BO's IRS Targets Political Enemies

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Meade
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Re: BO's IRS Targets Political Enemies

Postby Meade » Thu May 23, 2013 4:09 pm

Of course, some people get to use the "I don't recall" defense without serious pushback from the committee....


And others get to use the "what difference, at this point, does it make" defense.

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Re: BO's IRS Targets Political Enemies

Postby Detritus » Thu May 23, 2013 4:38 pm

Meade wrote:
Of course, some people get to use the "I don't recall" defense without serious pushback from the committee....


And others get to use the "what difference, at this point, does it make" defense.

Tru dat.

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Re: BO's IRS Targets Political Enemies

Postby Henry Vilas » Fri May 24, 2013 9:18 am

The darling of the wacko right has weighed in on the IRS with this lie:
Bachmann’s absurd claim of a vast IRS health database of ‘sensitive, intimate’ information

For that, she earned the coveted Four Pinocchios rating from Washington Post fact checkers.

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Re: BO's IRS Targets Political Enemies

Postby Huckleby » Fri May 24, 2013 9:48 am

The Wash Post editorial gets at to why the GOP is so enraged:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/ ... story.html

It's pretty obvious that the administration buried the news of the IRS debacle until after the elections. For better or worse, they probably had a reasonable justification for doing so, although "excuse" might be the word. Repubs are mad because they got away with it.

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Re: BO's IRS Targets Political Enemies

Postby wack wack » Fri May 24, 2013 9:58 am

Why does this non-issue continue to be an issue?

Here are the facts: the IRS has a right to ask for X or anything less than X from an applicant; nobody was asked for more than X; and nobody was denied approval.

Them's the facts, Jack.

If there is any real justice in America, the net result will be a re-commitment by the IRS to enforcing the statute as written, with a vast majority of these political "social welfare" organizations losing their 501(c)4 status.

Then America can thank the GOP for ruining it for everyone!

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Re: BO's IRS Targets Political Enemies

Postby wack wack » Fri May 24, 2013 10:00 am

Huckleby wrote:The Wash Post editorial gets at to why the GOP is so enraged:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/ ... story.html

It's pretty obvious that the administration buried the news of the IRS debacle until after the elections. For better or worse, they probably had a reasonable justification for doing so, although "excuse" might be the word. Repubs are mad because they got away with it.


Of course, the Republicans are going to chase any excuse they can for losing the election other than, "Mitt Romney was the worst political candidate of modern times, if not ever."

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Re: BO's IRS Targets Political Enemies

Postby Huckleby » Fri May 24, 2013 10:16 am

wack wack wrote:Why does this non-issue continue to be an issue?

Here are the facts: the IRS has a right to ask for X or anything less than X from an applicant; nobody was asked for more than X; and nobody was denied approval.

Them's the facts, Jack.

So you think the Cincinnati people made no mistake, and should have continued in their procedures?

I get that the targeted organizations ultimately got the sweet deal they sought, but they still were harassed to some degree.

The details of this thing don't matter so much. Once you go down the path of searching for "Tea Party" for any purpose, the IRS is screwing up.

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Re: BO's IRS Targets Political Enemies

Postby snoqueen » Fri May 24, 2013 10:37 am

What I think is funny is none of this resulted in anybody paying any more taxes than they owed, or in most of these cases, in paying anything at all.

They're just trying to whip up antagonism about taxes and keep the Obama-haters fed, and everybody knows it.

As I read into this more, I'm not even convinced flagging Tea Party applications was so wrong, because the Tea Party is knowingly playing the edges when it comes to mixing politics with socializing (or whatever else) and a responsible approach by IRS would be to check and be sure they're playing within the rules. I would want the IRS to flag any applications (and, indeed, returns) based on the odds they're bending rules, and as I said before that applies to wealthy quasi-religious elderly housing just as much as it does to right-wing quasi-political organizations. If you benefit from the wealth of this country and you have money you ought to contribute to keeping it running.

If you meet the tax code qualifications and don't need to pay, you're good to go. Why is that so hard?

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Re: BO's IRS Targets Political Enemies

Postby Meade » Fri May 24, 2013 10:44 am

snoqueen wrote:As I read into this more, I'm not even convinced flagging Tea Party applications was so wrong[...]

Here we go.

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Re: BO's IRS Targets Political Enemies

Postby Francis Di Domizio » Fri May 24, 2013 12:25 pm

wack wack wrote:If there is any real justice in America, the net result will be a re-commitment by the IRS to enforcing the statute as written, with a vast majority of these political "social welfare" organizations losing their 501(c)4 status.

Then America can thank the GOP for ruining it for everyone!


Or more honsestly, making it better for all of us

snoqueen wrote: I would want the IRS to flag any applications (and, indeed, returns) based on the odds they're bending rules, and as I said before that applies to wealthy quasi-religious elderly housing just as much as it does to right-wing quasi-political organizations.


Who defines those odds Sno? Based on what? Looking at the results, none of the Tea Party groups failed the cut, so exactly what facts made them more likely to be rejected?

Ultimately, I think the process is important. If two groups apply for the same status and one recieves approval quicker and with less hassle than the other, barring any factual evidence, there is a problem with the process. The dificulty of recieving approval can't change based on something as arbitrary as a name.

