Did the IRS target Dr. Ben Carson?
The retired brain surgeon claims he had his “first encounter” with the IRS after his famous National Prayer Breakfast speech.
IRS officials stand accused of improperly profiling Tea Party and other right-of-center groups when they applied for non-profit status. Some observers have claimed the way these applications were handled or not handled was a form of voter suppression in the run-up to the 2012 presidential election. An investigation into the illegal IRS practices is ongoing in Congress; the FBI is also supposedly conducting a probe. Tea Party groups have also sued the IRS in federal court.
Carson — the former director of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital — shot to overnight national prominence in February when he criticized Obamacare and other Barack Obama policies with the president sitting two seats away during the event.
In a wide-ranging address that was primarily inspirational and patriotic, Carson — who came from a poverty stricken background — touched on alternatives to Obamacare, the need to accept personal responsibility, education, faith, runaway Washington spending, reforming the tax code without engaging in class warfare, and other issues.
The Internal Revenue Service first looked into his real estate holdings in June, Carson indicated. When agents found nothing improper, they decided to conduct a full audit of his finances. In August, the review ended with a clean bill of health in August.
According to Investor’s Business Daily, “In the already blossoming IRS scandal, political organizations’ applications for tax-exempt status were delayed or denied during last year’s presidential campaign, and well into this year, simply because their names sounded too conservative. The IRS audit of renowned neurosurgeon Carson looks like exactly the same kind of abuse, and it must be subject to a formal independent investigation.”
“I guess it could be a coincidence, but I never had been audited before and never really had any encounters with the IRS. But it certainly would make one suspicious because we know now the IRS has been used for political purposes and therefore actions like this come under suspicion,” Carson said, according to the Washington Times.
When asked on FNC earlier this week (see embed above), if he was targeted because he criticized Obama’s policies, Carson said, “Well, whether that was the case or not, the fundamental issue here is that the freedom of our citizens is being threatened… I think this is a much more serious thing than Watergate, Iran Contra, even Benghazi-gate…freedom of speech, freedom of expression is one of the major principles of our country.”
Carson also chided the news media for failing to look out for the people and instead covering up for “someone.”
In assessing the Dr. Ben Carson IRS audit, the Washington Times added that “The list of conservatives targeted by the Internal Revenue Service for audits, tax-exempt reviews or tax privacy breaches keeps growing, raising fresh questions in Washington about whether a scandal the Obama administration has blamed on bureaucratic incompetence and coincidence may in fact involve something more nefarious.”