IRS idea of “a few” turns out to be … 88

posted at 8:31 am on June 1, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

How many IRS employees were involved in targeting conservative groups for “extra scrutiny,” delays, and harassment?  The IRS insisted that the issue was limited to “a few low-level employees” in one office.  When it came time to secure computers and lock down files for investigators, though, the IRS concept of “few” seems a little … bloated:

The Internal Revenue Service has told House GOP investigators they have identified 88 IRS employees who may have documents relevant to the congressional investigation into targeting of conservative groups, according to a congressional source familiar with the investigation.

The IRS asked these employees to preserve all the “responsive documents” on their computers, and it has been in the process of collecting it all to comply with congressional requests for information. The IRS missed its May 21st deadline to turn over documents to the House Ways and Means Committee. …

The request for documents was a bipartisan one, but Republicans are privately preparing to seize on the fact that if nearly 90 IRS employees may have been somehow involved in this targeting, it is evidence that the controversy extends well beyond the mistakes by a few low level employees.

You think? The IRS says that the number simply reflects their desire to be responsive, which would be a first, but that doesn’t pass the laugh test.  If the practice was contained to just “a few” people working on their own without orders, there is no way that you’d have eighty-eight people connected to it.  Unless the IRS wants to argue that it’s supervision is so poor and ineffective that 88 employees can conspire to target people for their political beliefs and no one in authority would have the first clue about it, that’s an absurd posture to take.  Don’t bet against that argument getting rolled out at some point, though.

In related news, the IRS has also stiffed the Senate Finance Committee’s demand for documentation:

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) declined Friday afternoon to meet a Senate Finance Committee deadline for answering detailed questions about the origins of the IRS scandal. The questions had been submitted jointly nearly two weeks ago by Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT) and Ranking Member Orrin Hatch (R-UT).

In a joint statement to Breitbart News, Baucus and Hatch said:

“It’s disappointing that the IRS failed to produce any of the documents requested by the Committee.

“This is an agency that revolves around making the American taxpayer meet hard deadlines each and every year when they file their taxes, oftentimes penalizing those that are late.

“The IRS needs to do much better.”

It’s one thing to stiff the House, where Republicans control the Ways and Means Committee and the optics are a little (but not a lot) more partisan.  Baucus and Hatch took pains to make the Senate committee request bipartisan and reasonable, and yet … the IRS couldn’t bring itself to comply here, either.  If they want to leave the impression that they’re haughty and unaccountable — or more accurately, even more so than normally thought — they’re doing a bang-up job this month.

We may start seeing a few subpoenas from both chambers of Congress soon … and by “a few,” I could mean 88 or more.

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Comment pages: 1 2

“Direct” and “indirect” taxes are mostly semantics.

Count to 10 on June 1, 2013 at 9:15 AM

Not exactly. The real destructive power of the 16′th amendment and the ability of the federal government to lay a direct tax upon the people is that it destroys the fundamental framework of the Republic that is the underlying principle behind our constitutional form of government. When the federal government gained the ability to put its hands directly into the pockets of individual citizens, audit them, seize their wages, and determine the level of taxation over and above the level the states could set, the states became largely superfluous. That this is the case is evidenced by the degree of interest citizens show in national vs. state elections. The establishment of a regulatory, confiscatory, and tyrannical bureau like the IRS is a natural and necessary result of the establishment of the direct taxation power ceded to the federal government by the 16′th amendment. It is not a surprise that a statist would seize on that organization as the most logical and best way to mechanize his establishment of a federal tyranny.

… and placing the IRS in charge of Obamacare just further strengthens that march to tyranny.

