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IRS Admits to targeting

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Probably they were, but laws are interpretable, and the IRS seems to have been interpreting it in favor of the Democrats in taking away those exemptions.

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If it were just a small number of employees, she said, "then you would think that the high-level IRS supervisors would have rushed to make this public, fired the employees involved, apologized to the American people and informed Congress. None of that happened in a timely way."

The IRS said Friday that it was sorry for what it called the "inappropriate" targeting of the conservative groups during the 2012 election to see if they were violating their tax-exempt status. The agency blamed low-level employees, saying no high-level officials were aware.

But according to a draft of a watchdog's report obtained Saturday by The Associated Press that seemingly contradicts public statements by the IRS commissioner, senior IRS officials knew agents were targeting tea party groups as early as 2011.

The Treasury Department's inspector general for tax administration is expected to release the results of a nearly yearlong investigation in the coming week.

Lois G. Lerner, who heads the IRS division that oversees tax-exempt organizations, said last week that the practice was initiated by low-level workers in Cincinnati and was not motivated by political bias.

But on June 29, 2011, Lerner learned at a meeting that groups were being targeted, according to the watchdog's report. At the meeting, she was told that groups with "Tea Party," ''Patriot" or "9/12 Project" in their names were being flagged for additional and often burdensome scrutiny, the report says.

The 9/12 Project is a group started by conservative TV personality Glenn Beck.

Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Mich., said "the conclusion that the IRS came to is that they did have agents who were engaged in intimidation of political groups is as dangerous a problem the government can have."

He added, "This should send a chill up your spine. ... I don't know where it stops or who is involved."

Congressional Republicans already are conducting several investigations and asked for more.

"This mea culpa is not an honest one," said Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif.

After the AP report Saturday, White House press secretary Jay Carney said that if the inspector general "finds that there were any rules broken or that conduct of government officials did not meet the standards required of them, the president expects that swift and appropriate steps will be taken to address any misconduct."

Collins said the revelations about the nation's tax agency only contribute to "the profound distrust that the American people have in government. It is absolutely chilling that the IRS was singling out conservative groups for extra review."

She said she was disappointed that Obama "hasn't personally condemned this." The president, Collins said, "needs to make crystal clear that this is totally unacceptable."

Lerner said that about 300 groups were singled out for additional review, with about one-quarter scrutinized because they had "tea party" or "patriot" somewhere in their applications.

Lerner said 150 of the cases have been closed and no group had its tax-exempt status revoked, though some withdrew their applications.

From: http://news.yahoo.com/senator-obama-apologize-irs-targeting-133013889.html

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^ "though some withdrew their applications." Surprisingly, I hadn't thought of that. I'll bet that was part of the thinking here. Harass them and scare them out of forming another organization. This is not cool.

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Posted (edited)

^ "though some withdrew their applications." Surprisingly, I hadn't thought of that. I'll bet that was part of the thinking here. Harass them and scare them out of forming another organization. This is not cool.

That's probably why they did this... :no:

I don't care what party you belong to, this ain't right. People shouldn't be targeted by the IRS just for their political beliefs. This isn't Nazi Germany, or Stalin's Russia.

Edited by Kowalski
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http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2013/05/11/glenn-becks-withering-response-to-irs-targeting-912-project-conservative-groups/

Glenn Beck issued a response Saturday to the Internal Revenue Service’s shocking admission that it has unfairly targeted conservative groups, pointing out that he and his news organization have been reporting on the issue for over a year.

“In February 2012, TheBlaze first reported what the IRS now admits to – that they unfairly targeted conservative groups including the 9/12 project. It is nice to see everyone else playing catch-up and finally asking the same questions that TheBlaze started raising over a year ago,” Beck’s statement read.

As early as February 14, 2012, TheBlaze’s Mike Opelka published a story titled: “Is Obama Using the IRS to Silence Opposition Voices?”

In it, Opelka detailed the emails TheBlaze has received from conservative groups “alerting us to the oppressive demands being sent to them from the IRS.” Among other things, the IRS apparently wanted hard copies of every social media post; the name, address, and corporate federal ID of members; and the time, location and content schedule of each event, including printouts of the text of every speech given.

The IRS apologized on Friday for singling out groups with words like “Tea Party,” “Patriot” or “9/12 Project” in the run-up to the 2012 election, and an IRS watchdog organization claims senior IRS officials knew about the matter in 2011.

The issue hits close to home for Beck, who started the 9/12 project as a volunteer based, non-partisan movement focusing on building and uniting our communities back to the place they were on 9/12/2001.

And Beck wasn’t the only one to issue a public statement on the scandal.

Sarah Palin also weighed in on Facebook, saying Obama likely appreciated the IRS’ efforts during the election before warning:

Americans should remember that this same corrupt IRS will be in charge of enforcing Obamacare. And this same inept and corrupt government will supposedly secure our now unsecured borders in advance of immigration reform and will implement a completely ethical and non-political IPAB panel to make life and death health care decisions for you and your family. Forgive me for not trusting these big government promises any more than I trust the White House’s latest Benghazi spin or the IRS’ fairness.

