IRS

IRS Will Be Audited Yet Again

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Who thought giving the IRS oversight of the First Amendment was ever a good idea?

Lois Lerner may be pleading the Fifth to avoid providing Congressional testimony about the targeting of conservative and Tea Party nonprofits by the IRS, but the Treasury Department's inspector general will be following up his previous audit with another review. Politico reports:

The IRS inspector general is wading into the central question posed by the agency's descent into scandal: How closely should political activities at nonprofit groups be scrutinized?

The evolving debacle gripping the agency — which centers on IRS employees unfairly targeting conservative groups seeking nonprofit status — has clouded that question. But Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration J. Russell George told a Senate panel today it's an issue he plans to dive into.

The inspector general's office "will be conducting a review of the IRS's oversight of the level of campaign intervention by 501(c)(4)s shortly," George told the Senate Finance Committee.

Democratic senators still argue that the problem is the difference between whether the groups are "primarily" engaging in charitable or informational activities versus "exclusively" engaging in them.

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  1. I can’t helped but think they might be being profiled for extra scrutiny. I mean, you don’t see any other IRSs being audited, do you? This whole case is politically motivated.

    1. I’m kinda surprised someone has said they can’t afford an audit because sikwester.

      1. I expect someone D-bag to complain about the cost of the hearing, ignoring that they dragged Apple in to “investigate” legal activities.

        1. “I expect someone D-bag to complain about the cost of the hearing, ignoring that they dragged Apple in to “investigate” legal activities shake them down, and piss & moan that Apples’ accountants won’t just hand the IRS their ATM card, and cheer them on.

  2. OT (Perhaps better suited for PM Links, but worth highlighting): Apparently, a good deal of the liberal media, as exemplified by MSNBC, has turned to the Oklahoma tornado tragedy and the heroism of the school teachers in order to build a pro-teachers union narrative.

    1. Continued: http://www.cnn.com/2013/05/21/…..index.html

      LZ Granderson at CNN has this to say:

      “We can certainly talk about the realities of the economy, debate the best method to evaluate effectiveness and discuss the drawbacks of unions. But anyone who characterizes teachers as overpaid is forgetting what we entrust them with each and every day.”

      1. This shit always blows my mind. Yeah, they stepped up and tried to save a bunch of children, as if anyone with an ounce of decency or courage wouldn’t have done the same thing. Somehow teachers being ordinary moral human beings is now a big story.

        1. I saved a guy’s life one time about eight years ago. I think that means I should be paid more money at my current job.

        2. well, in their defense, the teachers probably didn’t like most of those little brats.

      2. i was vastly under compensated for my babysitting. i’m owed, with interest….

      3. not to mention they were saving themselves too. it’s not too pessimistic to think that it probably occurred to them that they wouldn’t have a job if they survived and they didn’t think of the children too.

  3. As seen on Instapundit: THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION FINALLY FINDS A CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT IT CAN GET BEHIND.

    Well, one lonely clause of it, anyway.

  4. As a way of deflection, we’re likely to see the service put more resources put into checking all 501(c)(4) applications.

  5. Lerner taking the Fifth ends any idea that there is an innocent explanation to this. You take the fifth because doing so will incriminate you, meaning implicate you in committing a crime, not embarrass you or reveal your incompetence. That means that in consultation with her lawyer she concluded she has committed a crime and answering questions will incriminate her in that crime. We don’t know what crime. She doesn’t have to tell us and we can’t convict her of anything based on her refusal to testify. But we do know now that some crime was committed.

    Now, how exactly is it that Obama is still employing a political appointee who just admitted to being guilty of criminal misconduct while in office?

    1. The criminal misconduct was directed at political enemies! She deserves a medal!

    2. She lied to Congress by mail.

      Good luck with that one Lois.

      1. She may be a true believer. But if I were Lois I would be arranging for immunity in return for singing like a bird. Someone has to be the scapegoat and firewall for this scandal. And I think Lois just drew the short straw.

        1. I love how her attorney stated that “requiring her to appear at the hearing merely to assert her Fifth Amendment privilege would have no purpose other than to embarrass or burden her.”

          Yeah, well, tough shit toots. Get that pucker face ready.

          1. Get ready for flash bulbs Lois.

          2. I laughed at that as well. Oh no, we can’t burden the poor dear in that way! Just let her take the Fifth by email or text message.

    3. Maybe she’s pleading the Fifth in order not to incriminate the White House?

      1. Can’t do that. It is only available to you. You can’t refuse to incriminate other people. Now sure, she could be lying. But her attorney couldn’t be a part of that without risking his license. Doubtful any attorney would do that. So I think it is a pretty good bet, she has committed some crime.

        1. It’s also a big risk if they choose to immunize her.

          1. Yeah because she could get up there and take all of the blame and end the scandal. I am sure that is her handler’s plan. So you have to wait and collect other evidence that prevents her from doing that without risking perjury charges.

          2. She could end with autism?

            1. Whoa now, let’s not go overboard here. We don’t need to go around slandering autistics as being government material.

          3. What makes you think that isn’t what she wants? I suspect that is exactly the play. Someone is going to jail and it won’t be someone who is federally immunized.

        2. Obviously, wild (but intriguing) speculation, but what if her testimony involved some stories about receiving direct orders, mandates, or guidelines from the White House which were essential in the IRS’s misbehavior.

          1. It could. You can’t claim “I was following orders” as a defense to a crime. So her testimony necessarily must involve her committing a crime. The orders coming from the White House part is incidental.