This makes the Supreme Court decision by Benedict Roberts even more troubling and curious. Yes, the congress has the power to lay and collect taxes, but is specifically enjoined from laying a direct tax on individual citizens (i.e. head tax). The 16′th amendment allows a direct tax upon the people, but only in proportion to their income — i.e., the income tax. Obamacare is the ultimate head tax, it establishes a tax (by Benedict Roberts’ reasoning) upon each and every citizen of this United States simply by the fact that they breathe. The tax is not based in proportion to income but mere act of being and base cost of health insurance. Thus, Benedict Roberts should have rejected the argument that the authority to lay and collect taxes established the authority to establish ObamaTax

AZfederalist on June 1, 2013 at 12:32 PM

“What exactly is the news hook here?” asked Rick Kaplan, executive producer of the CBS Evening News. “Is this an upbeat human-interest story about a ‘day in the life’ of a bloodthirsty president who likes to kill people? Or is it more of an examination of how Obama’s unusual upbringing in Hawaii helped to shape the way he would one day viciously butcher two helpless citizens in their own home?”

“Or maybe the story is just that murder is cool now,” Kaplan continued. “I don’t know. There are a million different angles on this one.”

So far, the president’s double-homicide has not been covered by any major news outlets. The only two mentions of the heinous tragedy have been a 100-word blurb on the Associated Press wire and an obituary on page E7 of this week’s edition of the Lake County Examiner.

J_Crater on June 1, 2013 at 12:38 PM

The tip of the iceberg seems to be getting a lot bigger. I wonder if eric withholder and barky know anything yet.

VegasRick on June 1, 2013 at 12:40 PM

J_Crater on June 1, 2013 at 12:38 PM

I love those guys.

There’s been some debate around the office about whether we should report on this at all,” Washington Post senior reporter Bill Tracy said while on assignment at a local dog show. “It’s enough of a tragedy without the press jumping in and pointing fingers or, worse, exploiting the violence. Plus, we need to be sensitive to the victims’ families at this time. Their loved ones were brutally, brutally murdered, after all.”

VegasRick on June 1, 2013 at 12:44 PM

AZfederalist on June 1, 2013 at 12:32 PM

I have long believed that the 16th Amendment was the one that broke the camel’s back for this country. The amount of money pouring into the federal coffers after WWII is what has led to so much of the unconstitutional spending that DC does.

When combined with the 17th Amendment, we had the perfect festering ground for the pork barrel spending that we see today with Senators using money confiscated by the government to buy and keep their own position and therefore, power.

Sadly, many of us now exist merely to feed the beast.

Jvette on June 1, 2013 at 12:53 PM

Gonna need a larger jail Timmy.

“I was doing what I was told” is not a defense for the military and it won’t work here, either. They are still responsible for their actions.

TfromV on June 1, 2013 at 12:59 PM

The entire agency is obviously corrupt. There must have to have been a directive to route certain applications. And does anyone doubt that there are inter-agency communications regarding possible targets. IRS to TSA, TSA to FBI, IRS to DOL, etc. All to acquire targets, intimidate and destroy Americans for no reason other than they are for smaller government.

pat on June 1, 2013 at 1:06 PM

Mafiosos in the gov’t, listen up, you thugs.

Schadenfreude on June 1, 2013 at 1:45 PM

. IRS to TSA, TSA to FBI, IRS to DOL, etc. All to acquire targets, intimidate and destroy Americans for no reason other than they are for smaller government.

pat on June 1, 2013 at 1:06 PM

Pretty easy to obtain buy-in from the bureaucrats in those agencies since their livelihood depends upon a large and intrusive government.

AZfederalist on June 1, 2013 at 1:47 PM

Schadenfreude on June 1, 2013 at 1:45 PM

That lady did a great job.

AZfederalist on June 1, 2013 at 1:49 PM

That lady did a great job.

AZfederalist on June 1, 2013 at 1:49 PM

Yep.

VegasRick on June 1, 2013 at 1:54 PM

The Internal Revenue Service has told House GOP investigators they have identified 88 IRS employees who may have documents relevant to the congressional investigation into targeting of conservative groups, according to a congressional source familiar with the investigation.

Sorry but these people are like cockroaches. If they IRS says 88 the number is at least three times that. I’m guessing that any IRS employee tells people who ask that they work for Congress or as prostitute or something. Anything more honorable than what they actually do.

