IRS targeting Conservative groups

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MichiganMuscle77:
I love the logic.

Repubs: "Hey, dems did something shitty, should be punished for it."
Dems: "BUT BUT YOU GUYS DID SOMETHING SHITTY TOO SO WHAT WE DID IS OK"

This is the biggest problem with this subforum.

Always people going "b-b-but you guys are bad too!!!"

Absolutely disgusting.

McKitten:

Danny Ocean:
Also, Eh? It's not like Obama has any clue that this stuff even goes on. He's got more important stuff to do- why ask for him to apologise? It should be the head of the department above who apologises.

Oh and there's also the little detail that when these reviews were done, the IRS head was Shulman, a Republican appointed by Bush. So what the heck has Obama to do with this?

It doesn't matter if (as is likely) Obama and the Democratic executive had anything to do with it. The outrage - like so many - is not about what happened, it's about the political capital that can be made from what people think happened.

Stuff like this that so readily meets prejudices against the target is a godsend. In this specific case, the ideas 1) that tyrannical, controlling government is out to punish and suppress dissent and 2) that Obama is a corrupt "Chicago politics" operator.

So just pump that narrative as hard as possible, and if the IRS's story is confirmed to be true - that it was just an accidental side-effect of a decision to help manage extra workload by junior staffers that middle management tried to correct - promptly go quiet when the review arrives so to leave your faction thinking it was top-level corruption.

Agema:
Is no-one else bothered that the implication of the IRS placing special attention on some groups must be that it lacks the resources to do proper checks on everyone?

That's the weird part of the article for me. They are really apologizing for scrutinizing applications which is apparently a thing they don't do. I would expect the Tea Party for Change and Progressives for Change would both be scrutinized and denied non-profit status. The most mind boggling part is they are essentially apologizing for what I expect IRS agents would call "doing their job."

Gold:

MichiganMuscle77:
I love the logic.

Repubs: "Hey, dems did something shitty, should be punished for it."
Dems: "BUT BUT YOU GUYS DID SOMETHING SHITTY TOO SO WHAT WE DID IS OK"

This is the biggest problem with this subforum.

Always people going "b-b-but you guys are bad too!!!"

Absolutely disgusting.

This subforum is filled with Ron Paul fanatics and people I would call socialists (who don't like that label, usually, because it has been poisoned by all the murders done in its name.)

Agema:

McKitten:

Danny Ocean:
Also, Eh? It's not like Obama has any clue that this stuff even goes on. He's got more important stuff to do- why ask for him to apologise? It should be the head of the department above who apologises.

Oh and there's also the little detail that when these reviews were done, the IRS head was Shulman, a Republican appointed by Bush. So what the heck has Obama to do with this?

It doesn't matter if (as is likely) Obama and the Democratic executive had anything to do with it. The outrage - like so many - is not about what happened, it's about the political capital that can be made from what people think happened.

Stuff like this that so readily meets prejudices against the target is a godsend. In this specific case, the ideas 1) that tyrannical, controlling government is out to punish and suppress dissent and 2) that Obama is a corrupt "Chicago politics" operator.

So just pump that narrative as hard as possible, and if the IRS's story is confirmed to be true - that it was just an accidental side-effect of a decision to help manage extra workload by junior staffers that middle management tried to correct - promptly go quiet when the review arrives so to leave your faction thinking it was top-level corruption.

See, this logic would make sense if the story wasn't first broken by somebody on Valentine's Day 2012. That certain somebody is why the majority paid little attention to it and why it isn't a controversy until days before the Inspector General's report is about to be released to the public.

That person? The liberal media's favorite punching bag: Glenn Beck.

Glenn Beck is taking a well-deserved "I told you so" stance right now.

The IRS apologized, they said it wasn't intentional, and even the President is giving them grief over it.

It is a done deal, time to move on. The unfortunate reality (at least in the US) is that politics oftentimes rears its head in the public sector in the ugliest ways possible. Sometimes it is political maneuvering by a certain party, sometimes it is one individual on their own crusade abusing power. It happens, and in this case it appears to be dealt with.

