J. RUSSELL GEORGE: AN AMERICAN SUPER HERO
J. Russell George, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, has singlehandedly turned the federal government upside down. Like a Clark Kent turned Superman, he has suddenly risen to national prominence on an agenda that is quite rare in Washington: honesty, integrity, and service to country before self.
In very short order, Inspector General George with the assistance of his TIGTA office of over 800 federal employees has uncovered major federal scandals now leading to efforts to identify and prosecute those responsible. George uncovered the fact that some $4 billion annually has been paid to illegal aliens under the Additional Child Tax Credit for which many are not entitled. He uncovered the discriminatory treatment accorded to over 500 conservative applicants for non-profit tax-exempt status. He just uncovered IRS lavish spending on conferences, amounting to some $50 million in tax dollars wasted. Courageous, honorable, and committed to achieve justice, George has singlehandedly done more to help save the United States from corruption than any other government official in American history, but who is he?
George is a lawyer. He obtained his Bachelor of Arts degree from Howard University and his J.D. from Harvard Law School. While in law school, he dated Michelle Obama for a short time. His politics are far from those of the President and First Lady, however. He is a Republican. He was a prosecutor in the Queens County District Attorney’s Office. George worked for former Representative Steve Horn (R-California). George served in the administrations of George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush. From 1995 to 2002, he was the Staff Director and Chief Counsel of the House Government Reform Oversight Government Management Information and Technology Subcommittee (later entitled the Subcommittee on Government Efficiency, Financial Management and Intergovernmental Relations). In George H.W. Bush’s White House, George was the Associate Director for Policy in the White House Office of National Service. In George W. Bush’s White House, George was the Assistant General Counsel in the Office of Management and Budget. Throughout his career, George has been exceptional, efficient, and trustworthy. President George W. Bush nominated him to be the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration in 2004, and he was confirmed to be the Treasury IG by the United States Senate in November 2004.
Since assuming the post of Treasury Inspector General, true to form George has been a no-nonsense, non-partisan investigator who has worked diligently to ferret out corruption, waste, fraud and abuse at the Internal Revenue Service, as was his mandate. That achievement is extraordinary, particularly because the IRS is one of the most secretive entities within the federal government and because the tax code is an impossible morass that yields layer upon layer of IRS analysis that must be deciphered to uncover abuses.
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Because of its largely independent power within the federal government, the IRS has achieved a wall of omnipotence and resilience from accountability that one lone knight, J. Russell George, has powerfully obliterated. It is as if the massive brick and stone walls of the IRS building in Washington were suddenly removed by a super hero George, exposing the inner workings of the service, including its most unseemly aspects. George, the man responsible for exposing the IRS scandals that have caused the American people to lose trust and respect for the service, is also the man whose work will be most responsible for restoring internal accountability to the IRS.
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