Happy Nomad on June 1, 2013 at 2:07 PM

Lois the scumhag was guilty long ago.

Schadenfreude on June 1, 2013 at 2:17 PM

That lady did a great job.

AZfederalist on June 1, 2013 at 1:49 PM

Send that around like lightening. I am, by the thousands.

Citizens must wake up.

They must wake the thugs at all levels, and remind them what they’re supposed to uphold. Otherwise…go home.

Schadenfreude on June 1, 2013 at 2:18 PM

AZfederalist on June 1, 2013 at 12:32 PM

Take a look at the 16th amendment:

The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census or enumeration.

See anything in there about “proportional to income”. It basically gave Congress unlimited power to tax income, with no restrictions. That was the mistake.
That the federal government can tax income independent of the states really isn’t the problem, it is that the drafters of that amendment completely failed to put any limits on it at all. If they had so much as stated that it had to be a function of income alone, as apposed to being dependent on other factors, that would have been an immense improvement, but, no, they had to throw the doors wide open.

On a related note, where exactly does the corporate tax fit into this? Did congress just decide that corporate profits fit under the definition of “income” in the amendment, or is there something else that authorized congress to tax corporate profits?

Count to 10 on June 1, 2013 at 2:22 PM

meh…it is the gubmint.

They needed 87 of those 88 to provide support to half a day’s work out of the other one.

Limerick on June 1, 2013 at 2:31 PM

There are thousands in the gov’t bureaucracy.

The reason the IRS one is a real big scandal – they fluked with their bureaucracy. The IRS will be loathed, for years to come, for exposing and endangering the gov’t trough.

These bureaucrats have become swine of the first rate.

They will loathe Obama, no matter who’ll be president in the future, for ruining their fat livelihood.

Schadenfreude on June 1, 2013 at 2:38 PM

Good times, at your expense.

Life is good for the Looters of the Land.

Schadenfreude on June 1, 2013 at 2:42 PM

The IRS asked these employees to preserve all the “responsive documents” on their computers, and it has been in the process of collecting it all to comply with congressional requests for information. The IRS missed its May 21st deadline to turn over documents to the House Ways and Means Committee. …

Will the IRS be following it’s OWN rules?

How long should I keep records?
http://www.irs.gov/Businesses/Small-Businesses-&-Self-Employed/How-long-should-I-keep-records%3F

The length of time you should keep a document depends on the action, expense, or event the document records. Generally, you must keep your records that support an item of income or deductions on a tax return until the period of limitations for that return runs out.
The period of limitations is the period of time in which you can amend your tax return to claim a credit or refund, or that the IRS can assess additional tax. The below information contains the periods of limitations that apply to income tax returns. Unless otherwise stated, the years refer to the period after the return was filed. Returns filed before the due date are treated as filed on the due date.
Note: Keep copies of your filed tax returns. They help in preparing future tax returns and making computations if you file an amended return.
1.You owe additional tax and situations (2), (3), and (4), below, do not apply to you; keep records for 3 years.
2.You do not report income that you should report, and it is more than 25% of the gross income shown on your return; keep records for 6 years.
3. You file a fraudulent return; keep records indefinitely
4. You do not file a return; keep records indefinitely.

NMRN123 on June 1, 2013 at 2:46 PM

Take a look at the 16th amendment:

The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census or enumeration.

See anything in there about “proportional to income”. It basically gave Congress unlimited power to tax income, with no restrictions. That was the mistake.
That the federal government can tax income independent of the states really isn’t the problem, it is that the drafters of that amendment completely failed to put any limits on it at all. If they had so much as stated that it had to be a function of income alone, as apposed to being dependent on other factors, that would have been an immense improvement, but, no, they had to throw the doors wide open.

On a related note, where exactly does the corporate tax fit into this? Did congress just decide that corporate profits fit under the definition of “income” in the amendment, or is there something else that authorized congress to tax corporate profits?

