IRS targeting Conservative groups

 Pages PREV 1 2 3 4 5 NEXT
 

Big_Willie_Styles:

itsthesheppy:

Big_Willie_Styles:

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/

I don't remember asking you for a damn thing, so don't you go getting your knickers all in a twist at me. My stance on this issue is clear: I'm not sure why it's such an issue.

You're describing to me an absurdly beaurocratic system being levied at people for tax purposes. That sound like the first sentence of the wikipedia entry for the IRS. "In other news today, the IRS is a profoundly unlikeable government body that makes you fill out mountains of paperwork and makes unreasonable demands for seemingly capricious reasons." Gosh, is it Tuesday already?

Again, this is news? What sad scandals we have to settle for nowadays. Remember when the president was involved directly in a criminal cover-up? Or got a BJ in the oval office from a woman not his wife and then lied about it? Now those were scandals.

"The IRS are a bunch of bastards!" sounds like everyday water cooler talk.

Big_Willie_Styles:

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

Oh, I've heard it before. I've also heard it stretched to ridiculous lengths by Republican hacks on TV in order to peddle their bullshit.

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.

Then you should have zero problem drowning me in research.

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:

It's not my job to back up your claims. If you're not able to or motivated enough to show basic evidence for your own claim, then there is little reason for me to take it seriously.

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

That's your evidence? A copy of a speech given that quotes "statistics" yet fails to even address where they came from let alone discuss them with any kind of depth? Jesus Christ. It's not even close to being considered research. Try harder.

itsthesheppy:

Big_Willie_Styles:

itsthesheppy:

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/

I don't remember asking you for a damn thing, so don't you go getting your knickers all in a twist at me. My stance on this issue is clear: I'm not sure why it's such an issue.

You're describing to me an absurdly beaurocratic system being levied at people for tax purposes. That sound like the first sentence of the wikipedia entry for the IRS. "In other news today, the IRS is a profoundly unlikeable government body that makes you fill out mountains of paperwork and makes unreasonable demands for seemingly capricious reasons." Gosh, is it Tuesday already?

Again, this is news? What sad scandals we have to settle for nowadays. Remember when the president was involved directly in a criminal cover-up? Or got a BJ in the oval office from a woman not his wife and then lied about it? Now those were scandals.

"The IRS are a bunch of bastards!" sounds like everyday water cooler talk.

There's a thing called "reform" that seems to be foreign to you for some reason. And "corruption." And other things like "punishment" for such "corruption" that seems to allude you.

LetalisK:

Big_Willie_Styles:

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

Oh, I've heard it before. I've also heard it stretched to ridiculous lengths by Republican hacks on TV in order to peddle their bullshit.

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.

Then you should have zero problem drowning me in research.

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:

It's not my job to back up your claims. If you're not able to or motivated enough to show basic evidence for your own claim, then there is little reason for me to take it seriously.

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

That's your evidence? A copy of a speech given that quotes "statistics" yet fails to even address where they came from let alone discuss them with any kind of depth? Jesus Christ. It's not even close to being considered research. Try harder.

If you didn't get the impression that I put in the least bit of work possible on purpose, you clearly didn't understand my heavy sarcasm.

Big_Willie_Styles:

If you didn't get the impression that I put in the least bit of work possible on purpose, you clearly didn't understand my heavy sarcasm.

Oh, okay, makes sense. I guess if you don't care enough about your own position to even try, I guess that means I shouldn't care either. I guess we're done here, then. Thanks for clearing that up for me.

Big_Willie_Styles:

itsthesheppy:

Big_Willie_Styles:

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/

I don't remember asking you for a damn thing, so don't you go getting your knickers all in a twist at me. My stance on this issue is clear: I'm not sure why it's such an issue.

You're describing to me an absurdly beaurocratic system being levied at people for tax purposes. That sound like the first sentence of the wikipedia entry for the IRS. "In other news today, the IRS is a profoundly unlikeable government body that makes you fill out mountains of paperwork and makes unreasonable demands for seemingly capricious reasons." Gosh, is it Tuesday already?

Again, this is news? What sad scandals we have to settle for nowadays. Remember when the president was involved directly in a criminal cover-up? Or got a BJ in the oval office from a woman not his wife and then lied about it? Now those were scandals.

