these forms.

A pro-traditional-matrimony group called the National Organization for Marriage claims that the IRS gave copies of its tax documents to the pro-gay-marriage Human Rights Campaign. NOM says that HRC used those leaked documents to slam NOM and a donor identified therein: Mitt Romney.

IRS wants to hire 1,954 new agents to enforce 47 different provisions of Obamacare. Combine these political leaks with the electronic medical records that doctors and insurers soon must render unto Obama’s bureaucrats. Imagine an exposé on conservative activists who use Viagra. Why not out a rising GOP star whose psychotherapist treats her exotic sex fantasies? Far-fetched? Not after this week. Indeed, 15 IRS agents are being sued in California court for allegedly swiping without a search warrant the medical records of some 10 million Americans in March 2011.