IRS

What IRS Approved While Sitting on Tea Party Group Applications

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USA Today has a story about what sorts of 501(c)4 groups the IRS approved for tax status while sitting on paperwork from Tea Party-type groups:

As applications from conservative groups sat in limbo, groups with liberal-sounding names had their applications approved in as little as nine months. With names including words like "Progress" or "Progressive," the liberal groups applied for the same tax status and were engaged in the same kinds of activities as the conservative groups. They inlcuded:

• Bus for Progress, a New Jersey non-profit that uses a red, white and blue bus to "drive the progressive change." According to its website, its mission includes "support (for) progressive politicians with the courage to serve the people's interests and make tough choices." It got an IRS approval as a social welfare group in April 2011.

• Missourians Organizing for Reform and Empowerment says it fights against corporate welfare and for increasing the minimum wage. "It would be fair to say we're on the progressive end of the spectrum," said executive director Jeff Ordower. He said the group got tax-exempt status in September 2011 in just nine months after "a pretty simple, straightforward process."

• Progress Florida, granted tax-exempt status in January 2011, is lobbying the Florida Legislature to expand Medicaid under a provision of the Affordable Care Act, one of President Obama's signature accomplishments. The group did not return phone calls. "We're busy fighting to build a more progressive Florida and cannot take your call right now," the group's voice mail said.

More here.

Related: Reason contributor James Bovard in the Wall Street Journal: "A brief history of IRS political targeting":

The agency has a long history of seeking to intimidate congressional critics: In 1925, Internal Revenue Commissioner David Blair personally delivered a demand for $10 million in back taxes to Michigan's Republican Sen. James Couzens—who had launched an investigation of the Bureau of Internal Revenue—as he stepped out of the Senate chamber. More recently, after Sen. Joe Montoya of New Mexico announced plans in 1972 to hold hearings on IRS abuses, the agency added his name to a list of tax protesters who were capable of violence against IRS agents.

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  1. Progressives think this is the way the government is supposed to work.

    1. Well, the Taxman has the longest unbroken record of being the most hated agent of the state, so using them to harass opposition is far from unprecedented. “Prohibition isn’t working, and we can’t Prove Capone sells booze” “Call the IRS” “COINTELPRO hasn’t turned up enough dirt to silence them. Should we make some?” “Call the IRS first, see what they can find.”

      1. That analogy isn’t so good–since Al Capone was personally responsible for dozens of murders, but these people the IRS discriminated against simply wanted to criticize the president and his policies.

        You see the difference, right?

        1. But, but, but government is us and we are government!
          Criticism of the government is code for anarchy!
          Small government means no government!
          If they had their way we would all be slaves to the corporations!
          That’s worse than murder!

        2. Yes, I do, hense the COINTELPRO quip too.

          Whoever is in power will use the organs of government to further their own ends, regardless of those ends.

          Besides, those murders wouldn’t have happend had prohibition not made booze a black market. So I blame the temperence movement for the st valentines day massacre, and for every gang shooting in the drug war.

  2. As I was reading this, the Bloombergers on the teevee were reading a headline about how the IRS was scrutinizing liberal applications, too.

    So, nothing to see here, move along.

    1. Well, I guess we know what Mayor Bloomberg thinks about this; I wonder what George Soros thinks?

      This seems like the exact opposite of a Karl Popper Open Society kind of thing, doesn’t it? It’s more of a Vladamir Putin closed society kind of thing.

    2. Please. Bloomberg is about the hardest left of the major non-opinion media outlets I’ve run across. They’ve printed “news stories” that weren’t even thinly veiled editorials. What’s worse, they absolutely and utterly suck even at biased propaganda. They’re out-and-out BORING. They cover minor stories while leaving market movers undiscussed.

  3. “The agency has a long history of seeking to intimidate congressional critics”

    Yes, Mr. Obama, I can see absolutely NO reason why anyone would EVER mistrust government!

  4. More recently, after Sen. Joe Montoya of New Mexico announced plans in 1972 to hold hearings on IRS abuses, the agency added his name to a list of tax protesters who were capable of violence against IRS agents.

    At least someone recognizes that the essence of government action is violence.

  5. Libertarians have had their share of trouble with the c-4 division: http://pileusblog.wordpress.co…..ep-seated/

  6. “As applications from conservative groups sat in limbo, groups with liberal-sounding names had their applications approved in as little as nine months.”

    Progressives think this is the way the government should work, and they think this is the way gun rights people, religious people, and businesses should be treated, too.

    Lean forward!

    1. That’s one of the reasons why Progressives are America’s most horrible people.

      1. Progressives, leftists, collectivists, whatever you want to call them, worship force and violence.

        They can’t go around stealing from the rich or doing violence to anyone who hurts their fragile feelings because it’s against the law. But they can do one better. They get the government to do their dirty work for them. This way their victims can’t seek justice because the injustices are coming from the same people who are duty bound to fight injustice.

        They’re not just horrible people. They’re evil.

  7. And before the IRS, there was the Second Bank of the United States and Nicholas Biddle.

  8. Am I the only one who thinks the IRS logo looks like a vulture?

  9. Everyday, we’re served up with more detailed reasons to hate the government.

    Ordinarily I’d feel bad for the president, but he’s such a pompous, self-aggrandizing piece of shit that it actually makes me want to see him ruined even more.

    It’s almost like he’s trying to go down as the worst president who also managed to ruin things more than any prior executive. As a bonus Mitt Romney gets to wake up every morning and realize that he lost to THIS moron.

  10. its mission includes “support (for) progressive politicians with the courage to serve the people’s interests and make tough choices.” It got an IRS approval as a social welfare group

    Perhaps if “It got an IRS approval” could be expanded to “Mr. John Doe, under the supervision of Ms. Jane Roe, under the supervision of … Mr. Barack Obama, approved it” some of this crap might end.

    1. “Application rejected on account of accountability”

  11. The IRS has been busy in recent years: IRS faces class action lawsuit over theft of 60 million medical records. At $25,000 in compensatory damages “per violation per individual,” that could be $250 billion or more.

  12. I actually believe Obama and immediate underlings didn’t have anything to do with this. Why? he had no immediate lie prepared, and just admitted that it was bad. He sounded ready to throw somebody under the bus.

    If things go right, and the right wing half of the statist-quo media can stay focused on this for a few months, we might see something like 1 or maybe even 2 career parasites have to get a job at an entirely different branch of the federal bureaucracy in Mordor! Sweeet!

    1. I think he might have. First of all, digging up dirt on his political opponents out of nominally private public records is sort of his MO. Remember also that he was accused some time ago of speaking about Koch Industries’ tax status based on accessing IRS info (WH claimed that they had different sources, but it might be time to revisit those allegations).

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