Double standard about the IRS

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    May 16, 2013 11:28 AM GMT
    http://www.salon.com/2013/05/14/on_scandals_obama_held_to_higher_standard_than_bush/

    "Considering the gravity of the allegations against the Obama IRS from the Treasury Department’s inspector general, congressional scrutiny is certainly warranted. However, there’s just one problem: most of the lawmakers and pundits today decrying the use of public resources against a White House’s political opponents had little – if anything – to say about equally troubling revelations about the Bush administration’s deployment of public resources against its opponents. In fact, conservatives said so little back then that Fox News apparently doesn’t even know (or is pretending not to know) the Bush administration used the IRS in the same way the Obama adminstration allegedly did.

    And here’s the even more incredible thing: the Bush cabal didn’t just use the IRS for its political hackery – it mounted a full-scale government-wide assault on its enemies, marshaling disparate agencies in its smear efforts."
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    May 16, 2013 11:29 AM GMT

    Meet the group the IRS actually denied

    http://www.salon.com/2013/05/15/meet_the_group_the_irs_actually_revoked_democrats/
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    May 16, 2013 11:35 AM GMT
    When the IRS targeted liberals

    http://www.salon.com/2013/05/14/when_the_irs_targeted_liberals/
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    May 16, 2013 12:20 PM GMT
    Thanks for sharing. I will be using this.
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    May 16, 2013 12:54 PM GMT
    dudewithabeard saidThanks for sharing. I will be using this.


    Heh - before you do... The funny thing is that anyone who uses these articles to reference double standards are fools and lack critical thought.

    Let's look at these articles - all from Salon - a fairly extreme online rag whose stock is behaving as if the company will die - probably because of its lack of readership... but that's admittedly ad hominem. Let's look at their arguments:

    http://www.salon.com/2013/05/14/on_scandals_obama_held_to_higher_standard_than_bush/

    Here's the "meat" of the article (for which they don't reference any supporting facts to support their opinions):

    Bush’s use of the IRS was but one part of that larger assault. As my Salon colleague Alex Seitz-Wald notes today in greater detail, in 2005, Bush’s IRS began what became an extensive two-year investigation into a Pasadena church after an orator dared to speak out against President Bush’s Iraq War. Not coincidentally, the Los Angeles Times reports that the church targeted just so happened to be “one of Southern California’s largest and most liberal congregations.” That IRS church audit came a year after it launched a near-identical attack on the NAACP after the civil rights organization criticized various Bush administration policies.


    This two year investigation was launched after political messaging from the pulpit. Complaints were launched against the church likely from conservatives because of the poltiical sermon in 2004 - this is how the Church's advocate in the interview characterized the sermon:

    That's when retired Pastor George Regas preached the sermon framed as a debate between George W. Bush, John Kerry and Jesus. In case you are wondering, Jesus wins. Regas stated he wasn't telling anyone how to vote and that a person's faith might lead him or her to choose either candidate. Mostly, the sermon strongly condemned the war in Iraq and the government's treatment of the poor.


    There's more here:
    [url]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/All_Saints_Episcopal_Church_(Pasadena,_California)[/url] (under IRS Investigation)

    This was completely above board, after a complaint of a violation of the terms that allows supporters to receive charitable deductions. Let's compare this with how tea party groups were treated by the IRS:

    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013/05/15/double-standard-irs-targeted-conservative-groups-despite-spike-in-applications/

    The Daily Caller also reported that Lerner in 2011 approved an application for the charity run by Obama's half brother -- the Barack H. Obama Foundation.

    While some Tea Party applications sat at the IRS office for years, the charity's application was approved within a month.


    Let's also not forget that the IRS illegally provided an application to NOM by another group with confidential financial information. Then there's the citing of the NAACP - where again, it was a high profile case of their violating the terms that allowed them to grant tax deductions. Then they run off on a tangent in the article to talk about straw men that are entirely unrelated to any sort of "double standard".

    And this supposedly compares with the subversive attack by the IRS with additional scrutiny and leaking of tax files? An attack that affected dozens if not considerably more organizations... Really?

    And then there's the "meet the group the IRS denied":
    http://www.salon.com/2013/05/15/meet_the_group_the_irs_actually_revoked_democrats/

    I fail to see the point here - organizations apply for the process, and they get an up or down - that's how it's supposed to work. But it didn't. In fact dozens of liberal organizations got approved while one didn't. Meanwhile, a lot more organizations just got stuck in limbo with greater scrutiny. And this is supposed to negate and be an example of a double standard?

    OK so hopefully, there's more detail here:
    http://www.salon.com/2013/05/14/when_the_irs_targeted_liberals/

    But nope, there were complaints, investigations launched that went nowhere... so much for "when the IRS targeted liberals". It's kind of rich to say that if you break the rules you shouldn't be investigated - or even if someone claims you broke them you shouldn't be investigated... but to call it targeting is rich - and simply laughably false.

