The Last Word

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Greg Russak‘s insight:

"I don’t care whether it’s an organization on the right or the left, they shouldn’t disguise political action behind the guise of social welfare. It’s not healthy, it’s not right, it’s not legal. We should stop it." – Rep Earl Blumenaur, D-OR, Ways & Means Committee

 

See on www.nbcnews.com

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You Get What You Pay For: Lessons From the IRS Scandal

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As the Internal Revenue Service scandal has prompted angry reactions from Republicans, Democrats, Congress and the Obama administration, Henry Aaron looks ahead to propose specific reforms regarding the budget of the IRS and the laws governing the…

Greg Russak‘s insight:

“Even with adequate staffing, however, the law governing tax exempt status for so-called ‘social welfare’ organizations is so vague that anything other than rubber stamping all applications would likely evoke complaints of politicization.” – Henry J. Aaron, Senior Fellow, Brookings Institution

See on www.brookings.edu

A look at the tangle of money in politics: the IRS and its tea party tempest – Washington Post

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The Internal Revenue Service is feeling the sort of heat that targeted taxpayers feel from the tax agency. It’s the sense that a powerful someone is breathing down your neck.

 

Republicans in Congress are livid with the IRS over its systematic scrutiny of conservative groups during the 2010 and 2012 elections. Democrats agree that something must be done. Likewise, President Barack Obama isn’t at all happy with the tax collectors.

Greg Russak‘s insight:

"It’s all complex, squishy and in some ways subjective, so it might not come as a shock that the IRS would look for shortcuts such as political buzzwords and slogans when deciding what a group is really up to. But the record as yet known does not show that the scrutiny cut both ways."

This is the part that I think is the biggest red herring. I don’t claim to be an expert, but this concept of a need for equivalent scrutiny strikes me as ridiculous. There was no tidal wave of liberal organizations flooding the IRS under the pretense of "social welfare" but with a mission to defeat their political enemies. It does, however, seem to me that there was, and still is, such a movement coming from the right and their surrogate astroturf tea party groups. They deserve extra scrutiny, and using keywords and phrases and lengthy investigations seems to me to be the IRS simply doing their job.

I wonder, but not all that much, about what the right would be saying if it had been discovered that the IRS was giving extra scrutiny to groups with the words "green" or "clean energy" or "human rights" or "single payer healthcare" in their names.

See on www.washingtonpost.com

The IRS and the Real Scandal

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“This systematic abuse cannot be fixed with just one resignation, or two,” said David Camp, the Republican chairman of the House tax-writing committee, at an oversight hearing Friday morning dealing…

Greg Russak‘s insight:

David Camp has it wrong. There has been a “systematic” abuse of power, but it’s not what Camp has in mind. The real scandal is that:

The IRS has interpreted our tax laws to allow big corporations and wealthy individuals to make unlimited secret campaign donations through sham political fronts called “social welfare organizations,” like Karl Rove’s “Crossroads,” the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and “Priorites USA.” —  Robert Reich

See on robertreich.org

The Real IRS Scandal

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Yesterday, in response to recent IRS admissions, President Obama called the enhanced investigation of conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status “intolerable and inexcusable.” And, Attorney General Eric Holder announced a criminal investigation…

Greg Russak‘s insight:

"The IRS shouldn’t be apologizing for investigating phony “non-profit” organizations, they should be investigating all politically-motivated groups who want to be subsidized by the tax payers." – Thom Hartmann

See on www.thomhartmann.com