"The IRS are a bunch of bastards!" sounds like everyday water cooler talk.

There's a thing called "reform" that seems to be foreign to you for some reason. And "corruption." And other things like "punishment" for such "corruption" that seems to allude you.

You are being remarkably nasty to me and I truly have no idea why. I hope you realize how few favors you're doing your point by patronizing me. You can throw all the buzzwords you want at me, but they're not going to mean anything if you cannot express why this 'scandal' is indeed as important as you seem to think it is.

You seem to be taking it on default that we should be horrified that the IRS would be exactly what everyone always knew it to be simply because in this instance it abuts your own personal pet issue. Where we see an ember, you are seeing a raging inferno.

All I'm doing is shrugging my shoulders and saying "I don't see what all the fuss is about" and your response so far has amounted to condescension and nastiness, which leads me to think even you yourself do not have enough faith in the severity of the issue to let it speak for itself, and instead you feel the need to turn up the heat. Maybe take a breath and recollect yourself, and you would gain some insight in how to present something to an audience that doesn't exactly have a dog in the fight.

IRS sent confidental info on conservatives to liberal nonprofit Propublica

http://dailycaller.com/2013/05/14/irs-sent-confidential-info-on-conservatives-to-liberal-nonprofit-propublica/

"The division of the Internal Revenue Service that improperly scrutinized the tax-exempt status of conservative groups sent confidential information on 31 conservative groups to the well-funded liberal nonprofit journalism organization ProPublica, according to a revelation made by ProPublica Monday."

"In response to a request for the applications for 67 different nonprofits last November, the Cincinnati office of the IRS sent ProPublica applications or documentation for 31 groups. Nine of those applications had not yet been approved - meaning they were not supposed to be made public..."

The hole keeps getting deeper.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't it so that in USA, no political group can be tax-exempt?

Nah, I suppose the explanation that this is some deep liberal conspiracy to either dominate the world or bake a blueberry pie is the reasonable one.

Oh yeah I also liked the part where Rubio apparently demanded the IRS Commissioner to resign over this. From the seat that's currently vacant, even! And the last one who sat on it was appointed by some GOP guy...Shrub, was it? Brushy? Well, some kind of foliage, either way.

But hey, at least this time you picked an acceptable target. I mean, who in their right mind is sympathetic to the IRS, anyway. The taxman is the man that even the evilest of villains fear, after all.

EvolutionKills:

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.

No church should be tax exempt period

psijac:

No church should be tax exempt period

Agreed, but I'd still be happier if they would at least follow their own damn rules as already written...

Ryotknife:
Because profiling against a certain group or individuals who belong to X party is fairly common in the public sector...

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.

The people responsible and those they work for don't want a bipartisan effort to ream them with accountability. Why would they want to indict themselves? Benghazi, the Justice Department going after journalists and this story are just the latest episodes of a series of unaccountable, unresponsive officials.

The reality is that neither side is willing to work with their opponents at any serious level to indict and prosecute their brand. That's bad for business. Currently it's very bad for the DNC message that the GOP is the problem with everything. This continues as they are criticized for basically making up all of these scandals, despite all the facts and testimony. However I've no doubt that, given a reversal of circumstances, the spin would be rotating the other way.

We can at least stop deluding ourselves with bipartisanship; that word is a joke.

Vegosiux:
/snip

Speaking of partisanship, recalling when I used to think in a bubble like this and consistently manufacture ways to deflect blame and recuse people at fault in order to protect my "team". Or: How I learned to stop worrying and love integrity. It's nice to be able think for yourself rather than be peasant subject to the elites' political stratagems.

Scolar Visari:
IRS sent confidental info on conservatives to liberal nonprofit Propublica

http://dailycaller.com/2013/05/14/irs-sent-confidential-info-on-conservatives-to-liberal-nonprofit-propublica/

"The division of the Internal Revenue Service that improperly scrutinized the tax-exempt status of conservative groups sent confidential information on 31 conservative groups to the well-funded liberal nonprofit journalism organization ProPublica, according to a revelation made by ProPublica Monday."

"In response to a request for the applications for 67 different nonprofits last November, the Cincinnati office of the IRS sent ProPublica applications or documentation for 31 groups. Nine of those applications had not yet been approved - meaning they were not supposed to be made public..."