Count to 10 on June 1, 2013 at 2:22 PM

I’m not a lawyer, but it seems pretty clear — Congress can lay and collect taxes based upon income — that subservient clause is to state that it doesn’t matter how the income is derived, it is taxable. Thus my statement that income tax is in proportion to income. That may also be how the corporate income tax is justified. Corporations are considered persons under the law, and they derive income in some fashion, therefore it is taxable.

I don’t see how ObamaTax can be defined as a tax on income. ObamaTax is a tax on existence.

AZfederalist on June 1, 2013 at 2:49 PM

The original article also included this quote (emphasis mine):

“The IRS and Acting Commissioner Danny Werfel are moving aggressively and taking the data requests very seriously. As a precautionary measure, the IRS is casting a wide net to capture any potentially related materials. Our goal is to be exceedingly thorough during this process to ensure we identify any and all pertinent records,” the IRS statement said.

When they finally do provide information to Congress, be sure that they will claim that “this is all there is, so there’s no need to snoop any further”. And if you believe them, then there is a bridge in a quiet section of New York City that I would like to sell you.

Ordinary American on June 1, 2013 at 3:20 PM

I’m not a lawyer, but it seems pretty clear — Congress can lay and collect taxes based upon income — that subservient clause is to state that it doesn’t matter how the income is derived, it is taxable. Thus my statement that income tax is in proportion to income. That may also be how the corporate income tax is justified. Corporations are considered persons under the law, and they derive income in some fashion, therefore it is taxable.

I don’t see how ObamaTax can be defined as a tax on income. ObamaTax is a tax on existence.

AZfederalist on June 1, 2013 at 2:49 PM

There is nothing in there about proportionality. Presumably, by “taxes on income”, it doesn’t allow them to tax more than 100% of your income, but up to that, there are no limits. It goes completely against the idea of limited government that pervades the constitution, but that is the messed up amendment that was passed.

Looking up the history of the corporate income tax, it looks like Congress passed them into law multiple times before the 16th, but the courts kept striking them down.

This country would be much better off if we passed an amendment to prohibit any corporate tax, prohibit personal income tax credits, and limit personal income deductions to something like the EZ standard deduction (at most).

Count to 10 on June 1, 2013 at 3:37 PM

AZfederalist on June 1, 2013 at 12:32 PM

YES!

Jvette on June 1, 2013 at 12:53 PM

Even more YES!

That the federal government can tax income independent of the states really isn’t the problem,

Count to 10 on June 1, 2013 at 2:22 PM

I disagree. It’s exactly the problem. Well, one half of the problem. It removed the people from the purview of their respective states and made them one giant mass under the federal government. Once the people were removed from the sovereignty of the state, the federal government no longer had a check on its power. Once it started buying votes with that money, there was absolutely no stopping it.

This country would be much better off if….

Count to 10 on June 1, 2013 at 3:37 PM

The problem is, that leaves the national government still in charge. It leaves the most remote government bodies in the land reaching into your pockets every single day. The only way it will be cured – whether you abolish the IRS or not, and whether you build a “flat” tax or not – is if you return the power of the purse to the states.

GWB on June 1, 2013 at 3:46 PM

The problem is, that leaves the national government still in charge. It leaves the most remote government bodies in the land reaching into your pockets every single day. The only way it will be cured – whether you abolish the IRS or not, and whether you build a “flat” tax or not – is if you return the power of the purse to the states.

GWB on June 1, 2013 at 3:46 PM

So, that doesn’t fix anything — it will just be the state version of the IRS that is “reaching into your pockets every single day”. Presumably, without the 16th, the federal government could be funded by forcing the states to transfer some $8000 per resident to the treasury, but you can see that this would lead to constitutional crisis when a state spends too much and defaults on it’s Federal dues.

Count to 10 on June 1, 2013 at 4:18 PM

So, that doesn’t fix anything — it will just be the state version of the IRS that is “reaching into your pockets every single day”. Presumably, without the 16th, the federal government could be funded by forcing the states to transfer some $8000 per resident to the treasury, but you can see that this would lead to constitutional crisis when a state spends too much and defaults on it’s Federal dues.

