Quotes of the day

posted at 8:31 pm on May 11, 2013 by Allahpundit

A bedrock principle of U.S. democracy is that the coercive powers of government are never used for partisan purpose. The law is blind to political viewpoint, and so are its enforcers, most especially the FBI and the Internal Revenue Service. Any violation of this principle threatens the trust and the voluntary cooperation of citizens upon which this democracy depends.

So it was appalling to learn Friday that the IRS had improperly targeted conservative groups for scrutiny. It was almost as disturbing that President Obama and Treasury Secretary Jack Lew have not personally apologized to the American people and promised a full investigation…

The agency said that it now has rules in place to make sure this sort of thing never happens again. How could such basic safeguards not have existed in the first place? And what are the new rules? In response to our questions, officials did not say.

***

Ms. Lerner’s version of the story is that three things happened independently of one another:

First, “line people” — that’s IRS-speak for grunts — decided, on their own and with no direction from above, to create a special category of organizations applying for tax-exempt status: “Tea Party and Patriot” organizations. Ms. Lerner says that other organizations may have been specifically named, but when challenged could not think of one, and then added: “I only said that because I don’t like to say ‘absolutely not.’ But I don’t know.”

Second, that batch of applicants was delayed for an unusual period of time. Ms. Lerner said that this was the result of an unusually large number of applications coming in, but applications for tax-exempt status have been growing quickly since 2008 — making 2012’s bumper crop something less than an unforeseeable circumstance.

Third, and perhaps most troubling, those tea-party organizations were sent letters of inquiry demanding information that would seldom if ever be demanded of any other applicant in the process. The IRS demanded lists of donors, names of spouses and family members, detailed information about political views and associations — all of that “under penalties of perjury.” Many applicants dropped out of the process. The questions were remarkably invasive: For example, the IRS demanded to know not only whether political candidates participated in public forums conducted by the groups, but which issues were discussed, along with copies of any literature distributed at the forum and material published on websites. (The IRS has been less forthcoming with its own materials related to this investigation.) If the organizations collected dues, the IRS demanded to know how much they were. It demanded everything down to the résumés of employees. The inquiry was not limited to members of the organization, its executives, or its directors, but included even their family members: The IRS demanded to know — again, under penalty of perjury — whether any of their family members might be thinking about running for office. Its demand for the names of all donors — and all recipients of grants — is in violation of IRS policy.

***

House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) issued the following statement today condemning the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for targeting conservative groups and applauding House Republican members for their efforts to hold the administration accountable:

“The admission by the Obama administration that the Internal Revenue Service targeted political opponents echoes some of the most shameful abuses of government power in 20th-century American history. Today, we are left with serious questions: who is ultimately responsible for this travesty? What actions will the Obama administration take to hold them accountable? And have other federal agencies used government powers to attack Americans for partisan reasons? House Republicans have made oversight of federal agencies a top priority on behalf of the American people, and I applaud the work that members such as Charles Boustany, Darrell Issa and Jim Jordan have done to bring this issue to light. I also strongly support Sen. McConnell’s call for a transparent, government-wide review to ensure similar practices are not happening elsewhere in the federal bureaucracy.”

***

Organizations that had been pressing for more aggressive enforcement of tax-exemption laws reacted with alarm. Lisa Gilbert, the director of Public Citizen’s Congress Watch division, said the I.R.S. should not be targeting any particular political ideology. But, she said, questioning applicants for tax exemption to determine whether they were primarily political was entirely proper and should be more widely pursued.

“We don’t think it’s inappropriate to ask questions,” she said. “Tax-exempt groups are abusing their tax status to pursue political agendas.”

Under current law, tax-exempt 501(c)(4) organizations are supposed to be “primarily” engaged in social welfare work. In practice, groups like the conservative Crossroads GPS and the liberal Priorities USA appear to spend virtually all their efforts trying to sway elections.

***

It’s important to understand that the timing of these requests, in the middle of the 2012 campaign, had the effect of stifling political activity. The targeted groups had tax-exempt status that allowed them to participate in certain kinds of political messaging. But any such group receiving IRS missives is immediately going to become cautious, lest it risk the arbitrary wrath of some tax official. The speech-squelching effects may have been especially important in Ohio, which was ground zero in the battle for the White House.