The hole keeps getting deeper.

If I understand this correctly: 22 of these applications were public knowledge and anyone could have requested to see them? The problem is the premature release of the 9 that were still processed?

AgedGrunt:

Speaking of partisanship, recalling when I used to think in a bubble like this and consistently manufacture ways to deflect blame and recuse people at fault in order to protect my "team". Or: How I learned to stop worrying and love integrity. It's nice to be able think for yourself rather than be peasant subject to the elites' political stratagems.

Funny you should say that, since I have no chips in play on the American political scene at all.

Vegosiux:
Funny you should say that, since I have no chips in play on the American political scene at all.

Then I would say you have an awfully strange interest in the scandal, undermining the opposition's record and credibility of conservatives, perhaps of a nation you don't belong to? Not saying commentary isn't welcome, but it's a bit peculiar.

I get to break the news!
Head of IRS is stepping down
Obama says these acts were inexcusable
action is going to be taken and more info is going to be released soon

everyone still arguing that this is was OK in some way seems to be wrong

Hammartroll:
everyone still arguing that this is was OK in some way seems to be wrong

Him stepping down means that it was decided it would be easier to simply replace him then deal with all the hyperbolic "How dare the IRS target conservative groups!" instead of looking at it from the reasonable standpoint of "The IRS is doing its job, and conservative groups were "targeted" because they're incredibly easy to identify by their overused names and consistent disregard for the taxes they should be paying as political groups." The resignation wasn't done because everyone agreed what the IRS did was wrong, it was done because it's the easiest way to get conservatives to shut up about it; though that's a rather shortsighted goal since they'll just freak the fuck out over something else trivial in a few days.

AgedGrunt:

Vegosiux:
Funny you should say that, since I have no chips in play on the American political scene at all.

Then I would say you have an awfully strange interest in the scandal, undermining the opposition's record and credibility of conservatives, perhaps of a nation you don't belong to? Not saying commentary isn't welcome, but it's a bit peculiar.

The economic and political situation of the US is of vital importance to the rest of the world, though. If the US was as small and relatively unimportant as, say, Italy...well, the Italians can get their system consistently wrong, and it's not a big deal.

LifeCharacter:

Hammartroll:
everyone still arguing that this is was OK in some way seems to be wrong

Him stepping down means that it was decided it would be easier to simply replace him then deal with all the hyperbolic "How dare the IRS target conservative groups!" instead of looking at it from the reasonable standpoint of "The IRS is doing its job, and conservative groups were "targeted" because they're incredibly easy to identify by their overused names and consistent disregard for the taxes they should be paying as political groups." The resignation wasn't done because everyone agreed what the IRS did was wrong, it was done because it's the easiest way to get conservatives to shut up about it; though that's a rather shortsighted goal since they'll just freak the fuck out over something else trivial in a few days.

Obama thinks it's a big deal.

Holder thinks it's a big deal.

Are there any prominent politicians or commentators that dont think it's a big deal?

Seems like the only ones who don't think it's a big are some anonymous forums posters.

Charles_Martel:

LifeCharacter:

Hammartroll:
everyone still arguing that this is was OK in some way seems to be wrong

Him stepping down means that it was decided it would be easier to simply replace him then deal with all the hyperbolic "How dare the IRS target conservative groups!" instead of looking at it from the reasonable standpoint of "The IRS is doing its job, and conservative groups were "targeted" because they're incredibly easy to identify by their overused names and consistent disregard for the taxes they should be paying as political groups." The resignation wasn't done because everyone agreed what the IRS did was wrong, it was done because it's the easiest way to get conservatives to shut up about it; though that's a rather shortsighted goal since they'll just freak the fuck out over something else trivial in a few days.

Obama thinks it's a big deal.

Holder thinks it's a big deal.

Are there any prominent politicians or commentators that dont think it's a big deal?

Seems like the only ones who don't think it's a big are some anonymous forums posters.

They say it's a big deal, because saying it's not a big deal would probably be seen as advocating it, which would, as has been shown by shitstorm caused by the IRS doing its job and *gasp* consequently targeting conservative groups that wrongfully claimed tax-exempt status, cause a backlash from people who just like to vilify and exaggerate every perceptibly negative thing that happens to them. Maybe they do think it's a big deal, I can't say, but I do know that saying it's not a big deal would cause problems regardless of their actual opinions on the matter.

