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IRS Abuse Question

 
 
Reply Sun 12 May, 2013 04:54 pm
It's interesting that a thread hasn't already been started on this topic, despite the fact that it is a pretty major news story.

But let's see if it has any traction here.

By now most of us know that the head of the IRS Tax Exempt Dept, very recently apologized for the fact that some of her "low level" folks in the Cinncy branch targeted organizations that contained the words "patriot" and "tea party" for IRS audits.

OK maybe they were just a few local yokels, but the accompanying claim that "political bias" had no role to play in this scandal is so absurd as to cast suspicion on any other claim Lois Lerner made.

Spend any time in the "chat room" environs of major newspaper Comments forums and you will find an alarming number of people who declare that this was a good thing.

The numbers aren't even in the hundreds and so no broad assumption can possibly be made about the liberal response to this news, but it does make one curious.

What do A2K members (of all stripes) think about this?
 
Butrflynet
 
  1  
Reply Sun 12 May, 2013 06:01 pm
@Finn dAbuzz,
Quote:
It's interesting that a thread hasn't already been started on this topic


http://able2know.org/topic/214190-1
Finn dAbuzz
 
  1  
Reply Wed 15 May, 2013 04:18 pm
@Butrflynet,
Not surprisingly, the participations in that thread is also underwhelming.

I guess it will take CI or Joe (Nothing To See Here) Nation to post a thread blaming Republicans for the IRS scandal to get some responses.

0 Replies
 
engineer
 
  2  
Reply Wed 15 May, 2013 04:32 pm
@Finn dAbuzz,
I think the IRS locals have been put into a bad situation and their attempt to handle it was misguided. Due to a really poorly written law, they have to investigate boatloads of applications to see if political organizations are trying to masquerade as tax exempts. To separate the wheat from the chaff they developed some rules looking for key words and those rules were wrong. I think they need guidelines but these were the wrong ones.

I think this is the third thread on this topic.
Finn dAbuzz
 
  2  
Reply Thu 16 May, 2013 03:17 pm
@engineer,
That's a pretty naive interpretation engineer.

Obviously we now know that this was not limited to Cinncy.

In both the private and public sectors, when there are numerous incidents of subordinates engaging in unacceptable behavior, it is a evidence of a corrupt culture, and not an issue of supervisors asleep on the job (and certainly not an issue of well intentioned but befuddled employees).

Corporations lay out values in Mission Statements on websites and paperweights handed out to employees. Governments boast about them in speeches.

Irrespective of these props, subordinates always understand what is truly valued by an organization.

It's the way "Leaders" of organizations can encourage foul behavior without going on the record.



0 Replies
 
Finn dAbuzz
 
  1  
Reply Mon 20 May, 2013 04:49 pm
Slowly but surely the facts are emerging - which is fairly typical of all governmental scandals. Those in power obfuscate and lie.
0 Replies
 
joefromchicago
 
  4  
Reply Tue 21 May, 2013 11:21 am
@Finn dAbuzz,
Finn dAbuzz wrote:
Spend any time in the "chat room" environs of major newspaper Comments forums and you will find an alarming number of people who declare that this was a good thing.

Of course it's a good thing for the IRS to make an attempt to prevent tax fraud. That's what we want the IRS to do. In this particular case, it looks as if the IRS screwed up -- not because it wasn't attempting to target potential tax cheats, but because its attempt was misguided. Rather than complain about the IRS's flawed effort to stem tax abuse, we should simply repeal the provision of the tax code that permits these monstrous, hermaphroditic social welfare/advocacy groups to claim an undeserved government handout.
Finn dAbuzz
 
  1  
Reply Wed 22 May, 2013 04:43 pm
@joefromchicago,
joefromchicago wrote:

Of course it's a good thing for the IRS to make an attempt to prevent tax fraud. That's what we want the IRS to do. In this particular case, it looks as if the IRS screwed up -- not because it wasn't attempting to target potential tax cheats, but because its attempt was misguided. Rather than complain about the IRS's flawed effort to stem tax abuse, we should simply repeal the provision of the tax code that permits these monstrous, hermaphroditic social welfare/advocacy groups to claim an undeserved government handout.


Not surprisingly, you view it as simply a "flawed" or "misguided" attempt to target tax fraud while every day there are further indications that it was an attempt to target a particular political viewpoint.

Arguing that the tax code is flawed in the context of this scandal is a familiar diversionary tactic.

joefromchicago
 
  2  
Reply Wed 22 May, 2013 05:40 pm
@Finn dAbuzz,
Finn dAbuzz wrote:
Not surprisingly, you view it as simply a "flawed" or "misguided" attempt to target tax fraud while every day there are further indications that it was an attempt to target a particular political viewpoint.

That's why it was misguided. The IRS should have targeted all 501(c)(4) groups that are primarily political.

Finn dAbuzz wrote:
Arguing that the tax code is flawed in the context of this scandal is a familiar diversionary tactic.

