Rep. Kelly Confronts New IRS Commissioner about Restoring Trust in Government

Feb 5, 2014 Issues: Tax Reform
Rep. Kelly Confronts New IRS Commissioner about Restoring Trust in Government

Rep. Kelly: “You need to turn the agency around, we need to turn the government around, so we can instill that faith and trust the American people need to have in us.”

WATCH HERE

WASHINGTON — Representative Mike Kelly (R-PA) – a member of the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Oversight – delivered remarks at this morning’s subcommittee hearing featuring the new Commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), John Koskinen, who was sworn-in to office on December 23, 2013.

Highlights of Rep. Kelly’s remarks:

“When I’m back home in Western Pennsylvania, I talk to people all the time… You know what they say? ‘You can use my story but you can’t use my name.’ Now the reason they say that is because the history [of the government’s handling of power] doesn’t have the same projection as the words.”

“They say of the three biggest lies: two of them could be something other, but the last one is, ‘I’m from the government and I’m here to help you.”

“The American people – I don’t know what the approval rating is of the IRS – but you know what they are: they’re scared to death of the IRS because of the past performance. … They just don’t trust the IRS because of the way they’ve been handled in the past. These people aren’t treated very well.”

“Did I understand you to say that if you make over a million dollars, you’ve got a one in ten chance of getting audited?” [Koskinen: “That’s the number, yes.”] 

“Why, who in the hell would want to make a million dollars then? You don’t want to make that kind of money because the IRS is going to audit you. That’s one reason. You talk about incentives not to do something — that would be it.”

“Nobody can stand in front of you and tell you that this [investigation into IRS corruption] is clear; that there’s absolutely not ‘one smidgen’ of evidence that proves that it’s there. The investigation isn’t done. It isn’t done. Those types of answers add to the gap between what people trust and what they have faith in anymore. Because the answer is never a direct answer. It’s an end run.”

“When I come out of church after Mass on Sunday, when I’m in a Walmart, when I’m in a K-Mart, when I’m down at my little coffee shop, do you know what they keep saying? ‘How do we know we can trust you?’ ‘How do we know we can trust the government anymore?’ That’s a heck of a position to be in, in this country, in this time, because [according to] overwhelming data that we’ve looked at … they can’t trust us and we’ve given them every reason not to.”

“Straight answers are the things that people are looking for. I would just say to you… When people tell me back home, ‘You can use my story but you can’t use my name’ — that is the most chilling effect of what has gone on. And the fact that it goes unanswered for week after week, month after month, and we keep hearing, ‘There’s actually nothing there, let’s move on folks, nothing to see here’ — that’s when they know … it’s another cover-up.”

“I’ve got to tell you, you’ve got a tough job in front of you, but no tougher than mine. I’ve got to take care of 705,687 people in Western Pennsylvania and the rest of this country who expect us to do the right thing for them because that’s the model we’ve always stood for. That’s what America means.”

“Any way we can help you, I’d like to weigh in. And we will get back and forth with some questions we have because the investigation is far from over and there’s other things I think we need to look at. You need to turn the agency around, we need to turn the government around, so we can instill that faith and trust the American people need to have in us.”

###