Nielas:

Scolar Visari:
IRS sent confidental info on conservatives to liberal nonprofit Propublica

http://dailycaller.com/2013/05/14/irs-sent-confidential-info-on-conservatives-to-liberal-nonprofit-propublica/

"The division of the Internal Revenue Service that improperly scrutinized the tax-exempt status of conservative groups sent confidential information on 31 conservative groups to the well-funded liberal nonprofit journalism organization ProPublica, according to a revelation made by ProPublica Monday."

"In response to a request for the applications for 67 different nonprofits last November, the Cincinnati office of the IRS sent ProPublica applications or documentation for 31 groups. Nine of those applications had not yet been approved - meaning they were not supposed to be made public..."

The hole keeps getting deeper.

If I understand this correctly: 22 of these applications were public knowledge and anyone could have requested to see them? The problem is the premature release of the 9 that were still processed?

Correct. Under FOIA (Freedom of Information Act), anybody could theoretically request access to those documents. However, nine of those documents were still under review and were not supposed to be available to the public.

The IRS is also under scrutiny for stonewalling specific organizations' FOIA requests while fast tracking those of other organizations.

Scolar Visari:
IRS sent confidental info on conservatives to liberal nonprofit Propublica

http://dailycaller.com/2013/05/14/irs-sent-confidential-info-on-conservatives-to-liberal-nonprofit-propublica/

"The division of the Internal Revenue Service that improperly scrutinized the tax-exempt status of conservative groups sent confidential information on 31 conservative groups to the well-funded liberal nonprofit journalism organization ProPublica, according to a revelation made by ProPublica Monday."

"In response to a request for the applications for 67 different nonprofits last November, the Cincinnati office of the IRS sent ProPublica applications or documentation for 31 groups. Nine of those applications had not yet been approved - meaning they were not supposed to be made public..."

The hole keeps getting deeper.

Okay, now I'm on the "Fuck these guys" train. I wonder if ProPublica outed these other activities by the IRS out of the goodness of their hearts or they knew they would eventually get pulled into the shitter if they didn't speak up.

Big_Willie_Styles:

"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.

If you think welfare is the root of afro-american problems then I don't know what planet you live on.

Then again it's not surprising if you think neocon scum like Obama are socialists.

Hafrael:

Big_Willie_Styles:

"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.

If you think welfare is the root of afro-american problems then I don't know what planet you live on.

Then again it's not surprising if you think neocon scum like Obama are socialists.

Thomas Sowell has done a lot of research on this topic, as has Walter E. Williams.

But to call Obama a neocon is hilarious. His foreign policy is a mess of contradictions, like Starburst.

Charles_Martel:

Obama thinks it's a big deal.

Holder thinks it's a big deal.

Are there any prominent politicians or commentators that dont think it's a big deal?

Seems like the only ones who don't think it's a big are some anonymous forums posters.

Yes, but what do they actually think is the big deal about it?

1) It's a catastrophic error by the IRS.
2) It's a trivial error by the IRS but extremely politically damaging for the administration.

Lots of routine political debate is making mountains out of molehills. If the public perceive a molehill to be a mountain, a politician may find he has to treat it like a mountain.

Agema:

Charles_Martel:

Obama thinks it's a big deal.

Holder thinks it's a big deal.

Are there any prominent politicians or commentators that dont think it's a big deal?

Seems like the only ones who don't think it's a big are some anonymous forums posters.

Yes, but what do they actually think is the big deal about it?

1) It's a catastrophic error by the IRS.
2) It's a trivial error by the IRS but extremely politically damaging for the administration.

Lots of routine political debate is making mountains out of molehills. If the public perceive a molehill to be a mountain, a politician may find he has to treat it like a mountain.

It was not the magnitude of the error that is the problem. It was that an apolitical organization with enormous power was engaging in an obvious political way.

The IRS can not engage in political actitity for some important reasons.

It has to remain trustworthy by all. It betrayed that trust by arbitrarily targeting groups with political tags for extra scrutiny.

It has enormous power and effected parties have limited recourse to address grievances. The main one I think is petitioning the supposedly apolitical IRS.

