Karen Handel says Americans shouldn’t be surprised that the Internal Revenue Service has singled out some groups for scrutiny because of their political beliefs.
“The Founding Fathers cautioned us about the desire of government to expand and become bigger and more intrusive into our lives,” she said.
Handel, a former Georgia secretary of state and chairman of the Fulton County Board of Commissioners, announced last week that she will seek the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate seat that will be vacated next year by the retiring Saxby Chambliss. She spoke Tuesday night to the Dalton Tea Party.
IRS officials admitted earlier this month that the agency had singled out tea party groups for extra scrutiny when the groups filed for 501(c)(4) nonprofit status. A federal inspector general’s report later revealed that the IRS had been singling out conservative groups for additional scrutiny dating back to 2010.
Tea party groups protested such treatment outside IRS offices in cities across the nation, including Dalton, on Tuesday.
“When it comes to the IRS, we need a massive overhaul. Hopefully, this will be the impetus to have a real debate about comprehensive tax reform,” Handel said. “That will mean fewer IRS agents running amok.”
Handel was asked if she supports the Fair Tax, a proposal to replace almost all federal taxes with a 23-percent national sales tax. With no income tax to collect, the plan would abolish the IRS.
“I definitely support a fairer, simpler approach to our tax code. At this point, we should have all options on the table, whether it is the Fair Tax or a flat tax. What we have is not working,” she said.
Handel finished first in a seven-way Republican primary for governor in 2010 but did not secure a majority. She lost a runoff election to former U.S. representative Nathan Deal who defeated former Democratic governor Roy Barnes in the general election.
Three other Republicans have also announced they will be seeking the party’s nomination for Senate next year: U.S. Reps. Paul Broun of Athens, Phil Gingrey of Marietta and Jack Kingston of Savannah.
“Of the four candidates who have announced, one of us has a very different background. The others have spent a long time in Washington,” Handel said. “They are good individuals who have worked hard to represent their districts and their constituents, but we need fresh new voices in Washington, not more of the same. We need a tenacious problem solver.”
Handel said she supports the repeal of the 2010 Affordable Care Act.
“Obamacare is a monstrosity that will bankrupt this nation,” she said.
She said she also believes that immigration reform should begin by securing the nation’s borders and enforcing the laws already on the books.