IRS scandal should frighten everyone

The IRS scandal targeting conservative groups should strike fear into all citizens, since it could be you next time.

Sarah Ingram was commissioner of the responsible IRS division and raked in more than $100,000 in bonuses. She is now in charge of the IRS office for Obamacare and will get her hands on your health records soon.

Joseph Grant, the outgoing head of the IRS, doesn't know who is responsible. He had some vague idea about something, had asked someone a question but doesn't remember who. So a couple of low-level agents in the Cincinnati office were counseled and the case was closed, ignoring those other offices that also grilled the targeted groups.

Next we learn that the Treasury Department of the Obama administration knew about the targeting last year, before the election, and kept silent. When targeted groups complained to Congress, senior administrators of the IRS told Congress there was no targeting.

Finally, President Barack Obama learns of the scandal reading his daily newspaper and knows nothing. But he wants ever more power for the federal government. For the same clowns who use government power to punish political groups but know nothing about anything.

Bernard Flusche

Newark

State must change its campaign laws


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We no longer live in a democracy. Corporations have bought our government through excessive funding of campaign ads and lobbying, all abetted by the Supreme Court.

More than $7 billion was spent on the 2012 federal election. Imagine if that had been spent on our crumbling infrastructure. We need a constitutional amendment that states money is not speech, so that campaign financing can be regulated and that corporations do not have the inherent constitutional rights of living breathing human beings.

Changing the Constitution is a long, arduous process and will require citizens to unite and demand reform.

However, there is something Californians can do now that will improve the election process, which is to raise their voices in support of SB 52, the California Disclose Act.

This bill requires that the top three donors be revealed in political ads themselves. Voters make better judgments when they know who is paying for an ad.

The bill requires a two-thirds vote of both houses. Call your legislators to urge support.

Eloise Hamann

Dublin

It's hard to believe that no one knew

Benghazi, IRS, AP -- and no one at the top knows anything.

If you believe that, I have a bridge to sell you.

Cathy Ledbetter

Newark

One call can stop the onslaught of mail

Don't get me wrong, banks and lenders have helped me more than they've hurt me, at least thus far in life. This past spring, though, around the time I filed taxes and renewed my student aid for school, I was bombarded with unsolicited credit card applications, 18 in total, excluding those I immediately discarded.

My own bank even sent five sets of "promotional checks," and after staring at the pile of unwanted paper, I finally called their 1-800 number to protest. I didn't shame the employee for her bank's irresponsible and predatory practice, though I certainly wanted to. Instead, I made two simple demands: Do not share my information with outside banks; and do not send me any more internal solicitations.

The bank was happy to honor my request. One five-minute phone call brought me one step closer to my own solution. I can't control the behavior of the banks, but I can choose a healthy response to it.

Megan Brown

Oakland

Spend money on inspections

Your recent editorial, "Candor needed on failure of Bay Bridge rods," was spot on.

For some time now, a good friend of mine from Castro Valley has been after the MTC for its wasteful $6 million grand-opening party. He is right.

But we keep getting the standard party line that the money is already there and allocated. Now we have the fiasco of the bad rods. Being as they had oversight on this, why doesn't the well-heeled MTC forget its ego party and put the money into proper inspection?

We are hurting for money in California and the proper use of funds for safety should have been obvious. How many inspectors would these boondoggle funds pay for?

Why is it bureaucrats seem obligated to still spend money when it is shown to be wasteful? At some time in my life I would like to see a high-positioned public servant remember they are responsible to us and not their own needs. Pathetic.

Richard Andrews

Livermore