Charles_Martel:

It was not the magnitude of the error that is the problem. It was that an apolitical organization with enormous power was engaging in an obvious political way.

The IRS can not engage in political actitity for some important reasons.

It has to remain trustworthy by all. It betrayed that trust by arbitrarily targeting groups with political tags for extra scrutiny.

Indeed. But I read around the links from your articles, and the IRS's story is that it was sort of an accident as a byproduct of low-level staff attempting to deal with a large influx of new organisations, and that a middling manager (one Ms. Lerner?) spotted a problem and attempted to rectify it with new procedures.

If it is true, it suggests the IRS institutionally takes its apolitical mandate seriously, and evidently has systems in place to try to ensure that. However, imperfection is ubiquitous: breaches of good practice are inevitable, and the more a large organisation (such as the IRS) does, the more it's doing that can go wrong. It is unrealistic to treat such inevitable, non-malicious screw-ups as massive betrayals of trust.

Of course, the IRS's story may not be true, in which case depending what has occurred there may be a more significant problem. But responsible governance would be ascertaining guilt before heads are made to roll.

Scolar Visari:

Nielas:

Scolar Visari:
IRS sent confidental info on conservatives to liberal nonprofit Propublica

http://dailycaller.com/2013/05/14/irs-sent-confidential-info-on-conservatives-to-liberal-nonprofit-propublica/

"The division of the Internal Revenue Service that improperly scrutinized the tax-exempt status of conservative groups sent confidential information on 31 conservative groups to the well-funded liberal nonprofit journalism organization ProPublica, according to a revelation made by ProPublica Monday."

"In response to a request for the applications for 67 different nonprofits last November, the Cincinnati office of the IRS sent ProPublica applications or documentation for 31 groups. Nine of those applications had not yet been approved - meaning they were not supposed to be made public..."

The hole keeps getting deeper.

If I understand this correctly: 22 of these applications were public knowledge and anyone could have requested to see them? The problem is the premature release of the 9 that were still processed?

Correct. Under FOIA (Freedom of Information Act), anybody could theoretically request access to those documents. However, nine of those documents were still under review and were not supposed to be available to the public.

The IRS is also under scrutiny for stonewalling specific organizations' FOIA requests while fast tracking those of other organizations.

I wanted to clarify this since the article made it seem like the IRS secretly gave a left wing group 31 secret documents. However, it actually was a public on-record request and the IRS was legally obliged to hand over 22 of those documents. 9 of the documents were turned over prematurely since they would not become available for a FOIA request until they have been officially approved or rejected. This explains why ProPublica went public with this: they did nothing illegal or unethical and it brings attention to their primary goal of revealing conservative groups who are abusing the 501c4 designation.

Agema:

Indeed. But I read around the links from your articles, and the IRS's story is that it was sort of an accident as a byproduct of low-level staff attempting to deal with a large influx of new organisations, and that a middling manager (one Ms. Lerner?) spotted a problem and attempted to rectify it with new procedures.

If it is true, it suggests the IRS institutionally takes its apolitical mandate seriously, and evidently has systems in place to try to ensure that. However, imperfection is ubiquitous: breaches of good practice are inevitable, and the more a large organisation (such as the IRS) does, the more it's doing that can go wrong. It is unrealistic to treat such inevitable, non-malicious screw-ups as massive betrayals of trust.

Of course, the IRS's story may not be true, in which case depending what has occurred there may be a more significant problem. But responsible governance would be ascertaining guilt before heads are made to roll.

This is what I find weird about this scandal. Both sides seem to be taking the IRS version of events at face value and make it some major crime but to me that version of events looks like a bureaucratic problem without malicious intent. I can understand if people were accusing the White House of ordering the IRS to do so but none of the Republicans seem to be accusing the Democrats of that. There seems to be a step missing in the chain of logic being argued.

Charles_Martel:

Agema:

Charles_Martel:

Obama thinks it's a big deal.

Holder thinks it's a big deal.

Are there any prominent politicians or commentators that dont think it's a big deal?

Seems like the only ones who don't think it's a big are some anonymous forums posters.

Yes, but what do they actually think is the big deal about it?

