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Ron Paul: Abolish The VA, IRS And TSA

Citing bureaucracy and a series of major recent scandals, former Congressman Ron Paul said three institutional government agencies -- the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Veterans Affairs (VA) and Transportation Security Administration (TSA) -- aren't serving the American people, and the country would be better off with alternatives.

"We lived without the IRS for 135 years," Paul told Fox Business Network on May 24, according to The Hill. "We’ve only had the TSA for a short period of time and it has done us no good except give us long lines. The VA is in shambles because bureaucracy doesn’t work.

“All of these are proof that bureaucratic management doesn’t work. Instead of trying to fix it, we should have an alternative.”

The IRS controversy has been brewing for years and centers around the agency's reported efforts to target conservative and religious groups.

After initial accusations involving anecdotal evidence, a Government Accountability Office report found that poor oversight at the IRS increased the risk that agents could go after religious groups with audits, PBS reported. That report was followed by another investigation by the Treasury Department's Inspector General, who found the IRS was also targeting conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status.

President Barack Obama acknowledged the problem in 2013, saying the IRS's conduct was "intolerable and inexcusable" and blaming the IRS for failing to apply policies "in a fair and impartial way," according to a statement issued by the White House.

Now lawmakers on the House Judiciary Committee are considering impeaching IRS Commissioner John Koskinen because they say he hasn't cooperated with demands to make sure his agency is treating all groups fairly, according to The Hill. Committee members have said Koskinen has lied under oath, did not report missing emails that were crucial to the accusations against the IRS, and ignored a subpoena.

The TSA has been under fire after longstanding accusations of incompetence and frustrations with long security lines at airports. Things took a turn for the worse in May when it was revealed a top security official at the TSA had received a $90,000 bonus, despite a report that said screeners he oversaw repeatedly failed security tests and did not catch fake bombs and weapons.

During his May 24 interview, Paul said the TSA has gotten worse at security despite the fact that the lawmakers have thrown more money at the problem. The TSA, he said, is emblematic of government bureaucracy grown out of control.

"They haven’t provided anything," he said, according to The Hill. "All they’ve done is undermine the liberties of the American people. They haven’t been proven to have stopped any terrorist attack."

The VA has drawn widespread condemnation for offering sub-par medical care to American military veterans, including reports of medical incompetence and cover-ups with VA employees creating fake waiting lists to mask long delays for medical treatments, according to CBS News. It's not uncommon for veterans to wait two or three months for medical appointments, and an Associated Press investigation found that the number of three-month wait times for appointments had doubled in 2015 even after the VA instituted major reforms.

Other accusations run the gamut, from a physician named the "candyman" for doling out "alarmingly high" amounts of pain medication to veterans, per CBS, to employees receiving bonuses despite consistently underperforming and failing to address chronic shortcomings in veteran care.

The VA paid $143 million in bonuses to its employees in 2014, including bonuses given to employees who were under investigation at the time.

In his weekly address ahead of Memorial Day, Obama acknowledged the serious shortcomings of the VA, and said the U.S. has "a sacred obligation" to care for its war veterans.

"In recent weeks, we've seen again how much more our nation has to do to make sure all our veterans get the care they deserve," Obama said, according to CBS.

Sources: The Hill (2) (3) (4), PBSWhite House, CBS News (2) (3) / Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons

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