Green Room

Did Obama Administration Illegally Review “Opponent’s” Tax Return?

posted at 1:43 pm on October 9, 2010 by

President Barack Obama’s habit of “naming names” of perceived opponents such as FOX News may be ugly, tasteless, and morally questionable, but his right to do so is guaranteed by the Constitution. However, his administration may have crossed the line by examining the tax records of a private corporation that funds conservative candidates and causes.

Recent remarks by a member of the administration concerning Koch Industries, a Kansas-based company, suggest the White House knows more about the corporation’s tax status than federal law permits. The remarks follow:

In this country, we have partnerships, we have [S corporations], we have [limited-liability companies], we have a series of entities that do not pay corporate income tax. Some of which are really giant firms—you know, Koch Industries is a multibillion-dollar business.

The Weekly Standard has asserted that the author of these comments is Austan Goolsbee, recently named chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers. Goolsbee has denied examining the confidential tax records of the company, an action that would violate Section 6103 of the Internal Revenue Code. The law states:

[N]o officer or employee of the United States … shall disclose any return or return information obtained by him in any manner in connection with his service as such an officer or an employee or otherwise or under the provisions of this section….

The Treasury Department’s inspector general for tax issues is now investigating whether administration officials had illegal access to taxpayer information or were inappropriately speculating in public about the company’s tax liability.

It is worth noting that the president has himself targeted Koch Industries in speeches. It is really high time for Obama to remember that he is president of all Americans and to stop singling out those individuals and organizations who disagree with his policies.

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It would surprise the daylights out of me if this bho and team DID NOT do this! The whole blooming bunch are scum! Not with just this but everything they all are involved in. I just hope to goodness after the Nov. elections we can get Issa and group to start hearings into all that has been happening since this bho was elected!

letget on October 9, 2010 at 1:58 PM

It’s very like — in fact, it’s pretty much exactly like — FDR’s war on high-ranking private businessmen, which was waged on trumped-up charges and inappropriate use of federal agency information, entirely for the purpose of seizing the men’s assets.

Americans need to wake up and realize that this kind of thing — abuse of federal agencies and the law itself — has already happened in this country. When we hear about it today, we should believe it can happen and take it seriously. If Koch’s rights can be violated, anyone’s can.

Congressional Democrats are mulling an out-and-out theft of millions of Americans’ assets during the lame-duck session. They’re after the 401(k)s again: they want to nationalize them as a means of “equalizing” the mismanaged union pensions that are in peril in so many situations. Unreal as it seems, you know the Democrats would pass it if many of them were gone in a few weeks anyway, and you know Obama would sign it. It’s all going to come down to 2-3 senators and the filibuster, if this thing gets legs.

J.E. Dyer on October 9, 2010 at 2:07 PM

It is really high time for Obama to remember that he is president of all Americans

“Remember” suggests that he knew it at one point. I’ve seen nothing to support that.

Maybe “learn” would be better?

malclave on October 9, 2010 at 2:21 PM

“The american people need to know whether or not their president is a crook. Well, I’m not a crook.”

We’ve heard all this before.

Sefton on October 9, 2010 at 2:21 PM

Didn’t the Clintons do this too? Were they ever really admonished for it?

I can see Obama and his goons pulling stunts like this, but I also don’t see any repurcussions for it either.

capejasmine on October 9, 2010 at 3:07 PM

The Clintons did this as well. The temptation to misuse power must be stronger than their will to do what is right and for the good of the country.

Kissmygrits on October 9, 2010 at 3:18 PM

How this has any chance of energizing the “middle” that the Donkeys desperately need in this election cycle is beyond me. Sure, it may energize the left – but who cares. Picking on a private enterprise that employs tens of thousands of people makes absolutely no sense.

A little note from Koch Industries’ website:

With a presence in nearly 60 countries and about 70,000 employees, Koch companies constantly seek to create the greatest value. They accomplish this by:

* Applying Market-Based Management®, Koch companies’ unique business philosophy that brings the power of the free market inside the businesses to maximize value creation and succeed long term.
* Fostering Principled Entrepreneurship™ and a culture that empowers employees to produce results and create real value.
Operating efficiently and safely, with a steadfast 10,000 percent compliance commitment.

Power of the free market – is their any wonder why BHO has selectively targeted this enterprise?