1) It's a catastrophic error by the IRS.
2) It's a trivial error by the IRS but extremely politically damaging for the administration.

Lots of routine political debate is making mountains out of molehills. If the public perceive a molehill to be a mountain, a politician may find he has to treat it like a mountain.

It was not the magnitude of the error that is the problem. It was that an apolitical organization with enormous power was engaging in an obvious political way.

The IRS can not engage in political actitity for some important reasons.

It has to remain trustworthy by all. It betrayed that trust by arbitrarily targeting groups with political tags for extra scrutiny.

It has enormous power and effected parties have limited recourse to address grievances. The main one I think is petitioning the supposedly apolitical IRS.

http://www.alternet.org/bush-used-irs-fbi-cia-and-secret-service-go-after-opponents-where-was-fox-and-gop-outrage

So where exactly was the outrage from the right when Bush's group did the exact same thing? Social Welfare groups whose primary purpose is only to promote the political agenda of a certain group, in this case: Republicans (though the Democrats are no less guilty of this practice), are not allowed tax-exempt status. End of story. That is the law, and it is the IRS's job to enforce it in this case. However, the IRS cannot be everywhere all at once, and the Republicans and Tea Party groups exploit this on a much larger scale than the Democrats do. If a whole house was on fire, would you put out a small fire in the flower bed before hitting the much larger and dangerous threat of the fire spreading to other nearby buildings? Why would you expect an office with limited resources to do so?

The only reason that this has been made a 'scandal' is because Republicans and the Tea Party are being slapped for trying to cheat the system, and like any spoiled brat they're howling and crying crocodile tears to get their own way.

This is roughly the story I've heard: Obamacare passes in March 2010 in a big election year, tea party gains momentum, IRS (who were big Obama donors) with an emboldened DNC targeted hundreds of conservative groups disproportionately, stonewalling and intimidating, but also data-mining by asking for all kinds of information and documents, right down to the minutes of group meetings. Information was then distributed to groups of opportunity to aid opposition efforts.

Don't quote it as truth, but to anyone not seeing the big deal here, 2010 election was big for the right-wing, and this intimidation could have been a response to a movement that was growing too influential and upending the establishment. That's at least one side of the argument.

LifeCharacter:
instead of looking at it from the reasonable standpoint of "The IRS is doing its job, and conservative groups were "targeted" because they're incredibly easy to identify by their overused names and consistent disregard for the taxes they should be paying as political groups."

The resignation wasn't done because everyone agreed what the IRS did was wrong, it was done because it's the easiest way to get conservatives to shut up about it; though that's a rather shortsighted goal since they'll just freak the fuck out over something else trivial in a few days.

1) At issue isn't whether these (hundreds of) groups qualified for tax-exempt status. The crux of the controversy is the IRS overreaching by leaps and bounds in asking for all kinds of private information. What went on in these groups, what their reading materials were, members personal information, beliefs and, in one group's example, making them promise not to protest Planned Parenthood, a group that twice endorsed Barack Obama and he's recently embraced.

2) So you're not denying what was done or that it was wrong. Ok. I'm willing to wager that if a Republican administration appeared to be strong-arming liberal nonprofits the tune would be different. I honestly wouldn't rule out the possibility of public riots if that were to happen today.

AgedGrunt:
This is roughly the story I've heard: Obamacare passes in March 2010 in a big election year, tea party gains momentum, IRS (who were big Obama donors) with an emboldened DNC targeted hundreds of conservative groups disproportionately, stonewalling and intimidating, but also data-mining by asking for all kinds of information and documents, right down to the minutes of group meetings. Information was then distributed to groups of opportunity to aid opposition efforts.

Don't quote it as truth, but to anyone not seeing the big deal here, 2010 election was big for the right-wing, and this intimidation could have been a response to a movement that was growing too influential and upending the establishment. That's at least one side of the argument.

Wow, the 2010 election was the result of a kneejerk reaction by the right wing, motivating their base in a non-presidential election year where voter turn out is low, and in many cases especially for the party who hold the White House due to complacency. Its not some conspiracy, the Tea Party isn't actually that big of a player, just enough to be annoying.