Ms. Lerner’s apology on Friday was unexpected but we’re doubtful that it came as a sudden bolt of conscience. The mea culpa lands ahead of an official report on the tax-fishing incidents by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration. That report was requested by House Oversight Chairman Darrell Issa and Ohio Republican Representative Jim Jordan in June 2012, and the IG is expected to issue its findings soon.

The incident is particularly rich in light of recent efforts by campaign finance reformers to broaden the powers of the IRS and other non-expert agencies to regulate politics, especially nonprofits. The latest campaign finance disclosure bill sponsored by Senators Ron Wyden (D., Ore.) and Lisa Murkowski (R., Alaska), would force trade organizations and 527 and 501(c) groups to disclose their donors, institute real-time reporting requirements and impose draconian penalties for noncompliance.

***

For the past few years, Republican lawmakers have sought to slash the funding of the IRS. Reducing the agency’s budget makes it more difficult for it to collect taxes and audit individuals. (Score one for Republicans who dislike high taxes).

But, more importantly, the IRS is also one of the key agencies that will implement the Affordable Care Act. Much of the funding stream for the incoming health care law, arguably the president’s signature legislative achievement, comes from two tax increases: a 3.8 percent hike on investment income for wealthy individuals, estates, and trusts, as well as an additional Medicare tax.

By stripping the IRS of money, the Republicans are indirectly trying to attack the roll-out of the health care law that begins in 2014.

Now, the news that rogue, low-level IRS agents in Ohio investigated conservative groups improperly just adds fuel to the Republicans’ bashing.

***

So many Americans knew this was happening, but many felt defenseless and even helpless against a government that seems to roll along without accountability or sense of obligation to the people it’s supposed to serve. These Americans were mocked for being concerned about this, but now we see light shining on the truth, finally.

This IRS revelation is another step in the unraveling of the Obama administration’s self-proclaimed “hope and change.” Between the Benghazi cover-up and the IRS targeting Obama’s political opponents, we see the corruption at the heart of big government.

Americans should remember that this same corrupt IRS will be in charge of enforcing Obamacare. And this same inept and corrupt government will supposedly secure our now unsecured borders in advance of immigration reform and will implement a completely ethical and non-political IPAB panel to make life and death health care decisions for you and your family. Forgive me for not trusting these big government promises any more than I trust the White House’s latest Benghazi spin or the IRS’ fairness.

***

***

Via Mediaite.

***

Via Newsbusters.

***



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Comment pages: 1 3 4 5

canopfor on May 12, 2013 at 1:55 AM

Night Canada. :) Thanks for the link, in particular. :) Have a great mother’s day weekend.

Axe on May 12, 2013 at 1:56 AM

Axe:And,you too:)

canopfor on May 12, 2013 at 1:58 AM

Later on, y’all.

Till next time…

either orr on May 12, 2013 at 1:58 AM

My brain’s relaxed.

Axe on May 12, 2013 at 1:33 AM

FIFY

Resist We Much on May 12, 2013 at 1:59 AM

Sorry to have missed you Dire. Good Evening to you as well. ; ) I think I was sleeping.

Bmore on May 12, 2013 at 2:02 AM

Nite Canop!
Wish Mrs Canop
a Happy Mothers Day!

bazil9 on May 12, 2013 at 2:05 AM

canopfor on May 12, 2013 at 1:55 AM Enjoyed it as always..Later Friend..:)

Dire Straits on May 12, 2013 at 2:05 AM

My brain’s relaxed.

Axe on May 12, 2013 at 1:33 AM

FIFY

Resist We Much on May 12, 2013 at 1:59 AM

At least nothing’s hyphenated. (Twitter). :)

Want me to cook you a special dinner tomorrow? You’ll have to come and get it, though. I’m not driving 50,000 miles. :)

I would, of course. I just can’t afford the gas. Apparently — come to find out — they limit the amount of plasma they’ll buy from you, even in an emergency. Something about it being unhealthy to go without it. I dunno. I don’t make the rules. They also won’t let you sell anyone else’s, no matter how many homeless people are around.

Axe on May 12, 2013 at 2:06 AM

Eye have 1 eye open..
time to go grip my pillow tight.
Exit light.

Nite y’all.
Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms..
You sure do deserve it!

buh bye.

bazil9 on May 12, 2013 at 2:07 AM

“A bedrock principle of U.S. democracy is that the coercive powers of government are never used for partisan purpose. The law is blind to political viewpoint, and so are its enforcers, most especially the FBI and the Internal Revenue Service. Any violation of this principle threatens the trust and the voluntary cooperation of citizens upon which this democracy depends.”

