Filed under: Capitalism, Democrat Corruption, Domestic Policy, Law, Politics, Taxes, The United States | Tags: 157 Mystery Visits, Completely Absolutely Innocent, Internal Revenue Service
Former IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman visited the White House at least 157 times during the Obama administration. That’s more visits than any member of the president’s cabinet. Shulman’s predecessor Mark Everson visited the White House once during four years of service in the George W. Bush administration. But Mr. Shulman testified in March that the IRS was not targeting conservative groups.
He was asked what some of the reasons might be that he was at the White House. He answered “Um, the Easter Egg Roll with my kids, our budget, helping the Department of Education streamline application processes for financial aid. “
Attorney General Eric Holder, the president’s friend and loyal lieutenant logged 62 visits. But they didn’t discuss targeting conservative organizations, no Tea Party groups, no targeting groups favoring Israel ( at least five groups have been audited by the IRS) but they didn’t talk about that either. Nobody knows just who he visited or why he was there, but it surely didn’t have anything to do with this seemingly vast array of conservative groups who were selected out for delay, audits, prying questions about their finances, members, friends of members, meetings, agendas, reading material, delay, names and addresses, and more delay. It’s just a puzzlement.
Filed under: Democrat Corruption, Election 2012, Media Bias, Politics, Progressivism, Taxes, The Constitution | Tags: "The Progressive Influence", A Government Beset, Internal Revenue Service
Once a scandal emerges, more people feel free to talk, or want to proclaim themselves on the correct side of the controversy. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) gets to handle all the financial information of citizens and businesses who pay taxes because they don’t give out information to anyone, whether government official, press, or private citizen. Apparently the IRS office that handles applications for tax-exempt status has felt free to release the applications and tax returns of citizens, organizations, and businesses that do not hew to the reigning party line freely.
The progressive-leaning investigative journalism group ProPublica says the Internal Revenue Service office that targeted and harassed conservative groups during the 2012 election cycle gave them nine confidential applications of conservative groups whose tax-exempt status was pending. The initial spin was that the perpetrators were low-level people in some back office in Cincinnati. It seems that groups that seemed to be associated with the Tea Party, patriotism, the Constitution, the Declaration, were pro-Israel, expressed any opposition to the Federal Government, the National Debt, the Budget Deficit.
ProPublica, undoubtedly on the advice of attorneys, wants to get out ahead of the scandal and admit that they received, and made public information from applications or returns, assuming that they were newsworthy. Oddly, they did not target any groups with the word “progressive” or who received millions from the Sandler Foundation or George Soros” Open Society Foundations. ProPublica was initially given millions from the Sandler Foundation to “strengthen the progressive infrastructure” meaning very liberal. The group has won two Pulitzers for their investigative reporting — attacks on oil companies, the health care industry, opposition to fracking, and coal, of course:
Throw in a couple of investigations making the military look bad and another about prisoners at Guantanamo Bay and you have almost the perfect journalism fantasy— a huge budget, lots of major media partners and a liberal agenda unconstrained by advertising.
ProPublica is not the only Soros-funded organization stacked with members of the supposedly neutral press. There’s the Center for Public Integrity, which received $651,650 from the Open Society Institute in 2009 alone. The Center for Investigative Reporting (CIN) which received close to $1 million from Open Society from 2003-2008. They lean to stories on climate change, illegal immigration and the evils of corporations.
We are constantly told that journalists are neutral, and it isn’t true. They bemoan the influence of money in politics, yet make no mention of the influence of money in journalism. They need be more up front about their connections, their funding and who sits on their boards. There is a reason why they are losing money, losing subscribers and losing advertising.
And trust for the IRS is gone. Everybody lawyer up. Obama seems unconcerned. He does not take this seriously, any of this. He has never felt, as far as I can tell, that the words he says particularly matter. What he says today doesn’t necessarily stand. He might say something different tomorrow. Whether it’s because he doesn’t think you will remember, or that he doesn’t think you’ll care, I don’t know. He got a full four Pinocchio’s from the Washington Post for his claim that he identified the Benghazi attack at the time as a terrorist attack.
All these scandals are inflating into vast bubbles, and the more you find out, the more questions there are.