1) At issue isn't whether these (hundreds of) groups qualified for tax-exempt status. The crux of the controversy is the IRS overreaching by leaps and bounds in asking for all kinds of private information. What went on in these groups, what their reading materials were, members personal information, beliefs and, in one group's example, making them promise not to protest Planned Parenthood, a group that twice endorsed Barack Obama and he's recently embraced.

So you don't want all groups applying to be tax exempt status to be thoroughly vetted? Sure, some of the things they were asked, but for the most part, those questions seem like they are probably pretty boilerplate in terms of requests made of all groups that are applying for tax exempt status, especially when there is a sudden influx of groups using the same sorts of names?

Also can I get a link for the group that was forced to make a promise to not protest Planned Parenthood?

2) So you're not denying what was done or that it was wrong. Ok. I'm willing to wager that if a Republican administration appeared to be strong-arming liberal nonprofits the tune would be different. I honestly wouldn't rule out the possibility of public riots if that were to happen today.

Was it wrong, probably, but more so because they didn't give clearly defined reasons for why they were doing what they were doing. Definitely not riots, but there would definitely be outrage, but you know what, politics are full of hypocrites, on both sides, so don't act like liberals are somehow more reactionary than conservatives.

Hap2:

Charles_Martel:

Agema:

Yes, but what do they actually think is the big deal about it?

1) It's a catastrophic error by the IRS.
2) It's a trivial error by the IRS but extremely politically damaging for the administration.

Lots of routine political debate is making mountains out of molehills. If the public perceive a molehill to be a mountain, a politician may find he has to treat it like a mountain.

It was not the magnitude of the error that is the problem. It was that an apolitical organization with enormous power was engaging in an obvious political way.

The IRS can not engage in political actitity for some important reasons.

It has to remain trustworthy by all. It betrayed that trust by arbitrarily targeting groups with political tags for extra scrutiny.

It has enormous power and effected parties have limited recourse to address grievances. The main one I think is petitioning the supposedly apolitical IRS.

http://www.alternet.org/bush-used-irs-fbi-cia-and-secret-service-go-after-opponents-where-was-fox-and-gop-outrage

So where exactly was the outrage from the right when Bush's group did the exact same thing? Social Welfare groups whose primary purpose is only to promote the political agenda of a certain group, in this case: Republicans (though the Democrats are no less guilty of this practice), are not allowed tax-exempt status. End of story. That is the law, and it is the IRS's job to enforce it in this case. However, the IRS cannot be everywhere all at once, and the Republicans and Tea Party groups exploit this on a much larger scale than the Democrats do. If a whole house was on fire, would you put out a small fire in the flower bed before hitting the much larger and dangerous threat of the fire spreading to other nearby buildings? Why would you expect an office with limited resources to do so?

The only reason that this has been made a 'scandal' is because Republicans and the Tea Party are being slapped for trying to cheat the system, and like any spoiled brat they're howling and crying crocodile tears to get their own way.

Nice fictional narrative you've got going on.

NY Times, Washington Post and other major newspapers have reported on the scandal and not one have suggested it's a scandal because Republican howling.

It's a scandal because it is really is a scandal. Yes it's that simple.

You can believe what you want to believe. But in this case it's not reality. Try getting your news somewhere besides AlterNet.

Charles_Martel:
Nice fictional narrative you've got going on.

NY Times, Washington Post and other major newspapers have reported on the scandal and not one have suggested it's a scandal because Republican howling.

By "reported on" do you mean that they just covered the story that there's a scandal going on, or that they actually referred to the event as a scandal themselves. "There's this scandal going on" is a lot different than "Look how scandalous these actions are."

It's a scandal because it is really is a scandal. Yes it's that simple.

No, it's a scandal because people made it a scandal by people overreacting to the smallest slights against their political party because they consider themselves the eternal victims of the tyranny known as the government of the United States that they don't have absolute control over.

You can believe what you want to believe. But in this case it's not reality. Try getting your news somewhere besides AlterNet.

You are aware that Hap's news (notice the lack of italicization) provides links in the text to other sources right? There's roughly ten that aren't related to the current situation, so I'd suggest doing more than "Fuck your source" the next time someone provides you with a link that might prove their point.