    Oh and it does explain why Salon has lost so much of its readership... it might have something to do with the quality of its content.
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    May 16, 2013 1:48 PM GMT
    Riddler all I am going to say is NAACP under the Bush administration. Now go figure out what I am referring to and get back to us with a legitimate explanation and then I might be concerned about the IRS doing what they are supposed to be doing, scrutinizing organizations who are applying for tax exampt status. And since we know the right's history on this issue, tom delay, the fact that so many right wing groups were applying I am very grateful that each were inspected closely. Isnt their a saying about one bad apple ruining the bunch. Well there are more than enugh bad apples on the right. And the fact remains that none of them were denied that status despite their complete partisan agendas. This is a non-issue for me. I am ashamed that people are trying to defend doing their job. Now scurry on now.
  • musclmed

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    May 16, 2013 1:56 PM GMT
    dudewithabeard saidRiddler all I am going to say is NAACP under the Bush administration. Now go figure out what I am referring to and get back to us with a legitimate explanation and then I might be concerned about the IRS doing what they are supposed to be doing, scrutinizing organizations who are applying for tax exampt status. And since we know the right's history on this issue, tom delay, the fact that so many right wing groups were applying I am very grateful that each were inspected closely. Isnt their a saying about one bad apple ruining the bunch. Well there are more than enugh bad apples on the right. And the fact remains that none of them were denied that status despite their complete partisan agendas. This is a non-issue for me. I am ashamed that people are trying to defend doing their job. Now scurry on now.


    How interesting. You would defend a screening and a uneven hand given to groups you would disagree with.

    Sounds like you would prefer a Stalinist goverment.

    This is straight from the bible of the left "rules for radicals" The ends justify the means. Is that equal protection under the law?

    Is it right that personal IRS financial information was leaked to the liberal press?

    Well you can hand waive and justify this kind of action, but the visceral reaction of the majority of the American people will show you how wrong you are.

    You are absolutely wrong that "none of them were denied that status despite their complete partisan agendas." THE IRS ADMITTED IT, and the inspector general chronicled that many groups just dropped the process because of the intrusion and expense of providing information to the IRS

    Which national Democrat supports your assertions? I would say NO elected politician would take that position that it was justified.
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    May 16, 2013 4:07 PM GMT
    musclmed said
    dudewithabeard saidRiddler all I am going to say is NAACP under the Bush administration. Now go figure out what I am referring to and get back to us with a legitimate explanation and then I might be concerned about the IRS doing what they are supposed to be doing, scrutinizing organizations who are applying for tax exampt status. And since we know the right's history on this issue, tom delay, the fact that so many right wing groups were applying I am very grateful that each were inspected closely. Isnt their a saying about one bad apple ruining the bunch. Well there are more than enugh bad apples on the right. And the fact remains that none of them were denied that status despite their complete partisan agendas. This is a non-issue for me. I am ashamed that people are trying to defend doing their job. Now scurry on now.


    How interesting. You would defend a screening and a uneven hand given to groups you would disagree with.

    Sounds like you would prefer a Stalinist goverment.

    This is straight from the bible of the left "rules for radicals" The ends justify the means. Is that equal protection under the law?

    Is it right that personal IRS financial information was leaked to the liberal press?

    Well you can hand waive and justify this kind of action, but the visceral reaction of the majority of the American people will show you how wrong you are.

    You are absolutely wrong that "none of them were denied that status despite their complete partisan agendas." THE IRS ADMITTED IT, and the inspector general chronicled that many groups just dropped the process because of the intrusion and expense of providing information to the IRS

    Which national Democrat supports your assertions? I would say NO elected politician would take that position that it was justified.


    Is it not the job of the IRS to scrutinize the organizations? Was there not a huge influx of these groups during that time frame? Why should we not be wary of extremely partisan groups like these who made no attempts to hide their disdain for the president. Why would you assume that I think all Democrats have their wits? Why do you think any group should be considered special that doesn't provide for the impoverished so much that they deserve tax exemption? Did our founding fathers have that in mind? Why do you not show your face? What are you afraid of? Why should anyone take someone like you serious because of your what we can assume is fear?
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    May 16, 2013 4:14 PM GMT
    dudewithabeard saidIs it not the job of the IRS to scrutinize the organizations? Was there not a huge influx of these groups during that time frame. Why should we not be wary of extremely partisan groups like these who made no attempts to hide their disdain for the president. Why would you assume that I think all Democrats have their wits? Why do you think any group should be considered special that doesn't provide for the impoverished so much that they deserve tax exemption? Did our founding fathers have that in mind? Why do you not show your face? What are you afraid of? Why should anyone take someone like you serious because of your what we can assume is fear?