We are a Nation of Laws…

… or we are not.

Make your choice and contact your elected representative and let them know if you agree or disagree…

… It’s up to you!

Seven Percent Solution on May 12, 2013 at 2:12 AM

buh bye.

bazil9 on May 12, 2013 at 2:07 AM

Night b9. :)

Later on, y’all.

Till next time…

either orr on May 12, 2013 at 1:58 AM

*eyes potential replacement suspiciously*

Axe on May 12, 2013 at 2:12 AM

Last Axe standing?

Going to go stare at my very own Predictable History, Unpredictable Past page, which is some sort of comment about my temporary inability to speak action sounds, which was, like, totally exaggerated, and only lasted a couple of weeks, only lasted while this and that caught up with each other and everything. I was taken off-guard. <- hyphenated

Then, feeling like the king of the world — she made me a page :) — I'm going to pass out beneath Twelfth Night.

And the only reason I get to tell you all this detail is because most of you froods have passed out, what with the wimpiness, and now I get to tell you what I’m really thinking, and you have to take it, what with the wimpiness. :) Not applicable to lurkers.

Happy Mother’s Day, moms.

Night Resist. Sleep tight. Try not to drool so much. :) But it’s OK when you do, so don’t sweat it.

Night everyone.

Axe on May 12, 2013 at 2:45 AM

Axe,

Your very own predicthistpredictpast page! :) That made me smile.

I’m still up because I’ve been baking gingerbread tonight, and I’ve a few more dishes. I came back to take a break. My son is here for Mother’s Day. This coming Saturday he’s getting married, and it’s so nice to have him here. I make killer gingerbread, and it’s a favorite of my kids. It’s my parting gift of motherly love to him before next weekend. :)

INC on May 12, 2013 at 3:09 AM

I thought the IRS hired 15,000 new employees. Why couldn’t they handle a few extra applications??? Or were those just brown shirts they hired?

txhsmom on May 12, 2013 at 3:19 AM

So then, I take it I’m late? Oh well, better luck tomorrow.

txhsmom on May 12, 2013 at 3:24 AM

Replace the intrusive, anti-American—frankly, fascist—IRS income tax regime with a national sales tax, and poof, no more IRS. Seriously, this is not a pipe-dream, taxes will still be collected and everything will be fine—much better, actually—revenue will increase because of the tremendous weight of corruption that will be lifted from The Peoples shoulders. The wealth gap between the rich and poor will begin to tighten again. The efficiency of American society would skyrocket dramatically once the IRS and all of the costs of compliance are ended. Even some of the cronies would benefit, although probably to a lesser extent than IRS corruption, or else the money people who buy our government wouldn’t fight us on this. No more corrupt, crony, unpatriotic, oppressive big-government Goliath intruding into our private lives where it doesn’t belong in a free country.

While the D and R establishments and their cronies, (many of the same cronies on both sides), rely on IRS corruption to ‘feed the pig’ and will fight attempts to terminate the IRS, they are only a small minority of the people overall. Getting rid of the IRS is not an extremist position. Washington State, for one, is a relatively successful state and I don’t believe has ever had an income tax. The government class in DC and their MSM cronies will call this extremist but the new media will shine through their propaganda BS, (which is also what’s forcing them to report on Benghazi and the IRS corruption scandal). The tea party and liberty movements will win with this issue because the overwhelming share of the American People will be on our side. Before long most people will realize it’s the ruling class that are the extremists and, with some reminders, that most of the opposition in the beltway is from crooked politicians and their cronies.

I think that if we make one of the main issues of the ’14 election getting rid of the crooked IRS and replacing it with a national sales tax with Tim Eymanesque safeguards, the tea party and liberty movements will win in another landslide.

But beware: the ruling class will know that their opposition to reform is tenuous in light of this IRS scandal and will play along—but only for a while. The GOP, and some Democrats will pretend to be out for IRS blood to try to appease the masses for most it will be a ruse, they will not easily surrender their IRS gestapo powers over the American people. They will have to be dragged kicking and screaming all the way to the cliff and several will have to be, figuratively speaking, thrown over the edge before the rest will finally give in. If they don’t then the American people need to throw them all over the edge. While some of the individual investigators of the IRS corruption scandal in Congress may be sincere, others will work so that the investigations drag on and on and turn up little if anything. There are several Republicans that have exposed themselves lately, they need to be Primaried, and it’s not necessary to wait until congressional investigations of this scandal are complete to begin the effort to eliminate the corrupt IRS and change to the national sales tax.