She concluded with a word of inspiration, saying the so-called “fundamental transformation of America” is only temporary.

“This attempted transformation into a disheartened, weakened, unrecognizable nation is so far below anything Americans deserve,” she wrote. “It becomes permanent only if we throw up our hands and surrender to the corruption and cover-ups.”

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What happens if it turns out that the order to do these selective audits came from Obama himself?

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Frank, trust that you wouldn't be happy if you lived here and one year the IRS started targeting only Vietnamese people.

Or perhaps Jews?

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What happens if it turns out that the order to do these selective audits came from Obama himself?

Then that would pretty much justify that he's a slimy snake who uses thug tactics and would show the hypocrisy of his mantra of fairness. Legally, I'm not sure of which laws or amendments address these things.

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Thanks redhen, I was just about to post a similar article about targeting against pro-Israel groups too.

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Well I would say nothing should happen; he is the President and has to govern. The States now is too tied up in partisanship that things that need doing are not getting done (although matters have improved since last fall). It should be investigated and legislation passed to make similar things in future more difficult or at lease easier to bring to light, but politics will happen. The lesson of the political gains to be had from the destruction of the President was too well learned by both parties: the lesson they didn't learn was the harm such things do to the country.

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That sounds good but just letting him get away with it and saying watch out next time is exactly why government overreach keeps happening. Accountability needs to be a common practice and not just something we should expect.

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If they were obeying the law and got their exemption taken away regardless, then sue. If on the other hand the IRS was right and they weren't obeying the law, then what right have they to complain? I don't see why Congress should be involved unless its just politics.

Nail on the head.

The illegal scrutiny applied was "just politics" on the part of the Obama Administration.

It crippled some of these groups, though who knows what difference that would have made?

In any case, if you (and the American people) are okay with the White House using the IRS to target opposition groups this way, then I hope you agree with it when a Republican President does it to liberal organizations at some point in the future.

Harte

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The WH was not involved in the Tea Party Tax scandal. It was certain managers who made that decision all their own.

Others can contest that all they want but there is no need for an argument on our side.

We believe that instead of the conspiracy theory.

Others can choose to believe conspiracy theories and even try to argue and change our minds or try to convince us to believe their delusions.

No contest, we are not competing, and will continue with progress with or without your help. Believe what you will, no on is saying you can't.

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Especially given the damning evidence we have (and this is only to this point in time, which is early on, pre-investigation even.)

Harte

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Agreed, let us wait before making any conclusions until the investigation is complete.

If accuracy and not rabidity is our goal, that is.

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Posted (edited)

Conspiracy theories aside, there’s no evidence that the Obama White House had anything to do with Internal Revenue Service bureaucrats targeting tea party-type organizations for special tax scrutiny.

That’s despite new information that senior IRS officials knew agents were targeting such groups as early as 2011, according to a draft of an inspector general's report obtained by the Associated Press that seems to contradict public statements by the IRS commissioner.

Still, as Time political columnist Joe Klein writes this weekend, “the absence of scandal is not the presence of competence.”

“Yet again, we have an example of Democrats simply not managing the government properly and with discipline,” Klein writes. “This is just poisonous at a time of skepticism about the efficacy of government…. [Obama’s] unwillingness to concentrate – and I mean concentrate obsessively – on making sure that government is managed efficiently will be part of his legacy.”

So far, the White House response seems a bit anemic, a bit hands-off. On Saturday, press secretary Jay Carney said the President believes government agencies should be staffed with "the very best public servants with the highest levels of integrity.”

The President “is concerned that the conduct of a small number of Internal Revenue Service employees may have fallen short of that standard,” Carney said.

Given what’s been revealed in the inspector general’s report, such statements likely will not quell the criticism.

“It is absolutely chilling that the IRS was singling out conservative groups for extra review,” US Sen. Susan Collins ® of Maine said on CNN’s “State of the Union” Sunday.

“The president needs to make crystal clear that this is totally unacceptable inAmerica,” she said. “I think that it's very disappointing that the president hasn't personally condemned this and spoken out.”

The following January, the criteria for flagging suspect groups was changed to, "political action type organizations involved in limiting/expanding Government, educating on the Constitution and Bill of Rights, social economic reform/movement," the IG’s report says.

About 300 applications were initially flagged for closer scrutiny, 75 of which were chosen based on names including those key words. In the end, according to the IRS, none were denied the tax-exempt status they had applied for, although some withdrew their applications.

Each year the IRS reviews as many as 60,000 tax-exempt applications from groups ranging from charities to labor unions, reports Reuters.

Such organizations can collect money from anonymous donors and spend it on advertising. But in order to get and keep their tax-exempt status, they can’t endorse a political candidate or a political party. Coinciding in part with the surge of Tea Party enthusiasm, the number of groups seeking tax-exempt status more than doubled from 2010 to 2012, to more than 3,400.