Hell, if Obama is defending conservatives, its time for people to put the pitchforks down. He has less reason than anybody in the entire world to defend conservatives.

Hammartroll:
apparently a lot of people here would have performed the same crime if they worked for the IRS

Allot of people would have done allot more. This is pure bull that ITS ONLY RIGHT WINGERS WHO DO THIS. If they are going to investigated ring wing groups I want left wing group with the same scrutiny. It's also the not the IRS's job to audit people for a political opinion.

http://www.westernjournalism.com/exclusive-investigative-reports/who-funds-the-radical-left-in-america/

Gergar12:

http://www.westernjournalism.com/exclusive-investigative-reports/who-funds-the-radical-left-in-america/

There's "radical left" in America? No really, just how "radically left" is that "radical left"? Because, honestly, I am quite amazed at that.

Vegosiux:

Gergar12:

http://www.westernjournalism.com/exclusive-investigative-reports/who-funds-the-radical-left-in-america/

There's "radical left" in America? No really, just how "radically left" is that "radical left"? Because, honestly, I am quite amazed at that.

Really People charged with terror is not radical left, the black panthers are not radical left, nor are people who block off streets, but a bunch of people holding signs, and shouting taxed enough is radical right. A bunch of people who say hey lets lower government spending, and take a look at illegal immigration is. Yes there is a radical left in America, it's just not reported on in CNN, and MSNBC.

Big_Willie_Styles:

This subforum is filled with Ron Paul fanatics and people I would call socialists (who don't like that label, usually, because it has been poisoned by all the murders done in its name.)

Err... what?
Socialism isn't some kind of pariah here in Europe, and the people that you consider socialist but don't call themselves that are probably just liberals. And that would be why they don't call themselves socialists, not because of some weird guilt.

cahtush:

Big_Willie_Styles:

This subforum is filled with Ron Paul fanatics and people I would call socialists (who don't like that label, usually, because it has been poisoned by all the murders done in its name.)

Err... what?
Socialism isn't some kind of pariah here in Europe, and the people that you consider socialist but don't call themselves that are probably just liberals. And that would be why they don't call themselves socialists, not because of some weird guilt.

It is in America. Or did you think I'm European? I'm American, born and raised.

Big_Willie_Styles:

cahtush:

Big_Willie_Styles:

This subforum is filled with Ron Paul fanatics and people I would call socialists (who don't like that label, usually, because it has been poisoned by all the murders done in its name.)

Err... what?
Socialism isn't some kind of pariah here in Europe, and the people that you consider socialist but don't call themselves that are probably just liberals. And that would be why they don't call themselves socialists, not because of some weird guilt.

It is in America. Or did you think I'm European? I'm American, born and raised.

I know you are, I was addressing the "who don't like that label, usually, because it has been poisoned by all the murders done in its name" part.
That people don't shy away from it in most other parts of the world, this is an international forum after all.

Ryotknife:
The IRS apologized, they said it wasn't intentional, and even the President is giving them grief over it.

It is a done deal, time to move on. The unfortunate reality (at least in the US) is that politics oftentimes rears its head in the public sector in the ugliest ways possible. Sometimes it is political maneuvering by a certain party, sometimes it is one individual on their own crusade abusing power. It happens, and in this case it appears to be dealt with.

Hell, if Obama is defending conservatives, its time for people to put the pitchforks down. He has less reason than anybody in the entire world to defend conservatives.

The problem is that you believe the IRS now when their previous denials of this were clearly lies.

The Inspector General's report on what exactly the IRS did is being released this week. Pay more attention.

cahtush:

Big_Willie_Styles:

cahtush:

Err... what?
Socialism isn't some kind of pariah here in Europe, and the people that you consider socialist but don't call themselves that are probably just liberals. And that would be why they don't call themselves socialists, not because of some weird guilt.

It is in America. Or did you think I'm European? I'm American, born and raised.

I know you are, I was addressing the "who don't like that label, usually, because it has been poisoned by all the murders done in its name" part.
That people don't shy away from it in most other parts of the world, this is an international forum after all.