Neo-con Artist on October 9, 2010 at 3:57 PM

their = there


Neo-con Artist on October 9, 2010 at 3:58 PM

Nearly every administration since the 40’s has leaned on somebody or another in the manner of street cops: “maybe we can’t send you to jail, but we can make life a real pain.”

Sometimes it’s done for good reasons. Sometimes for bad. The is definitly the latter.

Dark-Star on October 9, 2010 at 4:29 PM

What a hilarious bunch of crap.

Mr Portnoy, what’s happened to you that you’ll print any and every bit of groundless gossip?

Was it Obama’s party affiliation, his skin color, or what?

audiculous on October 9, 2010 at 6:06 PM

His skin color.

Howard Portnoy on October 9, 2010 at 7:07 PM

Howard Portnoy,
a point for you.

You surprised me there.

I was taught not to ask a question unless I knew the answer, but also taught not to expect a truthful answer.

More seriously, why run with something so very, very thin?
There’s nothing that raises the question about illegality above gossip.

Furthermore, the final paragraph trying to link this directly to Obama is simply terrible without some fleshing out.

What possible impropriety can you suggest about a president saying (what?) unspecified things about an organization run by people who are political opponents owning vast wealth and spending million of dollars to frustrate the president’s initiatives and policies?

Political speech has never been foregone by our presidents, Mr Portnoy, so why is this president different from all others?

If you’ve got something showing Obama to have transgressed against Koch Industries, put it on the table.
A quotation, a link, something of substance……

audiculous on October 9, 2010 at 8:06 PM

Actually, Audiculous, the point is that you have been played.

You and your fellow racist Obama Party members believe that, since Obama is black, he can do no wrong — and thus, any criticism of his behavior must be based solely on his skin color and is invalid.

We are aware of the fact that you are a racist. That’s why you receive the answers that you do; it’s a simple matter of recognizing that you are incapable of acknowledging or comprehending any answer that doesn’t invoke Obama’s skin color.

Now, let’s go to this:

I was taught not to ask a question unless I knew the answer

Then why would you ask the question?

You have no intention of changing your mind or making any rational evaluation of the facts. You have already made the decision before hearing the answer to the question.

That is typical of racists and bigots, and you qualify under both counts.

northdallasthirty on October 10, 2010 at 12:25 AM

So Obama really IS the reincarnation of FDR.


uknowmorethanme on October 10, 2010 at 11:30 AM

If you’ve got something showing Obama to have transgressed against Koch Industries, put it on the table.
A quotation, a link, something of substance……

audiculous on October 9, 2010 at 8:06 PM

Like this one? Douche. They are guilty, but because you people don’t give a crap about your overlords breaking the law, you will again deny, distract, and ignore.

uknowmorethanme on October 10, 2010 at 11:32 AM


I’m sorry for your confusion if you think that constitutes something substantial.

A review of an allegation isn’t. There’s nary even a hint that there’s backing for the allegation.

Dunce cap.

audiculous on October 10, 2010 at 12:36 PM

I’m not a member of the Dems, did not vote for Obama, and am not a fan.

Thanks anyway.

audiculous on October 10, 2010 at 12:40 PM

It is really high time for Obama to remember that he is president of all Americans and to stop singling out those individuals and organizations who disagree with his policies.

Actually, to the contrary we should REQUIRE Obama to list ALL those individuals and organizations who disagree with his policies. It is the only way this elitist might actually start to comprehend that he is opposed by the MAJORITY of Americans.

in_awe on October 11, 2010 at 1:05 PM

If anyone noticed, in his Minnasota speech he said he was speaking to Democrats and “progressives”, which is just another name for Socialist. He made a clear distiction between the two; one being his party that embraced his socialist agenda and now is backing off from it and the progressive socialist who’s ideology and goals are the ones he is guided by, who are losing faith that he can deliver.

It was no wonder that he left town when the One Nation rally was taking place. His first affliation, the Communist Party USA was very visably there. Recall that Frank Davis, the Moscow appointed board member of the CPUSA was his mentor as a child and teenager.

Did anyone notice that all the signs in the official video they released had all the signs in the crowd blurred out so that nothing could be read, or those two color pasted pink ones that appear to have nothing on them.

Franklyn on October 12, 2010 at 1:34 AM