Filed under: Bureaucracy, Domestic Policy, Economics, Economy, Law, Regulation, Taxes, The United States | Tags: Fraud and Abuse, Government Waste, Internal Revenue Service
The National Science Foundation approved the 2015 proposal which set out to “advance basic understanding of how tax compliance behavior emerge”, to determine if there is a link between taxpayers feeling that tax policies are unfair and trying to avoid paying, by cheating. Any several thousand of you willing to write a clear response for, say, half the price? Thought so.
The IRS itself estimates that 83 percent of Americans file and pay on time.
If you are bothered by government waste, which is voluminous, let your representatives know. They won’t do anything about it unless they know there is some blowback.
Filed under: Bureaucracy, Capitalism, Domestic Policy, Economy, Free Markets, Freedom, History, Law, Politics, Regulation | Tags: Donald Trump, Internal Revenue Service, The TRUMP Brand
Donald Trump made his first definitive statement on just what he would do as president. Up to this point, he has been remarkably vague, but the Trump people seem to believe he’s making a commitment. He is taking on The New York Times and The Washington Post saying they are dishonest and losing money. But he said when he’s president they’ll “have problems.”
“One of the things I’m going to do if I win, and I hope we do and we’re certainly leading. I’m going to open up our libel laws so when they write purposely negative and horrible and false articles, we can sue them and win lots of money. We’re going to open up those libel laws. So when The New York Times writes a hit piece which is a total disgrace or when The Washington Post, which is there for other reasons, writes a hit piece, we can sue them and win money instead of having no chance of winning because they’re totally protected,” Trump said.
Well, they haven’t been ‘nice’ to him. What did you expect?
Donald Trump responded to demands that he release his tax returns, as he promised to do, by saying that he couldn’t right now because he was being audited. And he said he’s been audited every year for twelve years.
“I’m always audited by the IRS, which I think is very unfair — I don’t know, maybe because of religion, maybe because of something else, maybe because I’m doing this, although this is just recently,” Trump said in an interview with CNN’s Chris Cuomo immediately following the 10th GOP debate on Thursday night.
That provoked major gales of laughter, but the IRS took him seriously: and said to Mr. Trump: “Nothing prevents you from sharing your tax documents.”
Donald Trump claims he can’t release his tax returns until he’s done being audited by the IRS. But the federal agency on Friday said that’s not true.
“Federal privacy rules prohibit the IRS from discussing individual tax matters. Nothing prevents individuals from sharing their own tax information,” a spokesperson for the IRS said in a statement. …
I want to [release them], except for many years, I’ve been audited every year,” Trump said during the debate. “Twelve years, or something like that. Every year they audit me, audit me, audit me. Nobody gets audited — I have friends that are very wealthy people. They never get audited. I get audited every year. I will absolutely give my return, but I’m being audited now for two or three years, so I can’t do it until the audit is finished, obviously. And I think people would understand that.”
Trump has been consistent about his business record and his defense of bankruptcy as a tactic. He has weathered four major bankruptcies and considers them as just a cost of doing business, or as his shrewdly using existing bankruptcy law to his advantage. While his Chapter 11 bankruptcies have allowed his businesses to live and see another day, that’s not so true for the smaller businesses who had made the mistake of contracting with the Trump empire.
People are inclined to deeply disapprove of companies who do big layoffs when the company is not doing well, Carly Fiorina was criticized or a major layoff of workers at Hewlett Packard, yet it was that action that saved the company and made it ready to prosper when the dot-com crisis passed. Bankruptcy means that smaller creditors may not be paid back, and for some of those it means going out of business.
The question is if this way of doing business is in any way transferable to the economy of a very large country. Overspending and defaulting on debts is for countries like Greece, hopefully not for the United States of America, although under the Obama administration the national debt has reached scary levels.
“Analysts have stopped trying to figure out Trump’s true positions or his political philosophy — if he has one—since he has flip-flopped so much.” The idea that his pride in his tactics might provide a model for a President Trump when dealing with an out-of-control public debt is frightening. It is fair to ask if he would default on all or any part of America’s multi-trillion dollar public debt.
Trump’s satisfaction clearly comes from wheeling and dealing, and building the TRUMP brand. He’s has some successes and a lot of failures, but it seems to be the game and the brand that he enjoys. I’m not sure that is an attractive quality in politics. I’d rather see a recognizable political philosophy like smaller government, free markets and free people. Mr. Trump doesn’t seem to understand free speech, he’d rather sue.
And he doesn’t talk much about what he’d do as president other than do something really big, and it would be wonderful.
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.