FloatingRock on May 12, 2013 at 3:29 AM

If we terminate the IRS I bet the suicide rate will be substantially reduced.

FloatingRock on May 12, 2013 at 3:35 AM

One of the excuses that crooked politicians will use to justify IRS gestapo powers over us is that otherwise it would make the War on Drugs harder because money laundering might be harder to detect. My answer to that is it’s long past time to end the War on Drugs, especially if it requires the IRS gestapo.

FloatingRock on May 12, 2013 at 3:47 AM

A bedrock principle of U.S. democracy is that the coercive powers of government are never used for partisan purpose

“…never used for political purposes…”

Fixed that!

Don L on May 12, 2013 at 5:15 AM

Death is a part of life and we have to make life a part of death.

That’s such a nonsensical and shameless statement dredged up to rationalize using people as throwaways …

First they came for the unborn….

Don L on May 12, 2013 at 5:32 AM

Hmmmm….

“CBS News President David Rhodes and ABC News President Ben Sherwood, both of them have siblings that not only work at the White House, that not only work for President Obama, but they work at the NSC on foreign policy issues directly related to Benghazi…”

So stated political consultant and media commentator Richard Grenell on Saturday’s Fox News Watch (video follows with transcript and commentary):

RICHARD GRENELL: I think the media’s becoming the story, let’s face it. CBS News President David Rhodes and ABC News President Ben Sherwood, both of them have siblings that not only work at the White House, that not only work for President Obama, but they work at the NSC on foreign policy issues directly related to Benghazi. Let’s call a spade a spade.

Let’s also show you why CNN did not go very far in covering these hearings because the CNN deputy bureau chief, Virginia Moseley, is married to Hillary Clinton’s deputy, Tom Nides. It is time for the media to start asking questions why are they not covering this. It’s a family matter for some of them.

JON SCOTT, HOST: So they don’t want to bring embarrassment upon folks who, who they’re close to?

GRENELL: Who directly are related to this story. Absolutely. They’re covering for them. There’s no question about it.

For the record, Ben Sherwood’s sister, Dr. Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall, is the Special Assistant to Barack Obama.

Virginia Moseley’s husband, Tom Nides, is the Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources.

Presidents of ABC and CBS News Have Siblings Working at White House With Ties to Benghazi

As for David Rhodes’ brother Ben, he is Obama’s Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communication.

As ABCNews.com reported Friday, Rhodes was a key player in revising the White House’s Benghazi talking points last September:

Consider, too, that CBS News executives possibly including Rhodes have allegedly come down on their own investigative reporter Sharyl Attkisson for “wading dangerously close to advocacy on” Benghazi.

If Attkisson gets the boot, it could very well be with a foot attached to the brother of an Obama administration official directly involved in the cover-up…”

Read more: http://newsbusters.org/blogs/noel-sheppard/2013/05/11/fox-abc-and-cbs-news-presidents-have-siblings-working-white-house-tie#ixzz2T4Q7xohm

workingclass artist on May 12, 2013 at 5:51 AM

workingclass artist on May 12, 2013 at 5:51 AM

absolutely incredible. Why doesn’t the Republican controlled congress investigate this?

renalin on May 12, 2013 at 6:39 AM

renalin on May 12, 2013 at 6:39 AM

squishy

cmsinaz on May 12, 2013 at 7:51 AM

O/T: National Biometric Database Hidden in Immigration Bill
Everybody sing: “I’ve got this feeling somebody’s watching me…”
My take.

kingsjester on May 12, 2013 at 8:21 AM

Joe Scarborough?…LOL..Please, he’s one of the least credible sources possible.

DevilsPrinciple on May 12, 2013 at 10:58 AM

Shall we hold Democrats to their own standards?

’He has, through his subordinated and agents, endeavored…to cause, in violation of the constitutional rights of citizens, income tax audits or other income tax investigation to be initiated or conducted in a discriminatory manner,’

— Section 1, Article 2, the impeachment articles of Richard Nixon.

Drafted by House Democrats with Hillary Clinton on staff, btw

Anil Petra on May 12, 2013 at 8:44 PM

Unless drastic changes are made very soon, can anyone seriously deny that Obamacare’s Death Panels will be used to deny health care to political opponents?

landlines on May 13, 2013 at 1:42 AM

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