I know that doesn't fit with the familiar conservative narrative of victimhood, but who are the victims here? I don't hear anyone claiming that all of these social welfare/advocacy groups really deserved tax-exempt status. And if they didn't deserve it, why are you defending a bunch of tax cheats?
Finn dAbuzz
 
  1  
Reply Wed 22 May, 2013 05:47 pm
@joefromchicago,
One would think that a lawyer would appreciate that selective enforcement of the law based on political view was more than "misguided," but then one would have to have a naive view of lawyers.
joefromchicago
 
  2  
Reply Thu 23 May, 2013 06:30 am
@Finn dAbuzz,
Finn dAbuzz wrote:

One would think that a lawyer would appreciate that selective enforcement of the law based on political view was more than "misguided," but then one would have to have a naive view of lawyers.

One would think that a conservative who thinks the IRS's enforcement of 501(c)(4) is something worse than "misguided" would have formed an opinion of 501(c)(4) itself, but then one would have to have a naive view of conservatives.
Finn dAbuzz
 
  0  
Reply Mon 27 May, 2013 07:39 pm
@joefromchicago,
joefromchicago wrote:

Finn dAbuzz wrote:

One would think that a lawyer would appreciate that selective enforcement of the law based on political view was more than "misguided," but then one would have to have a naive view of lawyers.

One would think that a conservative who thinks the IRS's enforcement of 501(c)(4) is something worse than "misguided" would have formed an opinion of 501(c)(4) itself, but then one would have to have a naive view of conservatives.


This is truly a lame retort. I'm disappointed Chicago Joe.

I have an opinion on 502(c)(4) but it is entirely immaterial in terms of the IRS scandal.

Whether or not I think they are a tax dodge or even a tax fraud has no bearing on the fact that the IRS targeted conservative groups.

Let's assume that they do involve tax fraud. Are you trying to argue that the IRS only targeting conservative groups is OK? That their focus during a presidential election was purely coincidental?

Is it your belief that they would have got to the liberal tax cheats in time?




maxdancona
 
  2  
Reply Mon 27 May, 2013 07:48 pm
@Finn dAbuzz,
Quote:
Are you trying to argue that the IRS only targeting conservative groups is OK?


You can't make up facts to suit your political crusade Finn. Your statement is incorrect. The IRS didn't only target conservative groups.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/05/15/report-the-irs-also-targeted-at-least-three-liberal-groups/
Finn dAbuzz
 
  1  
Reply Mon 27 May, 2013 08:17 pm
@maxdancona,
Good Lord are you really going to argue on the fringes?
maxdancona
 
  2  
Reply Tue 28 May, 2013 05:55 am
@Finn dAbuzz,
Actually, I think you are on the fringe on this one.

There was a problem here that should be addressed. But the implication that this was a conspiracy to steal an election or a scandal the scope of Watergate is ridiculous.

The right wing of the US has been whining about everything from Birth Certificates to Fast and Furious to Benghazi. This is just another thing for them to jump up and down about.

It would be nice if there were grown up conservatives in this country who would actually take part in the responsible running of the government.

joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Tue 28 May, 2013 09:17 am
@Finn dAbuzz,
Finn dAbuzz wrote:
Whether or not I think they are a tax dodge or even a tax fraud has no bearing on the fact that the IRS targeted conservative groups.

Indeed, but then nobody is saying that the IRS should have targeted conservative groups. Even Obama agrees with you on that point, so there's no real controversy. The only question remaining, then, is whether the IRS should be scrutinizing all groups that apply for 501(c)(4) status. If you have no opinion on that issue, then you really don't have an opinion worth noting.

Finn dAbuzz wrote:
Let's assume that they do involve tax fraud. Are you trying to argue that the IRS only targeting conservative groups is OK?

I'm the one who said it was misguided. Remember?

Finn dAbuzz wrote:
That their focus during a presidential election was purely coincidental?

Groups were seeking 501(c)(4) status in advance of the 2012 presidential election because it was the first federal election for which they had time to organize after the supreme court's 2010 decision in Citizen's United. Prior to that, most advocacy groups organized under other sections of the tax code. So yes, it was, in some respects, purely coincidental that the IRS targeted those groups in advance of the 2012 presidential election.

Finn dAbuzz wrote:
Is it your belief that they would have got to the liberal tax cheats in time?

You mean there are still some left after George W. Bush tried to investigate them all?
maxdancona
 
  3  
Reply Tue 28 May, 2013 09:45 am
@Finn dAbuzz,
Finn, I should also let you know that outside the Tea Party/Fox News bubble no one considers the word "Chicago" to be the slightest bit insulting.
Finn dAbuzz
 
  1  
Reply Tue 28 May, 2013 05:12 pm
@maxdancona,
How clever max, but I don't use "Chicago Joe" to be insulting, so you're made another of your many foolish assumptions.
0 Replies
 
Finn dAbuzz
 
  2  
Reply Tue 28 May, 2013 05:15 pm
@maxdancona,
Well, if you can effectively dismiss the fact that the IRS targeted groups and individuals based on political view, God bless you. Just don't expect anyone to take your concerns seriously if and when the tables are turned.
Finn dAbuzz
 
  1  
Reply Tue 28 May, 2013 05:20 pm
@joefromchicago,
Stop with the coy crap.

"Misguided" means "no big deal."

 

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