American socialists have. They have invented some pretty hilarious "schools of thought" that are all just the socialism rose by any other name.

An unshakable sense of one's own moral authority makes it easier to rationalize wrongful actions in the interest of preserving tenuous political and cultural authority. What, after all, is a purloined IRS document or a (nonactionable) slander in an editorial by comparison to the horrors of racism or antigay hatred? Of all forms of power, moral power may be the most seductive and corrupting.

Big_Willie_Styles:

American socialists have. They have invented some pretty hilarious "schools of thought" that are all just the socialism rose by any other name.

I have honestly no idea who you are talking about.
Could you go into more detail what groups you're talking about?

cahtush:

Big_Willie_Styles:

American socialists have. They have invented some pretty hilarious "schools of thought" that are all just the socialism rose by any other name.

I have honestly no idea who you are talking about.
Could you go into more detail what groups you're talking about?

Nor do I, honestly. Most of my professors are pretty "out" about their socialistic and communistic tendencies.

Kaulen Fuhs:

cahtush:

Big_Willie_Styles:

American socialists have. They have invented some pretty hilarious "schools of thought" that are all just the socialism rose by any other name.

I have honestly no idea who you are talking about.
Could you go into more detail what groups you're talking about?

Nor do I, honestly. Most of my professors are pretty "out" about their socialistic and communistic tendencies.

I'm confused. Are we talking actual socialists or "omg they want the poor to have welfare!" socialists?

LetalisK:

Kaulen Fuhs:

cahtush:

I have honestly no idea who you are talking about.
Could you go into more detail what groups you're talking about?

Nor do I, honestly. Most of my professors are pretty "out" about their socialistic and communistic tendencies.

I'm confused. Are we talking actual socialists or "omg they want the poor to have welfare!" socialists?

I dunno O_O Still waiting for the word on that one!

LetalisK:

Kaulen Fuhs:

cahtush:

I have honestly no idea who you are talking about.
Could you go into more detail what groups you're talking about?

Nor do I, honestly. Most of my professors are pretty "out" about their socialistic and communistic tendencies.

I'm confused. Are we talking actual socialists or "omg they want the poor to have welfare!" socialists?

You're talking to someone whom would most likely stand to the right of the rightwing republicans. No, he is 'not' talking real socialists. He is talking American Centrists.

Charles_Martel:
http://news.yahoo.com/irs-apologizes-targeting-conservative-groups-144349480.html

The IRS has admitted they did wrong. That the IRS DID wrong is not a partisan opinion. It is a fact.

Ask yourselves if the IRS targeted groups with the word Progressive would it be ok? The IRS because of the power it holds must be nonpartisan. This something that everyone should agree on

As of right now the IRS has FAILED miserably to check into reported breaches committed by churches and other religious institutions. They (the IRS) are being sued by the Freedom From Religion Foundation and American Atheists because the problem of churches becoming involved in politics is widespread. News flash, churches and religious organization are not allowed to get involved in politics IF they wish to retain their exemption status. But the endorsing of political figures, parties, and platforms by religious institutions is becoming pandemic in some regions of the US.

I'm all for them speaking their mind and endorsing a candidate, they just have to pay taxes like everyone else. And regardless of that, they still need to be put under the same scrutiny and held to the same level of accountability as secular organizations (of which religious institutions are currently exempt). This has been going on since the Bush administration. THAT is a real breach of ethics and the law, not this manufactured non-controversy.

I never trust what most politicians and their news representatives say. They only time you get bi-partisan agreement is when they're both screwing over their citizens at the behest of their corporate overlords (see the recent failure of the 90%+ supported gun background check legislation).

If they actually 'did' do something wrong, then fix it. But this is a relatively small problem at the IRS in comparison to other much larger and pressing concerns, even within just this branch of the government.

I'm just gonna go ahead and say I have no idea why this is a controversy. Not because I have anything against conservative political groups or any fondness for the IRS. Rather, I'm confused because if you told me that political parties filing for tax exemption were being investigated closely by the IRS, I would have been about as surprised as though you'd told me you saw a fish in the Pacific Ocean. No duh.