Count to 10 on June 1, 2013 at 4:18 PM

Actually that’s not true. That was also prohibited by the Constitution as well. Take a look at some of the Federalist Papers. One of the arguments for adoption of the Constitution is that the Confederation of States had precisely that revenue model and that is what caused the collapse of the Confederation. The fact that Congress was given the power to lay and collect taxes was because the individual states often failed to meet their obligations and did cause a funding crisis. However, the federal government was not to be able to reach into the individual pockets of the citizens of the states ( that was the prohibition of a “capitation” tax in the Constitution), but taxes would be collected in interstate and foreign commerce. That model could still be workable.

AZfederalist on June 1, 2013 at 4:58 PM

Thanks.

rogerb on June 1, 2013 at 11:08 AM

That one is going to be useful, isn’t it?

Count to 10 on June 1, 2013 at 12:06 PM

…LOL!

KOOLAID2 on June 1, 2013 at 5:06 PM

It’s called impeachment.

Introduce articles of impeachment for all 88 persons on Monday morning.

In the United States, impeachment can occur both at the federal and state level. The Constitution defines impeachment at the federal level and limits impeachment to “The President, Vice President, and all civil officers of the United States” who may be impeached and removed only for “treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors”.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Impeachment#Impeachable_offenses

Force the Senate to hold a trial or pay the price in 2014.

Get off your rear ends, this is lawlessness!!!

patch on June 1, 2013 at 5:16 PM

This investigation is far from over, but no one wants to admit to the result. If the desired result was Democrats winning, it happened. How many people were scratching their heads on the Wednesday after the election? Let’s face it, the IRS successfully removed a great deal of political opposition from that election. Was that the stated goal? If it wasn’t, what was the goal? You can’t be this thorough without having a specific idea in mind.

Secondly, I believe they need to look in a couple of places, first at the administration, but also at the unions. If the union leadership found a way to get their members to do this while the leadership overlooked it, there’s good reason to decertify the union. I believe, after this, that’s something that should be looked at anyway..

bflat879 on June 1, 2013 at 5:25 PM

Ed,

As you no doubt are aware, the number of employees who actually improperly targeted certain taxpayers is necessarily a fraction of the number of custodians with possibly relevant documents. And of course, if the IRS narrowed its search, you would be the first to accuse it of failing to investigate the matter comprehensively.

You were once somewhat reasonable. These screeds (see also: your ridiculous perjury post re holder) are growing tiresome.

righty45 on June 1, 2013 at 6:03 PM

. These screeds (see also: your ridiculous perjury post re holder) are growing tiresome.

righty45 on June 1, 2013 at 6:03 PM

…go ahead and yawn!

KOOLAID2 on June 1, 2013 at 6:06 PM

You were once somewhat reasonable.

“If you don’t blunt your criticisms of 0dumba’s admininstration to my liking, you are the partisan hack, not I.” -rightylefty45

These screeds (see also: your ridiculous perjury post re holder) are growing tiresome.

rightylefty45 on June 1, 2013 at 6:03 PM

Would you like to be burped before you are put down for your nappy?

Anti-Control on June 1, 2013 at 7:04 PM

*points emphatically to the “DON’T FEED THE TROLLS – SHOOT THEM” sign*

Midas on June 1, 2013 at 7:06 PM

Honestly, I don’t see a way ‘back’ at this point; is there one?

It’s very much like north/south before the civil war – how does this resolve *without* violence at this point? And quite frankly, what the f*ck is wrong with this country that we haven’t *already* exploded into r3volution? I’m quite confident the founders would be disgusted with us, and kicking our asses for not having taken action already.

Midas on June 1, 2013 at 7:12 PM

*points emphatically to the “DON’T FEED THE TROLLS – SHOOT THEM” sign*

Midas on June 1, 2013 at 7:06 PM

Maybe you haven’t noticed, but KOOLAID2 & I are proud supporters of trollcotting!