    Um disdain for the President? So basically target your political opposition with the IRS because they must be out to get the government? That seems like what you're saying...

    But with respect to actual factual points:
    http://reason.com/24-7/2013/05/15/data-doesnt-support-irs-explanation-for

    Applications for tax exemption from advocacy nonprofits had not yet spiked when the Internal Revenue Service began using what it admits was inappropriate scrutiny of conservative groups in 2010.

    In fact, applications were declining, data show.

    Top IRS officials have been saying that a “significant increase” in applications from advocacy groups seeking tax-exempt status spurred its Cincinnati office in 2010 to filter those requests by using such politically loaded phrases as “Tea Party,” “patriots,” and “9/12.”

    Both Steven Miller, the agency’s acting commissioner until he stepped down Wednesday, and Lois Lerner, director of the agency’s exempt-organization division, have said over the past week that IRS officials started the scrutiny after observing a surge in applications for status as 501(c)(4) “social welfare” groups. Both officials cited an increase from about 1,500 applications in 2010 and to nearly 3,500 in 2012. President Obama ask Mr. Miller to resign on Wednesday.

    The scrutiny began, however, in March 2010, before an uptick could have been observed, according to data contained in the audit released Tuesday from the Treasury Department’s inspector general for tax administration.


    Meanwhile a number of liberal groups got little to no scrutiny. Yes, one got rejected but at least there were rulings instead of administrative limbo for years.
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    May 16, 2013 4:26 PM GMT
    Stan24 saidhttp://www.salon.com/2013/05/14/on_scandals_obama_held_to_higher_standard_than_bush/

    "Considering the gravity of the allegations against the Obama IRS from the Treasury Department’s inspector general, congressional scrutiny is certainly warranted. However, there’s just one problem: most of the lawmakers and pundits today decrying the use of public resources against a White House’s political opponents had little – if anything – to say about equally troubling revelations about the Bush administration’s deployment of public resources against its opponents. In fact, conservatives said so little back then that Fox News apparently doesn’t even know (or is pretending not to know) the Bush administration used the IRS in the same way the Obama adminstration allegedly did.

    And here’s the even more incredible thing: the Bush cabal didn’t just use the IRS for its political hackery – it mounted a full-scale government-wide assault on its enemies, marshaling disparate agencies in its smear efforts."

    The difference was a Republican Congress for 6 of Bush's years, that turned a blind eye to all sorts of violations of law: illegal wars in Iraq & Afghanistan, Gitmo Bay detentions, waterboarding tortures, CIA black prisons, warrantless surveillance of US citizens, the list is endless.

    Only now does a Republican Congress suddenly find fault with far lesser issues involving the Obama Administration. Where was their outrage with Bush? Oh, that's right, Bush was a Republican. Total hypocrites. icon_confused.gif
  • musclmed

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    May 16, 2013 5:13 PM GMT
    dudewithabeard said
    musclmed said
    dudewithabeard saidRiddler all I am going to say is NAACP under the Bush administration. Now go figure out what I am referring to and get back to us with a legitimate explanation and then I might be concerned about the IRS doing what they are supposed to be doing, scrutinizing organizations who are applying for tax exampt status. And since we know the right's history on this issue, tom delay, the fact that so many right wing groups were applying I am very grateful that each were inspected closely. Isnt their a saying about one bad apple ruining the bunch. Well there are more than enugh bad apples on the right. And the fact remains that none of them were denied that status despite their complete partisan agendas. This is a non-issue for me. I am ashamed that people are trying to defend doing their job. Now scurry on now.


    Is it not the job of the IRS to scrutinize the organizations? Was there not a huge influx of these groups during that time frame? Why should we not be wary of extremely partisan groups like these who made no attempts to hide their disdain for the president. Why would you assume that I think all Democrats have their wits? Why do you think any group should be considered special that doesn't provide for the impoverished so much that they deserve tax exemption? Did our founding fathers have that in mind? Why do you not show your face? What are you afraid of? Why should anyone take someone like you serious because of your what we can assume is fear?


    What you are doing is providing a rationalization for the IRS to construct a screening and target conservative groups based on code words "limiting size of government" "Patriot" and "tea party". When any other group is given the status the conservative groups are scrutinized and burried with mountains of paper with questions such as " which books have you read" or do any of your members intend to run for office? , GIve us all your tweats and facebook page postings.

    It is AGAINST federal law for a government agency to discriminate based on political ideology. This is why the IRS apologized for it .