Filed under: Democrat Corruption, Law, News the Media Doesn't Want You to Hear, Politics, Taxes, The Constitution | Tags: Another Administration Scandal, Breaking the Rules, Internal Revenue Service
The IRS in the infamous Friday Night News Dump admitted that it had targeted conservative organizations —specifically Tea Party groups, or any group that has words like “Patriot,” “Constitution,”or “Declaration of Independence” in their materials. The IRS also admitted that they improperly demanded donor lists from some of these organizations. This is playing politics with tax records, and an appalling violation of the bedrock principle of American democracy that the coercive powers of government are never to be used for partisan purposes. But groups with “progressive” or “progress” in their names were not similarly targeted.
So why are they admitting this late on a Spring Friday just before Mothers’ Day when the public is supposedly out buying flowers for their moms? That’s what you do when you hope no one will notice. It seems that a report is due out this next week from the IRS Inspector General. By next week, maybe it will all be old news and no one will pay attention. The Agency even use the timeless passive phrase designed to absolve any actual humans. “Mistakes Were Made.”
It is disturbing that Treasury Secretary Jack Lew has not apologized to the American people and promised a full investigation. Nor had President Obama. It was only low-level people in Cleveland who didn’t know any better.
The chairman of a House subcommittee is demanding more information from the IRS about its practice of searching the emails of suspected tax fraudsters. Chairman Charles Boustany (R-LA) of the Ways and Means Committee according to an April article in The Hill, asked the IRS to provide information about whether it mines Facebook, Twitter or other social media without a warrant, and what searches it has conducted since 2010. The ACLU released documents in which the agency claimed that it does not need a warrant to access emails, text messages and other electronic communications.
At Powerline, John Hinderaker notes that “this is not the first time the Obama administration has abused the IRS. In August 2010, Austin Goolsbee, who directed Obama’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board and later chaired his Council of Economic Advisers gave a press briefing in which he discussed corporate income taxes. In that briefing, he suggested that he had access to confidential IRS data, and falsely accused the administration’s beta noire, Koch Industries of not paying corporate income taxes.”
The claim was false, but how would an administration official have access to records that show how much a corporation pays in taxes.? Such access would be illegal.
Last month it was reported that dozens of IRS employees claim to be unemployed in order to receive welfare, housing allowances and food stamps. Twenty-four current and former IRS employees have been charged with stealing government benefits. They were indicted on charges that they illegally received more than $250,000 in benefits.
It is going to be very interesting to find out what the IRS Inspector General has to say, in his report next week.
Filed under: Capitalism, Economy, Freedom, Taxes | Tags: April 15, Internal Revenue Service, The U.S. Government
Hmmmph. Have you ever finished your tax return, scanned the whole thing before putting it in the envelope and noticed OMG! I left off a major number. The one, of course that requires re-doing all the forms, because it makes all the numbers wrong. That was my day.
I always put off mailing it in until the last minute, unwilling to allow the government more time than necessary to play with my return, so it’s probably only what I deserve. I hope your day was better than mine.
There is really no use in the tax forms being so complicated. Give me a flat tax please, to send in on a postcard. And a much smaller government that doesn’t need so much support from beleaguered citizens.
Filed under: Democrat Corruption, Domestic Policy, Economy, News the Media Doesn't Want You to Hear, Politics | Tags: Internal Revenue Service, Liberal lies, Taxes
Nobody likes paying taxes. Many, who have their taxes withheld at work, are more or less unaware of paying taxes and appreciative of the size of their refund, thinking of it as a sort of gift rather than an overpayment of the amount actually due. Folks who are their own bosses suffer through paying quarterly taxes, and are very conscious of how much they pay. “Withholding” was designed to make paying taxes less noticeable and therefore more pleasant. It apparently works, for the taxes most resented in all cases are those taxes of which one is most aware.
Our relationship with the collectors of taxes is therefore complicated. Some live in terror of the IRS, possibly because of the extra charitable donation they claimed. But the collectors only collect. Our argument should be with those who raise our taxes so casually. That’s those folks in the House of Representatives whose ideas of “fairness” are so very, very strange.
Which brings us to the Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, Charles Rangel, who is in trouble with the Ethics committee for, among other things, not paying his taxes.
And we have the case of Timothy Geithner. Timothy Geithner is Obama’s Treasury Secretary-designate. He was most recently President of the New York Federal Reserve, and before that he was at the International Monetary Fund.
The IMF does not withhold state and federal income taxes or self-employment taxes — Social Security and Medicare — from its employees’ paychecks. Because this might be confusing, the IMF goes to great lengths to explain to their employees just what their tax liabilities are. Each employee receives a IMF Employee Tax Manual. For the purpose of calculating their quarterly tax returns, each employee receives a quarterly wage statement. Then, there are year-end wage statements. Each employee is required to file for an Annual Tax Allowance Request.
