Mayt 17, 2013
In an opening statement on Friday during a hearing into IRS persecution of Tea Party and constitutionalist groups, Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp, a Michigan Republican, charged that the tax system in the United States “is rotten at the core” and must be uprooted.
Outgoing IRS commissioner Steven Miller: “Foolish mistakes were made.”
“Trimming a few branches will not solve the problem when the roots of the tree have gone rotten,” he said.
“Under this administration, the IRS has abused its power to tax and destroyed the faith of the American people” in the income tax system.
Camp said “this appears to be just the latest example of a culture of cover-ups and political intimidation in this administration. It seems like the truth is hidden from the American people just long enough to make it through an election,” according to the Washington Post.
“The scale of it and the length of time, this was a pattern. This was a culture of discrimination where it was OK to go after conservative groups,” Camp told CNBC. “[But] progressive groups seemed to find the process just worked OK for them. That’s what’s troubling.”
Ranking Democrat on the committee, Rep. Sander Levin of Michigan, insinuated that Republicans are exploiting the IRS scandal for partisan gain. “If this hearing becomes essentially a bootstrap to continue the campaign of 2012 and to prepare for 2014, we will be making a very, very serious mistake,” Levin said. Republicans should not use the hearings in “an effort to score political points,” he added.
The acting IRS commissioner, Steven Miller, who was forced to resign, and J. Russell George, the Treasury inspector general for tax administration, testified before the committee on Friday.
Obama has replaced Miller with Daniel Werfel, a top White House budget officer.