But apparently the IRS isn't supposed to do that? Or something? Are political organizations tax exempt by default or... aren't they? I really have no idea.

cahtush:

Big_Willie_Styles:

American socialists have. They have invented some pretty hilarious "schools of thought" that are all just the socialism rose by any other name.

I have honestly no idea who you are talking about.
Could you go into more detail what groups you're talking about?

You're not alone. I have no idea what he's talking about either.

Somehow the conservative talking heads here in the States have co-opted the word 'socialist' to mean 'unAmerican asshole' and the relatively brainless Fox News viewership has falling in lockstep behind them, oblivious to the reality that socialist policies are woven into the fabric of our everyday society and is in large part responsible for why they're even alive.

I suspect very strongly that the list of people who could accurately describe what socialism even is (without having to consult wikipedia) is a minority.

Hammartroll:
apparently a lot of people here would have performed the same crime if they worked for the IRS

if they were smart - yes.
There is a think in auditing, called predetermined risk. it is basically a change of how much you can trust a company/person on its reputation/past experience. If a thing you are auditiong officially opposes taxation, fights agasint it and has a reputation for avoiding it (dozens of scandals before), obviuosly that will be lower. this being lower means you will need to perform extra analitic procedures to ensure that your risk management is not baseless. Noone checks ALL checks. thats physically impossible. You have to decide which data to check and which dont. there are complex mathematical models for determining that that get modified by statisticians to thier liking (more like what your are auditing).
This is basic auditing 101.

Though to be fair in most cases the predetermined risk is always set to maximum risk due to "open market conditions being risky". most cases, not always.

itsthesheppy:
I'm just gonna go ahead and say I have no idea why this is a controversy. Not because I have anything against conservative political groups or any fondness for the IRS. Rather, I'm confused because if you told me that political parties filing for tax exemption were being investigated closely by the IRS, I would have been about as surprised as though you'd told me you saw a fish in the Pacific Ocean. No duh.

But apparently the IRS isn't supposed to do that? Or something? Are political organizations tax exempt by default or... aren't they? I really have no idea.

Essentially, the type of groups that the IRS are investigating are only allowed to keep tax exempt status, 501(c)(4) if I remember correctly: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/501%28c%29_organization , if their primary purpose is funding and contributing to the improvement of social welfare. They are allowed to be political (i.e. allowed to fund and promote political parties), only if the vast majority of their funding is for social welfare purposes alone. However, political groups have been exploiting this loophole to its fullest extent to fund their political campaigns and 'charities' rather than actually fund social welfare. The political party of choice gets tax-free donations, the donors get to remain anonymous, and everybody involved gets to shuffle their money around (in the form of charities that do more for contributing to their founder's coffers than to actual people in need), for tax credits.

While both Republicans and Democrats have organizations under the 501(c)(4) banner, the number of Republican and Tea Party groups exploiting this vastly dwarf the amount of Democrat ones. Hence, as Agema pointed out, conservatives and right-wing libertarians are playing the victim card and howling as loudly as they can to make a big political stink that the government is 'out to get them' (confirmation bias and dishonesty at its finest), when all the IRS is doing is their job, finally, to prevent people from cheating the system.

Hap2:

itsthesheppy:
I'm just gonna go ahead and say I have no idea why this is a controversy. Not because I have anything against conservative political groups or any fondness for the IRS. Rather, I'm confused because if you told me that political parties filing for tax exemption were being investigated closely by the IRS, I would have been about as surprised as though you'd told me you saw a fish in the Pacific Ocean. No duh.

But apparently the IRS isn't supposed to do that? Or something? Are political organizations tax exempt by default or... aren't they? I really have no idea.