But despite the increased workload and the apparent effort to identify groups whose political activities crossed the tax-exempt line, focusing on “tea party” and “patriot” was bound to create a partisan firestorm.

Now, groups across the political spectrum suspect that they too might have been picked for special IRS scrutiny. BuzzFeed reports that one “hawkishly pro-Israel” group believes that it was targeted by the IRS over its opposition to President Obama’s Israel policy.

Congressional Republicans promise a series of investigative hearings.

“While I’m glad that the IRS has apologized for this misconduct, that is simply not enough,” US Sen. Orrin Hatch ® of Utah said Saturday. “We need to know more. We need to know who was behind this unlawful activity, when it began, who found out about it, when they found out, and what they did or did not do to correct it.”

As Lauren French and Kelsey Snell of Politico write, “the IRS doesn’t have many friends on a good day,” and now it seems to be “an agency under siege, facing its worst public relations debacle in years.”

That lack of friends in Congress is bipartisan.

We shouldn’t rush to judgment,” says Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D) of Montana. “But targeting groups based solely on their political views is not only inappropriate, it is intolerable.”

http://news.yahoo.co...-160512047.html

Edited by Kowalski

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What happens if it turns out that the order to do these selective audits came from Obama himself?

Some people will go "well he obviously had his reasons", others will see it as 'proof' that the Tea Party is up to no good if the President has to go to such lengths to deal with it, some will say "OI! that's illegal and terribly naughty" and be called "rabble-rousers" or "trouble-makers" by the first groups and the majority will go on watching Celebrity Strictly Come Diving on Ice.

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Some people will go "well he obviously had his reasons", others will see it as 'proof' that the Tea Party is up to no good if the President has to go to such lengths to deal with it, some will say "OI! that's illegal and terribly naughty" and be called "rabble-rousers" or "trouble-makers" by the first groups and the majority will go on watching Celebrity Strictly Come Diving on Ice.

Most likely...

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Posted (edited)

If they were obeying the law and got their exemption taken away regardless, then sue. If on the other hand the IRS was right and they weren't obeying the law, then what right have they to complain? I don't see why Congress should be involved unless its just politics.

One thing you need to understand is that the tax code of the US has become so complex and confused that these b******* can do just about anything they want and get away with it. It is very Kafkaesque and you can't sue them so you have to take it. It doesn't change because it represents power and control and an endless amount of graft to congress. Lobbyists get special exemptions, the congressman gets a hand-out or "donation" and the company makes billions.

Edited by Merc14

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Agreed, let us wait before making any conclusions until the investigation is complete.

If accuracy and not rabidity is our goal, that is.

They admit it, what else do you need? The only question is how many others were abused and who laughed it off. How come you haven't visited the Benghazi threads you were so adamantly defending the democrats on?

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Interesting analysis.

Not to detract from it but there is one point that could be expanded on. The claims of one, "hawkishly pro-Israel” group," that, "believes that it was targeted by the IRS over its opposition to President Obama’s Israel policy," might point to someone within the IRS who shares those same views that Obama once had. As of now, Obama's foreign policy where it concerns Israel has veered so far right that it now appears to have become a neocon Bush clone foreign policy.

On another note, the ® and ™ now appearing behind a person's name turning them into products seems quite odd. Someone will say it is part of a conpisracy theory (like the one going back quite a bit over how court and business documents use all capital letters for names turning someone into a product) and others might just say welcome to the digital age.

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Posted (edited)

They admit it, what else do you need? The only question is how many others were abused and who laughed it off. How come you haven't visited the Benghazi threads you were so adamantly defending the democrats on?

In regards to those Benghazi threads, some want to spend their time arguing and quibbling, others just want to pass on information for the benefit of those interested in said information.

Some see dialogue as a win or lose type of debate while others see it as only being able to influence others while learning something themselves.

There is no need to visit such threads unless new information is released.

See you there soon.

Edited by Leave Britney alone!

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As I recall it was the selective use of the tax laws that put Capone in jail -- he was singled out for scrutiny because they couldn't find any other way to get him.

Is this so different because the motive is political? It seems the same sort of selective use of investigative discretion.

Such discretion is essential; the police cannot investigate everything or everybody. Where the problem seems to rise here is that the two political parties are out to get each other, and more and more are using the investigative power of what should be independent agencies.

It may be, however, that in this case another factor came into play that is even more scary for the US -- that it is government employees working to protect their own interests over and above that of the nation, and that they favor Democrats because Democrats do more for them.

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In Jesus' day, the Roman's murdered you for overturning the tables of the money changers. So surely this is a cross the political right can bear?

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After considerable consideration I am unable to see what the Romans may or may not have done to those objecting to the money changers has any relevance whatsoever to this theme. Is this a reference to Jesus or to some anti-tax protest back then?

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