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Besieged IRS now gets to be bad guy with Obamacare

IRS chief tries to put best face on being assigned 'KP duty'
IRS chief tries to put best face on being assigned 'KP duty'getty photos

Perhaps the IRS is feeling a bit abused by the Obama administration over the past few months as Congress digs deep into their investigation of the irregular practices in auditing procedures towards conservative groups.

Yesterday, speaking at the National Press Club in Washington, John Koskinen, the commissioner of the U.S. Internal Revenue Service administering the 2010 health-care law is “just like municipal snow shoveling, a top priority that’s non-negotiable."

A decade ago, the commissioner was the deputy mayor of the city government in Washington, D.C. Koskinen said, “Even as the IRS faces budgetary pressures, the health law will be a priority, just as snow removal is essential for a city.”

The IRS is saddled with enforcing a law that hasn’t seemed clear since its inception four-years-ago. His federal agency now must be the strong arm with the tax returns that will be filed in early 2015. The IRS will be responsible for enforcing the individual mandate to purchase health insurance and ensuring that people claim the correct amount of subsidies for insurance.

The IRS already has a notorious reputation with the American people. This new assignment will not make it any less favorable. It was a sales point never mentioned when the Obama White House was lobbying for votes to pass Obamacare.

Koskinen, apparently tongue-in-cheek, said the new health-care law will provide the IRS a chance to regain its credibility badly damaged when the agency revealed it had given small-government groups “extra scrutiny” because their names included the words ‘Tea Party.

“Damaged” is much too light a description of its impact on Americans. Now the president has assigned Koskinen’s people the dirtiest of all jobs in the U.S. government.

Trying to come off as everybody’s Uncle Ralph, Koskinen added, “If we can have a smooth filing season next year including the appropriate review of the returns of taxpayers, the public and the Congress will have to say: That’s some organization with an amazing workforce.”

That will be one big challenge.

“The IRS is an agency of career civil servants who are dedicated to serving the American taxpayer in a fair and impartial manner. That’s how it’s been and that’s how it will always stay on my watch,” Koskinen said.
Good luck Mr. Commissioner.

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