May 19 2013

IRS Needs To Be Held To Same Standards As Tax Payers – No Excuses!

Published by at 10:53 am under All General Discussions

I found the commentary by Rep Mike Kelly against the IRS targeting of conservative 501(c)4 organizations to be one of the few laudatory political statements I have heard in over a decade. We had amazing political statements post 9-11 from both sides of the aisle, when the nation rallied against a murderous and vile enemy. Since that time though,  it has been pretty much crap.

Last week, in the wake of government power and abuse run amok, we were enlightened by a populist rant that also will rally the people. But this time – hopefully – rally them to clean up our own government gone out of control and mad.

Before we get to Kelley’s commentary, lets reprise why his statement was so powerful. And that begins with laying out why the IRS actions were not the simply mistakes of fools, as the testimony by those responsible implied. But clearly premeditated immoral – and likely illegal – acts.

How could it be “an accident” to only target (and then delay) conservative group tax exempt applications in the wake of a rising tide of new organizations, when there was no rise in applications?

A number of people have sought to explain the IRS targeting of Tea Party, patriot, and 9/12 group applications — as well as those from other conservative groups — for “specialist team” treatment (mainly delays and excessive and inappropriate questions) in 2010 by pointing to the Citizens United decision that year allowing for unlimited, undisclosed fundraising by such groups. That’s the explanation IRS official Lois Lerner gave a week agowhen she first revealed that the agency had improperly handled a slew of applications — the political shorthand was a mistaken attempt to deal with a surge in applications.”[W]e saw a big increase in these kind of applications, many of which indicated that they were going to be involved in advocacy work,” Lerner said.But Todd Young, a Republican congressman from Indiana, pointed out at Friday’s House Ways and Means Committee hearing with former acting IRS commissioner Steve Miller and Treasury Inspector General J. Russell George that this was not the case, according to the very data the IRS provided to the Treasury IG’s office.

There were, he noted, actually fewer applications for tax-exempt status by groups seeking to be recognized as social-welfare organizations that year than the previous one, according to this IRS data.

Oops. I guess that excuse did not pass the BS-Smell test. The surge did not show up until 2011. And it was in the middle of 2011 that the scandal was breaking inside the IRS and Treasury – so it could not be due to that year’s surge:

A senior Internal Revenue Service official knew in 2011 that IRS agents were giving extra scrutiny to conservative Tea Party groups, according to documents from a watchdog office obtained by Reuters on Saturday.

The TIGTA report finds that Lois Lerner, who heads the IRS’s tax-exempt groups unit, knew of the extra scrutiny as early as June 2011.

So, was the IRS even handed in their handling of this non-surge in 501(c)4 applications? Well, they did not seem to slow down left leaning organizations:

In February 2010, the Champaign Tea Party in Illinois received approval of its tax-exempt status from the IRS in 90 days, no questions asked.

That was the month before the Internal Revenue Service started singling out Tea Party groups for special treatment. There wouldn’t be another Tea Party application approved for 27 months.

In that time, the IRS approved perhaps dozens of applications from similar liberal and progressive groups, a USA TODAY review of IRS data shows.

Notice how the targeting started in March 2010, and was beginning to raise a stink by June the next year!

Well, if this was nothing more than a way to filter applications, why were there delaya only on right leaning groups? Clearly that excuse is not passing the BS-Smell test either. And one wonders, were those liberal groups subject to the same invasive, irrelevant and out of bounds questions? Were liberal organizations asked to explain the contents of their prayers to their God?

Finally, was this problem with non-profits universal? Did it apply to larger, established groups? Apparently not:

And yet, the IRS effort between 2010 and the presidential election last November exclusively targeted small start-ups opposed to the administration’s agenda while leaving the big players alone, the Associated Press reports today:

That smell coming from the IRS is BS, piles and piles of BS. As we know, the IRS does not give taxpayers any leeway in terms of excuses or ignorance. There are no excuses for errors or omissions – simply penalties.

Which is why Mike Kelly struck such a sympathetic nerve with America’s taxpayers. Taxpayers who would be in real hot water with the IRS if they proffered such obvious lies as to why they did not pay the proper amount of taxes.  Kelly speaks for the American taxpayer, channeling how fed up we are with people who take our money, blow it constantly, and then add more debt onto our backs as if nothing else matters.

This is why this is the video of the year, if not the election cycle:

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