There is also a huge problem when you tell Congress one thing, when you know the oposite to be true. It was true when the Bush administration lied about WMDs and it's true now (No need to point it out, clearly they are diferent in the scope, but the problem remains the same). I don't care who is in charge of Congress or who is doing the lying. I agree it would not have effected the Presidential election, but it might have effected the balance in the Senate, so I can't say I blame Republicans for being pissed about this being buried during the election. Hell they could have addressed this issue with congress in early 2012 and it would have probably had no effect on any elections.

snoqueen wrote:They're just trying to whip up antagonism about taxes and keep the Obama-haters fed, and everybody knows it.


Which is why it's so damn stupid to give them more fuel like this in the first place. This should have been addressed imediately when the questions first arose. "Yes, Congress man, it appears some of our staff were trying to save time by using a generic filter. We have corrected that issue and fast tracked any groups who were erroneously held up. We're sorry; it won't happen again."

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Re: BO's IRS Targets Political Enemies

Postby david cohen » Fri May 24, 2013 2:15 pm

Perhaps the IRS wasn't targeting anyone's political enemy but, rather, was targeting potential law breakers, the overwhelming majority of which were Tea Party-ish groups trying to take advantage of Citizens United and 501-status groups. When big money donors try to use anonymity shields in the tax code to launder huge sums through "social welfare" channels, they should be busted. Enforce the law as written and let the courts sort out the sore losers.

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Re: BO's IRS Targets Political Enemies

Postby snoqueen » Fri May 24, 2013 2:43 pm

"Yes, Congress man, it appears some of our staff were trying to save time by using a generic filter. We have corrected that issue and fast tracked any groups who were erroneously held up. We're sorry; it won't happen again."


But that's more or less what they've been saying and still the screamers keep screaming.

I agree it looked bad -- no two ways about that.

When big money donors try to use anonymity shields in the tax code to launder huge sums through "social welfare" channels, they should be busted.


To some extent, this IRS thing is another consequence of Citizens United. When a huge ruling like that comes down, it creates a lot of unexpected (and unintended) collateral effects and you've got to budget for the consequences or you get shit like this.

The Cap Times had a good short article today (mostly stuff from ProPublica) that lists some "forgotten" facts about social welfare nonprofits and taxation:

http://host.madison.com/ct/news/local/g ... 963f4.html

"Some social welfare groups promised in their applications, under penalty of perjury, that they wouldn’t get involved in elections. Then they did just that."


Shouldn't IRS actively work to find and stop this abuse of exempt status?

It's hard not to draw the conclusion big money isn't behind the prolonged screaming here.
Last edited by snoqueen on Fri May 24, 2013 2:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: BO's IRS Targets Political Enemies

Postby DCB » Fri May 24, 2013 2:52 pm

david cohen wrote:Perhaps the IRS wasn't targeting anyone's political enemy but, rather, was targeting potential law breakers, the overwhelming majority of which were Tea Party-ish groups trying to take advantage of Citizens United and 501-status groups.

This is the most likely explanation.

It still gives the appearance of bias, a serious problem with the IRS, which is why they have rules against it.

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Re: BO's IRS Targets Political Enemies

Postby Henry Vilas » Fri May 24, 2013 2:58 pm

snoqueen wrote:The Cap Times had a good short article today (mostly stuff from ProPublica) that lists some "forgotten" facts about social welfare nonprofits and taxation:

http://host.madison.com/ct/news/local/g ... 963f4.html

"Some social welfare groups promised in their applications, under penalty of perjury, that they wouldn’t get involved in elections. Then they did just that."


Shouldn't IRS actively work to find and stop this abuse of exempt status?

It's hard not to draw the conclusion big money isn't behind the prolonged screaming here.

I saw that too and I agree with your assessment. Here's a direct link to the Propublica article.

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Re: BO's IRS Targets Political Enemies

Postby Francis Di Domizio » Fri May 24, 2013 3:04 pm

david cohen wrote:Perhaps the IRS wasn't targeting anyone's political enemy but, rather, was targeting potential law breakers, the overwhelming majority of which were Tea Party-ish groups trying to take advantage of Citizens United and 501-status groups. When big money donors try to use anonymity shields in the tax code to launder huge sums through "social welfare" channels, they should be busted. Enforce the law as written and let the courts sort out the sore losers.

Except that the Inspector General's report as well as the IRS have already made it pretty clear that's not what happened.

Jebus, the IRS screwed up. They admitted they screwed up. What's with this obssession of repainting a few overworked IRS agents who made a bad workflow decission as folk heros out to thwart the Tea party? They weren't, and it would be in a hell of a lot worse if they were. When law enforcement decides to target "potential law breakers" based on their own broad definition its refered to as profiling. There's a reason one of the first groups screaming was the ACLU.


snoqueen wrote:
Francis Di Domizio wrote:Yes, Congress man, it appears some of our staff were trying to save time by using a generic filter. We have corrected that issue and fast tracked any groups who were erroneously held up. We're sorry; it won't happen again.


But that's more or less what they've been saying and still the screamers keep screaming.


Now they have been saying it, not when the questions first started, over a year ago, well before the November election. Of course people are more pissed off now! Can you honestly say you don't see how Republican's might view this as a possible cover up? The question was asked prior to the election, and answered in the negative prior to the election. Now 6 months after the election: "oops, we were wrong." It doesn't take a whole lot of imagination to think something might be fishy, especially if your a group that likes to play fishy politics yourself.

snoqueen wrote:To some extent, this IRS thing is another consequence of Citizens United. When a huge ruling like that comes down, it creates a lot of unexpected (and unintended) collateral effects and you've got to budget for the consequences or you get shit like this.

Absolutely


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