Although employees are expected to pay their taxes out of their own money, they receive an allowance to cover those tax payments. The employee fills out a form with their basic information — marital status, dependent children and so forth, and the IMF estimates the taxes due and gives the employee a corresponding allowance. At the end of the form are the words, “I hereby certify that all the information contained herein is true to the best of my knowledge and belief and that I will pay the taxes for which I have received tax allowance payments from the Fund.”
Geithner signed the form. He received all the paperwork and the allowance. He just did not pay the social security and medicare taxes from 2001,2002,2003 and 2004. In a 2006 audit the IRS discovered that he had not paid in 2003 and 2004. He was assessed $17,230 including interest. which he paid. The Obama transition team uncovered the fact that he had failed to pay in 2001 and 2003, at which point he dredged up another $25,970. There was also an additional $4,334 plus interest for some other infractions. Mr. Geithner did his own taxes.
The Obama administration said that it was “a common mistake.”
Charlie Rangel neglected to pay taxes on the rental income from some houses he owns in the Dominican Republic.
Does this matter? Mr. Geithner is an important economist who, as Secretary of the Treasury, would be in charge of the IRS, as well as the complications of the economic recovery. Mr. Rangel is the most influential person in Congress related to taxing and spending.
Is this a big deal? Or just a common error like most people make at one time or another? Ordinary hypocrisy? Something embarrassing to be overlooked? Cause for dismissal? It does matter, doesn’t it?
Filed under: Humor, Politics | Tags: Income Tax, Internal Revenue Service, the American Economy
By David R. Kamerschen, Ph.D., Professor of Economics
(This came to me in an email, so it has probably been floating around the internet. It is so good I couldn’t resist posting it, for I’m sure some of you have never seen it.)
Suppose that every day, ten men go out for beer and the bill for all ten comes to $100. If they paid their bill the way we pay our taxes, it would go something like this:
- The first four men (the poorest) would pay nothing.
- The fifth would pay $1.
- The sixth would pay $3.
- The seventh would pay $7.
- The eighth would pay $12.
- The ninth would pay $18.
- The tenth man (the richest) would pay $59.
So, that’s what they decided to do. The ten men drank in the bar every day and seemed quite happy with the arrangement, until one day, the owner threw them a curve. “Since you are all such good customers,” he said,” “I’m going to reduce the cost of your daily beer by $20.” Drinks for the ten now cost just $80.
The group still wanted to pay their bill the way we pay our taxes, so the first four men were unaffected. They would still drink for free. But what about the other six men — the paying customers? How could they divide the $20 windfall so that everyone would get his “fair share?”
They realized that $20 divided by six is $3.33. But if they subtracted that from everybody’s share, then the fifth man and the sixth man would each end up being paid to drink his beer.
So, the bar owner suggested that it would be fair to reduce each man’s bill by roughly the same amount, and he proceeded to work out the amounts each should pay.
- The fifth man, like the first four, now paid nothing. (100% savings)
- The sixth man now paid $2 instead of $3. (33% savings)
- The seventh now paid $5 instead of $7. (28% savings)
- The eighth now paid $9 instead of $12. (25% savings)
- The ninth now paid $14 instead of $18. (22% savings)
- The tenth now paid $49 instead of $59. (16% savings)
Each of the six was better off than before. And the first four continued to drink for free. But once outside the restaurant the men began to compare their savings.
“I only got a dollar out of the $20,” declared the sixth man. He pointed to the tenth man, “but he got $10!”
“Yeah, that’s right,” exclaimed the fifth man. “I only saved a dollar, too. It’s unfair that he got ten times more than I!”
“That’s true!!” shouted the seventh man. “Why should he get $10 back when I got only two? The wealthy get all the breaks!”
“Wait a minute!” yelled the first four men in unison. “We didn’t get anything at all. The system exploits the poor!!”
The nine men surrounded the tenth and beat him up.
The next night the tenth man didn’t show up for drinks, so the nine sat down and had beers without him. But when it came time to pay the bill, they discovered something important. They didn’t have enough money between all of them for even half of the bill.
And that, boys and girls, journalists and college professors, is how our tax system works. The people who pay the highest taxes get the most benefit from a tax reduction. Tax them too much, attack them for being wealthy, and they just may not show up anymore. In fact they might start drinking overseas where the atmosphere is somewhat friendlier.