    Whether or not the 501.c3/c4 rules and laws are good ideas is a separate point. THE GOVERNMENT MUST BE NEUTRAL

    The next question is who gave these low level people the idea to focus on them , when a group like "media matters" gets its status in under 6 months.

    dudewithabeard
    Why should anyone take someone like you serious because of your what we can assume is fear?


    Why because I am right! You have yet to state one factual point that says what the IRS did was correct and advisable. And you are certainly in the small minority of Americans who think that is a good idea for the IRS to use its power to inhibit a certain ideology.

    Would you be stating the same point if somehow in the future another administration decided to target another ideology in such a grand and expansive manner.
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    May 16, 2013 5:20 PM GMT
    musclmed said
    dudewithabeard said
    musclmed said
    dudewithabeard saidRiddler all I am going to say is NAACP under the Bush administration. Now go figure out what I am referring to and get back to us with a legitimate explanation and then I might be concerned about the IRS doing what they are supposed to be doing, scrutinizing organizations who are applying for tax exampt status. And since we know the right's history on this issue, tom delay, the fact that so many right wing groups were applying I am very grateful that each were inspected closely. Isnt their a saying about one bad apple ruining the bunch. Well there are more than enugh bad apples on the right. And the fact remains that none of them were denied that status despite their complete partisan agendas. This is a non-issue for me. I am ashamed that people are trying to defend doing their job. Now scurry on now.


    Is it not the job of the IRS to scrutinize the organizations? Was there not a huge influx of these groups during that time frame? Why should we not be wary of extremely partisan groups like these who made no attempts to hide their disdain for the president. Why would you assume that I think all Democrats have their wits? Why do you think any group should be considered special that doesn't provide for the impoverished so much that they deserve tax exemption? Did our founding fathers have that in mind? Why do you not show your face? What are you afraid of? Why should anyone take someone like you serious because of your what we can assume is fear?


    What you are doing is providing a rationalization for the IRS to construct a screening and target conservative groups based on code words "limiting size of government" "Patriot" and "tea party". When any other group is given the status the conservative groups are scrutinized and burried with mountains of paper with questions such as " which books have you read" or do any of your members intend to run for office? , GIve us all your tweats and facebook page postings.

    It is AGAINST federal law for a government agency to discriminate based on political ideology. This is why the IRS apologized for it .

    Whether or not the 501.c3/c4 rules and laws are good ideas is a separate point. THE GOVERNMENT MUST BE NEUTRAL

    The next question is who gave these low level people the idea to focus on them , when a group like "media matters" gets its status in under 6 months.

    dudewithabeard
    Why should anyone take someone like you serious because of your what we can assume is fear?


    Why because I am right! You have yet to state one factual point that says what the IRS did was correct and advisable. And you are certainly in the small minority of Americans who think that is a good idea for the IRS to use its power to inhibit a certain ideology.

    Would you be stating the same point if somehow in the future another administration decided to target another ideology in such a grand and expansive manner.


    Why do you keep making assumptions about my political ideology. My beef isn't with one group being harped more than others. My beef is that who are the bennfeciaires of these organizations. Real charities have to jump through hoops to get these spefial statuses, like the one I am working with who someone non politcally associated will benefit from our organization. Are you following me yet?
  • musclmed

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    May 16, 2013 5:46 PM GMT
    dudewithabeard said
    musclmed said
    dudewithabeard said
    musclmed said
    dudewithabeard said
    Why do you keep making assumptions about my political ideology. My beef isn't with one group being harped more than others. My beef is that who are the bennfeciaires of these organizations. Real charities have to jump through hoops to get these spefial statuses, like the one I am working with who someone non politcally associated will benefit from our organization. Are you following me yet?


    Your right , its just a guess. But you also challenge my credibility by not having a "picture". Maybe just stick to the facts at hand.

    you can wonder about whether a political group should get tax exempt status. But for 50 years it has been happening. The group just has to be doing a majority of its work for education and public work. Whether as a public policy if that should be changed doesn't detract from the frank illegal act of making it harder and excluding based on a certain ideology.

    It also doesnt detract from the IRS from leaking personal information. Or auditing people who speak out against the government.

    I would agree that its probably advisable to allow tax exempt status to pure charities without political ties. But still that doesnt allow the IRS to decided to scrutinize applications from a certain political persuasion.
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    May 17, 2013 2:04 PM GMT


    Well it could be worse, you might be in Canada where our Conservative feds are floating the idea of contracting out our IRS (CRA) to a private US company.

    Riddler and our income tax records; social insurance numbers, history of employment, etc residence info, going to a US firm that can in turn subcontract it out to whomever.

    Luckily the Privacy Commisioner's office has been inundated with angry calls from Canadians not happy about their personal info crossing the border, much less ending up in a corporate (you can trust us) office.

    Ay yi yi.