Steve Forbes: Cut Off IRS Funding to Protest Obama's Overreach

Wednesday, 02 Jul 2014 09:17 PM

By Greg Richter

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Congress should defund the Internal Revenue Service to bring attention to executive overreach, says Forbes Media chairman and editor-in-chief Steve Forbes.

"IRS wrongdoing is symptomatic of the Obama administration," Forbes wrote in a column posted on Forbes.com on Wednesday.

"Changing the law by executive fiat, creating law by executive decree, and abusing the law by employing police powers in federal agencies all fundamentally pervert and threaten the foundation of this Republic," Forbes wrote.

He said Republicans will win November's midterm elections by a wide margin, giving them majorities in both houses of Congress. If Obama, as expected, vetoed the measure, the onus would be on him, Forbes said.

"I think they're going to have to leave a little bit of money to shell out refunds to worthy taxpayers, but otherwise Congress should use its powers," Forbes said Wednesday on Fox News Channel's "On the Record with Greta Van Susteren."

"Congress should stop complaining about the abuses of the executive and do something effective," he said.

Republicans in Congress have been investigating allegations that the IRS targeted conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status for added scrutiny. Former IRS official Lois Lerner has invoked the Fifth Amendment to avoid testifying about her role in the scandal, and the agency says it has lost many of her emails from the time the targeting is said to have occurred.

Defunding the IRS would send a message that violating the law has consequences, Forbes said, and would be better than filing a lawsuit against President Barack Obama, as House Speaker John Boehner has promised.

"This administration makes up the law as it goes, it changes the law when it wants to," Forbes told Fox News. "Congress has the power of the purse to bring this administration back to earth, back to the Constitution. They should start with the IRS."

No other part of the government would be affected, as was the case in October's government shutdown, Forbes said, and, "no one's going to shed tears about it."

Van Susteren asked if shutting down the IRS wouldn't bring all of government to a close because the IRS collects the taxes used to fund it.

"You could have a few dollars for clerks to handle the incoming checks and also refunds. That's only a handful of people," Forbes said. "Most of the IRS is involved in compliance."

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