It's Classified and Other Stuff
I know I promised a different post entitled “A Man of God”, but I felt compelled to comment on a few of the latest news stories. Here goes:
If Joe Biden purposefully kept classified documents after leaving the Vice President’s office, he should be prosecuted because nobody should be above the law. Here is a quick comparison of the Biden and Trump document discoveries:
Biden and his attorneys alerted proper authorities at the National Archives and returned the first batch of documents immediately. His documents (reportedly ten or so) were found in a closet at the Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement where Biden had an office. The discovery of additional documents in a second location today were also reported. Again, I’m not making excuses and if he kept documents for nefarious reasons, he should be punished.
Conversely, the National Archives contacted Trump after he left office about missing documents, and he then submitted fifteen boxes of documents, fourteen of which contained 184 items of classified material. The FBI then subpoenaed Trump for the return of additional documents, and his attorneys submitted 38 more documents, 17 of which were marked “top secret”. The FBI then learned that Trump had not complied fully with the subpoena and obtained a search warrant for Mar-a-Lago, and that search turned up more than 100 additional classified documents. It appears Trump may have had more than 300 classified documents in his possession.
Thankfully, Attorney General Merrick Garland has named Trump-appointed John R. Lausch, the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, to review the Biden case. He already named Jack Smith as special counsel in the Trump case. I bet Garland really questions his decision to accept the Attorney General position.
One must wonder why there is such a cavalier attitude regarding the possession of classified documents anyway. IS NOBODY TRACKING THEM??
I feel the same about the Hunter Biden situation; if something criminal is taking place (or did take pace in the past), prosecutions should result. All I know is that if this becomes another “but….Hillary’s emails”, the Republican Party is once again shooting itself in the foot and voters will punish them in 2024.
The IRS is NOT hiring 87,000 new “agents” to increase middle-class audits, contrary to what you may have heard. Many of positions are intended to fill current vacancies (staffing has fallen 30% since 2010), and the IRS says it will need to hire an estimated 52,000 employees during the next ten years. Some are obviously replacements for retirees, but many are badly needed clerical staff and additional agents. The IRS is a real mess because of understaffing; reportedly only one in eight calls from taxpayers actually made it to an IRS employee last year.
INTERESTING ASIDE: the audit rate for all income groups has dropped in the last twelve years, but the audit rate for those making more than $5 million per year fell the most (from 16% audit rate in 2010 to about 2% in 2019). A conspiracy theorist might conclude that THIS is the reason IRS funding for additional staff is under attack.
If Congress wants to do something productive regarding taxes and the IRS, they could simplify the tax code or, even better, abandon the graduated income tax that allows countless deductions and replace it with the Fair Tax or another rational system. That could reduce the need for a robust IRS.
George Santos (R-NY) apparently has trouble with the truth, and he fabricated a lot of stuff on his resume. Nassau County, NY Republican leaders have called for his resignation because of his countless fabrications, and he is being investigated by New York and federal officials. It gets worse because now that he is a public figure the Brazilian government knows where he is and has reactivated a 2008 fraud case against him. He apparently used stolen checks and a fake name to make purchases in that country. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, you are now paying him $174,000 per year plus perks. The House Republican Party is taking no action to remove Santos because they need that “R” to help maintain their razor-thin margin (at least that is my assumption).
President Biden will announce soon whether he will run for reelection in 2024. If he runs and wins he will be 82 at inauguration. Former President Trump announced his intent to run (though his launch has been rather lethargic), and if he wins he will be 78 at inauguration. We have a minimum age to serve as president (35). Do we need a maximum age? I’m 69 and doubt I would have the energy to hold that office (and it would interfere with our camping trips anyway).
That’s all I have. I will post “A Man of God” later in the week.
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