Essentially, the type of groups that the IRS are investigating are only allowed to keep tax exempt status, 501(c)(4) if I remember correctly: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/501%28c%29_organization , if their primary purpose is funding and contributing to the improvement of social welfare. They are allowed to be political (i.e. allowed to fund and promote political parties), only if the vast majority of their funding is for social welfare purposes alone. However, political groups have been exploiting this loophole to its fullest extent to fund their political campaigns and 'charities' rather than actually fund social welfare. The political party of choice gets tax-free donations, the donors get to remain anonymous, and everybody involved gets to shuffle their money around (in the form of charities that do more for contributing to their founder's coffers than to actual people in need), for tax credits.

While both Republicans and Democrats have organizations under the 501(c)(4) banner, the number of Republican and Tea Party groups exploiting this vastly dwarf the amount of Democrat ones. Hence, as Agema pointed out, conservatives and right-wing libertarians are playing the victim card and howling as loudly as they can to make a big political stink that the government is 'out to get them' (confirmation bias and dishonesty at its finest), when all the IRS is doing is their job, finally, to prevent people from cheating the system.

If what you're saying is true, then shame on the IRS for not explaining that publicly and instead being a big ol' coward. But since everyone in the Washington hierarchy is campaigning for something, I can see why they'd just apologize fast and hope this all goes away.

But yeah. If they are exploiting the system, then it makes sense they would draw more attention. Fair's fair.

Ryotknife:
It is a done deal, time to move on ... It happens, and in this case it appears to be dealt with.

Hell, if Obama is defending conservatives, its time for people to put the pitchforks down. He has less reason than anybody in the entire world to defend conservatives.

This is all kinds of naivety, redirection and obfuscation. The story is one tiny flashlight into the dark corners of political corruption and you want people to believe it's "time to move on", maybe that the boogeyman is gone? This is exactly what's wrong with America. In the wakes and midst of other scandals, if anything now is the time to advance journalism and investigation into the government.

Seanchaidh:
All of a sudden profiling is wrong when (anti-tax, anti-government) "conservative" is the profile. Come on guys, it's just statistics. Yeesh!

I agree, profiling is wrong. Given the circumstances it's fairly suspect. Is Media Matters facing the same scrutiny? If not, this kind of is a big deal. Even Obama is making noise over it, for whatever that counts.

A simple reversal of polarity is a good litmus test for bias. Flip political affinity of the administration in power and the ideology of the group, and watch those propping up the IRS for doing its job start indicting various charges and calling for special prosecutors.

I'm not defending nonprofit political advocacy groups, but if anything reeks here, it's the shameless efforts to defend intimidation tactics by a government that swears by transparency, openness, honesty and fairness.

AgedGrunt:

Ryotknife:
It is a done deal, time to move on ... It happens, and in this case it appears to be dealt with.

Hell, if Obama is defending conservatives, its time for people to put the pitchforks down. He has less reason than anybody in the entire world to defend conservatives.

This is all kinds of naivety, redirection and obfuscation. The story is one tiny flashlight into the dark corners of political corruption and you want people to believe it's "time to move on", maybe that the boogeyman is gone? This is exactly what's wrong with America. In the wakes and midst of other scandals, if anything now is the time to advance journalism and investigation into the government.

Because profiling against a certain group or individuals who belong to X party is fairly common in the public sector, especially in the education system. Unlike those those other circumstances however, this particular case is actually being dealt with. This whole incident smacks of a crusader abusing his/her power. This event is childish, petty, and short sighted. Very rarily does either party's actions hit that trifecta, and ill admit that I have a pretty low opinion of both republicans and democrats.

It would be one thing to turn this event bipartisan effort to stamp out corruption and abuse of power, but that is not how it will play out. It will play out...well...sorta like how this thread is playing out. Its going to turn into another partisan war.

itsthesheppy:
I'm just gonna go ahead and say I have no idea why this is a controversy. Not because I have anything against conservative political groups or any fondness for the IRS. Rather, I'm confused because if you told me that political parties filing for tax exemption were being investigated closely by the IRS, I would have been about as surprised as though you'd told me you saw a fish in the Pacific Ocean. No duh.

But apparently the IRS isn't supposed to do that? Or something? Are political organizations tax exempt by default or... aren't they? I really have no idea.