FTR, making fun of trolls while not indulging them does not feed them…

Anti-Control on June 1, 2013 at 7:19 PM

numbers(words) just numbers(words)……..

what could go wrong.

RealMc on June 1, 2013 at 7:20 PM

IRS idea of “a few” turns out to be … 88

That’s pretty accurate … for any of the treasonous dopes working in the Barky admin. These idiots were only off by a factor of 29. Barky was off by a factor greater than 830 when he claimed, during his illegal and stupidity-filled 2008 campaign, that 10,000 had been killed in the Kansas tornado when the actual number was 12.

“reduce premiums by 3000%!!”

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on June 1, 2013 at 7:56 PM

The Crazy 88s

Soap Mactavish on June 1, 2013 at 12:31 PM

The number 88 is significant to the Chinese and they miss the Oldsmobile model for hearses.

Se Wikki for interesting facts about the number 8 to the dears in the Ancient Kingdom.

IlikedAUH2O on June 1, 2013 at 8:05 PM

IRS idea of “a few” turns out to be … 88

Actually the idea of one.

VorDaj on June 1, 2013 at 9:16 PM

Secondly, I believe they need to look in a couple of places, first at the administration, but also at the unions. If the union leadership found a way to get their members to do this while the leadership overlooked it, there’s good reason to decertify the union. I believe, after this, that’s something that should be looked at anyway..

bflat879 on June 1, 2013 at 5:25 PM

I’ve been waiting for someone to point this out.

When you ask “cui bono?” you must include the federal employee unions along with the Democratic Party and this administration (whose agenda is grow government at all costs).

When you ask how this could have been coordinated across agencies such as IRS, DOL, EPA, (i.e., the various agencies who fell upon the TrueTheVote sponsors) some have said it must have happened at the highest levels of the administration…but have you considered the NTEU and AFGE who span many if not all of these branches?

dave80 on June 1, 2013 at 9:56 PM

I have long believed that the 16th Amendment was the one that broke the camel’s back for this country. The amount of money pouring into the federal coffers after WWII is what has led to so much of the unconstitutional spending that DC does.

When combined with the 17th Amendment, we had the perfect festering ground for the pork barrel spending that we see today with Senators using money confiscated by the government to buy and keep their own position and therefore, power.

Sadly, many of us now exist merely to feed the beast.

Jvette on June 1, 2013 at 12:53 PM

and don’t forget the formation of the Federal Reserve System at about the same time.

Oddly enough, it wasn’t long after when we got our first taste of the modern “military industrial complex” when we were somehow dragged into WW I to “make the world safe for Democracy” and save us from the Evil Hun.

No, I don’t think we had any business being in that war.

Also strange that the Fed was meant to do away with financial panics, though not very long after it was formed we saw the Great Depression and several panics since then.

The whole thing really smells of little more than thievery at the highest levels of government and industry. Also interesting how these things neatly dovetail into Socialist aspirations, not just the money-grabbing caricatures of big shot Capitalists that the Left is so fond of.

Dr. ZhivBlago on June 1, 2013 at 10:31 PM

Orange.Jumpsuits.LegIrons.Should.Work.

mickytx on June 1, 2013 at 10:56 PM

can’t wait until my health care is under the control of these same, fervent, partisan hacks.

KMC1 on June 2, 2013 at 2:15 AM

. However, the federal government was not to be able to reach into the individual pockets of the citizens of the states ( that was the prohibition of a “capitation” tax in the Constitution), but taxes would be collected in interstate and foreign commerce. That model could still be workable.

AZfederalist on June 1, 2013 at 4:58 PM

Taxes on interstate and foreign commerce reach into individual pockets just as much as any other tax, but also penalize trade, reducing competition and making market capture easier. Worse, they are easier to politically manipulate than personal income taxes.

Count to 10 on June 2, 2013 at 8:44 AM

Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.
“Common Sense”
- Thomas Paine

The_Brewer on June 2, 2013 at 9:22 AM

88 Lone Wolfsies

Fleuries on June 3, 2013 at 12:12 PM

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