Ron Paul: The IRS and Congress Both Hold Our Liberty in Contempt [+video]

Ron PaulBy Ron Paul. Last week, the Justice Department announced it would not charge former Internal Revenue Service official Lois Lerner with contempt of Congress. Some members of Congress requested that Lerner be charged with contempt after she refused to testify at a congressional hearing investigating her role in denying or delaying the applications for tax-exempt status of Tea Party and pro-limited-government organizations.

Cynics might suggest it is not surprising that a former government official would avoid prosecution for refusing to tell Congress about how federal employees abused their power to help the incumbent administration. These cynics have a point, but the problem goes beyond mere partisanship. Government officials are rarely prosecuted for even the most blatant violations of our liberties. In contrast, federal prosecutors routinely pursue criminal charges against whistleblowers. For example, the only American prosecuted and imprisoned in relation to the government’s use of torture was whistleblower John Kiriakou.

While some officials like Lerner who find themselves at the center of a high-profile scandal or partisan dispute can expect harsh treatment from Congress, this is the exception, not the rule. Executive branch officials usually receive deferential treatment from members of Congress. I recall one hearing on government surveillance where a representative actually apologized to a government official because Congress had the gall to ask that official to testify about the government’s ongoing surveillance of the American people.

In contrast, private citizens called before Congress are harangued and even bullied. Congress should stop using the hearing process to intimidate private citizens and start using it to intimidate those government officials who are threatening our liberty. For example, Congress should continue to investigate the IRS’s ongoing attempts to silence organizations that work to advance free markets and individual liberty. (Read more from “Ron Paul: The IRS and Congress Both Hold Our Liberty in Contempt” HERE)

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Ron Paul Will Attend Rand’s Presidential Campaign Launch

By David Weigle. Former Texas Congressman Ron Paul will attend Tuesday’s expected launch of Kentucky Senator Rand Paul’s presidential bid. Reached on Monday, Ron Paul’s Texas office confirmed that he was heading to Louisville for the event after his son’s aides scored him a charter flight that would let him keep a long-scheduled commitment in Minneapolis.

For most political campaigns, “will the candidate’s father show up” wouldn’t be much of a question. In Rand Paul’s successful 2010 campaign for Senate, it wasn’t a question at all. In June 2009, Ron Paul’s congressional campaign sent an e-mail to donors credited to the man himself, asking members of the “liberty movement” to back his son.

“During the Presidential election he traveled to ten states giving speeches for me,” wrote Ron Paul. “He appeared on hundreds of radio programs for me. I am grateful for his contribution and very proud of the thoughtful, principled man Rand has become. So, it is with great enthusiasm that I endorse my son Rand’s venture into electoral politics.”

The younger Paul went along with this. He built on his father’s donor network, and shrugged when his opponent attacked the influx of out-of-state money. He talked to the same outsider news networks that had obsessively covered his father. (Read more from this story HERE)

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