You know little about the actual controversy. The problem wasn't that, it was that what the IRS asked of them was burdensome (a legalese term for "impossible to comply with.")

Pay more attention.

LetalisK:

Kaulen Fuhs:

cahtush:

I have honestly no idea who you are talking about.
Could you go into more detail what groups you're talking about?

Nor do I, honestly. Most of my professors are pretty "out" about their socialistic and communistic tendencies.

I'm confused. Are we talking actual socialists or "omg they want the poor to have welfare!" socialists?

"Poor to have welfare" sounds really pleasant and innocuous, doesn't it? The research on the effect this had on the breakdown of the black family is pretty intense and insanely heartbreaking.

Big_Willie_Styles:

LetalisK:

Kaulen Fuhs:

Nor do I, honestly. Most of my professors are pretty "out" about their socialistic and communistic tendencies.

I'm confused. Are we talking actual socialists or "omg they want the poor to have welfare!" socialists?

"Poor to have welfare" sounds really pleasant and innocuous, doesn't it? The research on the effect this had on the breakdown of the black family is pretty intense and insanely heartbreaking.

Mind linking that research?

LetalisK:

Big_Willie_Styles:

LetalisK:
I'm confused. Are we talking actual socialists or "omg they want the poor to have welfare!" socialists?

"Poor to have welfare" sounds really pleasant and innocuous, doesn't it? The research on the effect this had on the breakdown of the black family is pretty intense and insanely heartbreaking.

Mind linking that research?

Is this really the first you've ever heard about it, seriously?

I don't know, the whole over 70% out of wedlock birth rate for blacks? The fact that a mother gets more welfare if she's not married? And other perverse incentives?

The research has been done by perhaps hundreds of people.

So that I am not accused of being too lazy to do your work for you (i.e. just Google it people,) here's one link from just today:

http://chronicle.augusta.com/news/metro/2013-05-14/decline-american-family

Big_Willie_Styles:

itsthesheppy:
I'm just gonna go ahead and say I have no idea why this is a controversy. Not because I have anything against conservative political groups or any fondness for the IRS. Rather, I'm confused because if you told me that political parties filing for tax exemption were being investigated closely by the IRS, I would have been about as surprised as though you'd told me you saw a fish in the Pacific Ocean. No duh.

But apparently the IRS isn't supposed to do that? Or something? Are political organizations tax exempt by default or... aren't they? I really have no idea.

You know little about the actual controversy. The problem wasn't that, it was that what the IRS asked of them was burdensome (a legalese term for "impossible to comply with.")

Pay more attention.

I have been paying attention, insofar as I've read some news reports and saw a little commentary online about it. This is the first time the complexity of the reports was brought up.

Also, the IRS sent along some impossible-to-understand form to fill out? Ever seen a W-2? This is news?

itsthesheppy:

Big_Willie_Styles:

itsthesheppy:
I'm just gonna go ahead and say I have no idea why this is a controversy. Not because I have anything against conservative political groups or any fondness for the IRS. Rather, I'm confused because if you told me that political parties filing for tax exemption were being investigated closely by the IRS, I would have been about as surprised as though you'd told me you saw a fish in the Pacific Ocean. No duh.

But apparently the IRS isn't supposed to do that? Or something? Are political organizations tax exempt by default or... aren't they? I really have no idea.

You know little about the actual controversy. The problem wasn't that, it was that what the IRS asked of them was burdensome (a legalese term for "impossible to comply with.")

Pay more attention.

I have been paying attention, insofar as I've read some news reports and saw a little commentary online about it. This is the first time the complexity of the reports was brought up.

Also, the IRS sent along some impossible-to-understand form to fill out? Ever seen a W-2? This is news?

You really want me to do the work for you? Are you really that lazy?

Things like asking an organization to print out every single damn page of their website (seriously, that can be thousands of pages.) Asking for every single person at the organization's personal family history, including addresses and phone numbers. Every job every member has ever had in any capacity? Jobs of every single member's family members?

That seem burdensome to you?

http://hotair.com/archives/2013/05/10/10-crazy-things-the-irs-asked-tea-party-groups/

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