Scolar Visari:

Nielas:

Scolar Visari:
IRS sent confidental info on conservatives to liberal nonprofit Propublica

http://dailycaller.com/2013/05/14/irs-sent-confidential-info-on-conservatives-to-liberal-nonprofit-propublica/

"The division of the Internal Revenue Service that improperly scrutinized the tax-exempt status of conservative groups sent confidential information on 31 conservative groups to the well-funded liberal nonprofit journalism organization ProPublica, according to a revelation made by ProPublica Monday."

"In response to a request for the applications for 67 different nonprofits last November, the Cincinnati office of the IRS sent ProPublica applications or documentation for 31 groups. Nine of those applications had not yet been approved - meaning they were not supposed to be made public..."

The hole keeps getting deeper.

If I understand this correctly: 22 of these applications were public knowledge and anyone could have requested to see them? The problem is the premature release of the 9 that were still processed?

Correct. Under FOIA (Freedom of Information Act), anybody could theoretically request access to those documents. However, nine of those documents were still under review and were not supposed to be available to the public.

The IRS is also under scrutiny for stonewalling specific organizations' FOIA requests while fast tracking those of other organizations.

Apparently once propublica got the information then asked why they received they got an email back by a spokesperson more or less threatening them that they couldn't publish it and it was an accident.

http://www.propublica.org/article/irs-office-that-targeted-tea-party-also-disclosed-confidential-docs

(edit gone hold that statement for a second while I continue reading the inspector general info)

Charles_Martel:

Hap2:

Charles_Martel:

It was not the magnitude of the error that is the problem. It was that an apolitical organization with enormous power was engaging in an obvious political way.

The IRS can not engage in political actitity for some important reasons.

It has to remain trustworthy by all. It betrayed that trust by arbitrarily targeting groups with political tags for extra scrutiny.

It has enormous power and effected parties have limited recourse to address grievances. The main one I think is petitioning the supposedly apolitical IRS.

http://www.alternet.org/bush-used-irs-fbi-cia-and-secret-service-go-after-opponents-where-was-fox-and-gop-outrage

So where exactly was the outrage from the right when Bush's group did the exact same thing? Social Welfare groups whose primary purpose is only to promote the political agenda of a certain group, in this case: Republicans (though the Democrats are no less guilty of this practice), are not allowed tax-exempt status. End of story. That is the law, and it is the IRS's job to enforce it in this case. However, the IRS cannot be everywhere all at once, and the Republicans and Tea Party groups exploit this on a much larger scale than the Democrats do. If a whole house was on fire, would you put out a small fire in the flower bed before hitting the much larger and dangerous threat of the fire spreading to other nearby buildings? Why would you expect an office with limited resources to do so?

The only reason that this has been made a 'scandal' is because Republicans and the Tea Party are being slapped for trying to cheat the system, and like any spoiled brat they're howling and crying crocodile tears to get their own way.

Nice fictional narrative you've got going on.

NY Times, Washington Post and other major newspapers have reported on the scandal and not one have suggested it's a scandal because Republican howling.

It's a scandal because it is really is a scandal. Yes it's that simple.

You can believe what you want to believe. But in this case it's not reality. Try getting your news somewhere besides AlterNet.

I am aware of the 9 documents that were not supposed to be made public. My concern, however, is with this bullshit hypocrisy of the "it's okay if my party does it, but 'scandalous' if the other guy does it" narrative, especially when the organizations in question are not allowed to be political if they are to retain their tax exempt status. Honestly, if the IRS instead had targeted the religious organizations who were also being political (and thus, they would also rightly lose their tax exempt status), we'd have people on the religious right crying foul about 'religious freedom', simply because they got their hand caught in the cookie jar. This is political jockeying at its worst and deserves to be criticized, no matter who does it.

I get my news from a very large number of sources, AlterNet only being one in a very large bookmark file, and in this particular case the article is very well cited. I am always open to discussion, but if you are going to attack an argument based solely on the fact that I cited it from a particular source and don't bother to actually check the information out yourself, then the discussion can go nowhere but the nearest ditch.

EDIT: http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/175700/tomgram%3A_andy_kroll%2C_a_democracy_of_the_wealthy/#more

Here's another decent article that goes into detail on the abuse of 501(c)(4) non-profits, as well as Super PACs, as havens for a wealthy few to influence and manipulate elections.

 Pages PREV 1 2 3 4 5 NEXT

Reply to Thread

This thread is locked