            1. But nevertheless, politically dangerous.

    4. generally i agree. however, a lawyer worth his law degree will advise someone to take the 5th almost as a reflex anymore, so there’s not always a sinister motive.

  6. I still think it’s fucking hilarious that Lois is going to plead the fifth, or as PopeHat put it-

    “IRS Official to Reaffirm Importance of Constitutional Rights In Response To Congressional Inquiry “

    She’s clearly been told that if she flips she will never see her pet gopher ever again.

  7. Shock troops get their marching orders

    Ari Shapiro Verified account
    ?@arishapiro
    Spotted: @joshtpm @CapehartJ @ezraklein & other lefty columnists headed into the West Wing as a group. POTUS coffee? Carney meeting? Anyone?

    1. No more skulking around in the bathrooms of rough trade gay bars for Ezra. He’s Journolist and proud!

      1. You really think Ezra can take it rough? Oh sure he fantasizes about it. But I see Ezra as a strictly anonymous blowjob in a seedy public bathroom kind of guy.

        1. Myself, I pretty avoid imagining anything having to do with Ezra Klein’s sex life.

          That’s just me, ymmv.

          1. Some of us just like the grotesque.

        2. Rough is the only way he can feel anything anymore. And he likes having his face shoved down in the toilet. But only if it hasn’t been flushed since the chili cook-off.

      2. Sadbeard must burn.

        I call dibs on drinking his salty tears.

        1. Was Sadbeard not invited?

          1. Yglesias is the only one of them smart enough to know they’ve already lost.

            I expect tears. Many and soon.

            1. This is bad. I know a lot of soft liberal low information voters. The kind of voter that is the bread and butter of the Dem cause and when put with the hard core believers makes up the coalition. All of them are appalled by this. They have to do something or they are going to get killed in 2014.

        2. Sadbeard was invited, but he missed the whole meeting because he insisted on riding his 10-speed over. Drenched in sweat reeking of garlic and kale, White House security let him drink from the garden hose and then sent him home.

          1. +1000 You really do have a way of summing these people up.

  8. I really can’t imagine how happy Drudge is right now.

    He’s rolling around in a pile of click money, laughing a Scrooge McDuck laugh.

  9. Also Rand Paul botch slapped John McCain today.

    How fucking good a day was today? Fuck.

    1. How fucking great was Rand today period?

      Who’da thunk it that a younger version of his Dad who was a little more hip and little less grey might be able to throw bombs like this so often?

      The Apple tax trial? BA BOOOOOM!!!

      Arming Al-qaeda in Syria? ARE YOU FUCKING SERIOUS??? BA BOOOOM!!!!

      1. What I can’t understand is how these jackasses, who were clever enough to worm their way into positions where they dominate the free world, are stupid enough to keep handing him all these chances to look good.

        1. They haven’t seen a dude like Paul in a long time. Ron was fading as he got older and was easily dismissed as a cranky old guy. Not so with Junior. He is ruffling feathers all over the place and I couldn’t possibly be happier.

        2. They live in a bubble. You don’t understand how disconnected Washington is from reality. People like McCain live in a world filled with sycophants telling them how wonderful and smart they are. It makes you do stupid things.

    2. Is there a video of that one?

  10. Parties divide over IRS scandal fallout

    Democratic lawmakers on the Senate Finance Committee said Tuesday the IRS, while engaging in “unacceptable” targeting of conservative groups, may have been set up for failure by campaign finance law ambiguities that allowed tax-exempt groups to engage in partisan politics without disclosing their donors.

    The laws were too hard to figure out, so they decided to apply them only to conservatives. Sounds legit.

    And for FoE:

    Taking a broader view, committee Democrats said the situation raises questions about whether the IRS has the resources it needs to vet thousands of applications for tax-exempt status that may be skirting the limits of campaign finance law.

    1. failure by campaign finance law ambiguities that allowed tax-exempt groups to engage in partisan politics without disclosing their donors.

      How would that cause someone to conclude the thing to do is target groups for scrutiny based on their assumed political identity? If this were the result of the law, wouldn’t liberal groups have suffered equally?

      They are really pulling out the stupid on this. It is like the Jedi mind trick. “These were not the groups the IRS was targeting”.

      1. It’s just shit on the wall at this point.

    2. The laws were too hard to figure out, so they decided to apply them only to conservatives.

      A good line, but it’s worse than that. There’s no possible interpretation of the law that says the IRS can ask for the content of your prayers, or make you pledge not to protest Planned Parenthood.

  11. I’m completely confused. Why does the tax exemption even matter if entity A simply takes in money and spends it? These entities are not “charities” so there is no individual deduction. Nor business expense. So, the tax avoidance is purely temporal and short term and, really, could just be eliminated with a big fat pre-payment before the year is up.

    The statist response is bullshit. The tax exemption is barely relevant. Any admission that certain types of groups were subjected to more scrutiny should be mass firings. And I were a big fat statist like Obama and his crew then I would crush the IRS. To enable people who dislike government (i.e., me) to tee off on the tax collectors for corruption/favoritism/stupidity is to undermine a necessary predicate for statism.

    People hate being taxed. If they think the tax collector is thoroughly corrupt then get popcorn because the pitchforks, assuming Holder hasn’t taken them away, are about to come out.

    1. To enable people who dislike government (i.e., me) to tee off on the tax collectors for corruption/favoritism/stupidity is to undermine a necessary predicate for statism.

      That seems to be the only reason Jon Stewart is upset. “Damnit, Barry, you’re letting them think government can be evil!”

  12. Paraphrasing Johnny LaRue: They’ll save your life, then turn around and stab you in the back.

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