The Other I.R.S. Scandal

***Edit***: This post went up with words clipped and shortened. I’m not sure why, but the intended draft is below. Sorry for the weirdness.

Yesterday, President Obama rightly disciplined two I.R.S. employees for unfairly targeting conservative groups and the IRS’ acting director Steven Miller resigned. Wonderful. I’m glad someone’s taking the fall. (***Edit***: Looking back, it’s unclear what role Miller had in any of this, so while it’s good to see action, this is really more symbolic than anything else.)

However, there’s another scandal that’s been taking place at the IRS and it’s gone completely under the radar.

Last October (and years before that, too), on “Pulpit Freedom Sunday,” more than 1,500 pastors endorsed a candidate for President during church in complete violation of the law. They did it openly and proudly, people documented them doing it, the material was sent to the I.R.S. … and nothing happened.

An actual church sign

Past of the reason is bureaucracy. A “high-level” employee had to authorize the audits and there was no one around who fit that description. There appeared to be no rush to fill that position, either.

Rev. Barry Lynn of Americans United for Separation of Church and State explains why this is such a big deal:

These activities are not permitted. No tax-exempt, 501(c)(3) organization — religious or non-religious — can engage in behaviors designed to intervene in an election by endorsing or opposing a candidate. This is so because one of the conditions of tax exemption (which is very lucrative benefit) is that the groups holding it must refrain from this type of overt partisan politicking.

But some houses of worship do it anyway. They openly violate the law and even brag about it…

If the IRS wants to be more aggressive and crack down on law-breakers, it need not spend time subjecting Tea Party groups to extra scrutiny because someone decides their names raise red flags or an official frets that they might possibly step over some political lines.

That’s all theoretical. Meanwhile, there are houses of worship breaking the law right now by endorsing or opposing candidates. That’s not theoretical. They are doing it. And they’re doing it openly.

We’re talking about millions of dollars that should not be in the hands of these churches… if only the I.R.S. would do something about it.

If these churches played by the rules, we wouldn’t have this problem, but we know that we can’t count on churches to do the right thing on their own. They have to be monitored. Church/state watchdog groups like AU have already done the work for the I.R.S., but it’s up to the government to take the next step.

Of course, it’d be better if churches were taxed… but in the meantime, if they want to violate the law, they need to pay the price.

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • Mihangel apYrs

    Hemant
    you appear to have overlooked that the organisations that were interrogated more strictly were those that appeared to have a distinctly politically partisan name, suggesting that they were not apolitical.

    Merely a thought

    • JET

      They’re alleging that records were searched based on “Tea Party” or “Patriot” in their title, but not “Progressive” or some other term that might be construed as leaning to the left.

      • http://twitter.com/listamatic Listamatic

        Yet at the end of the day, not a single “Tea Party” group was denied 501(c)(4) status because they were too political, but one progressive group was.

        I agree this is pretty much a non-issue, but the IRS had every reason to target these groups for scrutiny. They were all political groups, and based on the current laws regarding 501(c)(4) non-profits, they cannot be primarily political.

        Read about Emerge America. They had their status revoked and were forced to pay taxes on the donations they received and had to reveal their donor lists. They’re a Democratic group for Women Voters.

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Brian-Macker/518709704 Brian Macker

          I know it is very confusing that the name is “Tea Party” but it is not a political party. Shouldn’t be hard to educate yourself however. Your first sentence is fairly deceptive. The were never denied, just never accepted. Problem you need to be accepted and the IRS was being so intrusive that many just gave up, Funny, if blacks were being denied voter registration status for several years you wouldn’t think a delay was a non-issue just so long as they never actually got a rejection letter in the mail.

          • http://twitter.com/listamatic Listamatic

            501(c) status isn’t a right, and it’s a title you have to apply for. Comparing it to a social rights issue is a terrible analogy as they are entirely different.

            “Tea Party” is not a political party akin to Republican or Democrat, and I never implied so, if you read and comprehended my post instead of replying with a few choice words to make me sound like a weasel.

            A delay in receiving a 501(c) status is not a violation of rights. If you think so, you might need to re-read the constitution bill of rights. No one has the right to accept money tax free from anonymous donors with the _PRIMARY_ purpose of engaging in a political election in the first, second, and third perspectives of the person running for office, or driving for a change of law.

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Brian-Macker/518709704 Brian Macker

          I read about Emerge and there was nothing compelling. They were denied a different status, which allows donors to deduct from their taxes. So of course they need the list to make sure those donors don’t use the write off. The T-Party groups were applying for a different status which did not involve the ability of donors to deduct.

  • Brockness Mobster

    Didn’t the FFRF sue the IRS a few months ago?

    • http://www.facebook.com/theo.fensivatheist Theo Fensivatheist

      They did, i should go see what they’re saying about it, i expect they’re still waiting on a response. The gears of Gov’ & all that.

  • Thin-ice

    This is why the outrage over the IRS looking into Tea Party “charities” is itself an outrage. Clearly some of them were breaking the law and endorsing candidates. And another outrage is exactly as Hemant suggests, that the IRS gives churches a blank check to be as political as they want.

    • Stev84

      The Tea Party thing is a little different. They are 501(c)(4)s. Which means “social welfare” organizations. If at that point you do a “WTF?!” when reading “tea party” and “social welfare” in the same sentence you would be right. As written the rules say they they need to be “exclusively” apolitical. But back in 1959, they interpreted that to mean “primarily”. So they can do some politics, though no one knows how much.

      But those Tea Party scams are 100% political. The reason they went for the (4) designation is that it allows to them to keep their donors secret and thus funnel their Citizen United-enabled dark money into political campaigns unhindered. They should never have been given that status in the first place!

      Unfortunately – thanks in large parts to the Republicans – the IRS doesn’t have the money and personnel to audit all tax-exempt organizations. So it’s no surprise they took some shortcuts.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Brian-Macker/518709704 Brian Macker

        You certainly have some selective blinders on. How exactly is an organization that is trying to prevent politicians from flushing the country down the economic toilet not about social welfare? Why do leftist groups, in your mind, not classify as political when they advocate for political positions, and for the government funneling money to them?

        • http://www.facebook.com/eukota Darrell Ross

          Substantiate your claims.

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Brian-Macker/518709704 Brian Macker

            Which claims do you wish me to substantiate? You aren’t aware that organizations like Acorn, Planned Parenthood, and environmental groups get government funds to piss away?

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Brian-Macker/518709704 Brian Macker

      Baloney. Clearly the applicants that were being unlawfully harassed were well within their lawful rights. Which is why the FBI is now investigating the activities of the IRS over this. But keep listening to those voices in your head instead of reading the news. There has been zero news on any T-Party members breaking any laws. This was all based on opposition to the positions of these groups just like when they denied status for gay rights groups because they thought they were going to teach our children to be homos. Plus another ignorant claim you are making is that these are pretend charities. Sorry, your biased imagination is wrong again. They were NOT applying as charities, but as educational organizations. Guess what, they are and you are in dire need of their help.

  • http://www.facebook.com/theo.fensivatheist Theo Fensivatheist

    I’m not American so am not directly affected by this but if i was from the US, i would be DEMANDING answers from my representatives. This is so outrageous & i suspect it’s been happening for years.

    • Stev84

      This wasn’t an issue until Citizens United. Those organizations didn’t spring up in such huge numbers up until after that. Suddenly the applications for tax-exemptions skyrocketed. They are merely front groups to funnel anonymous money into political campaigns.

      • sailor

        Quite right. The whole thing is about an understaffed IRS and Citizens United. It may not have been legal but it made sense.

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Brian-Macker/518709704 Brian Macker

          Yeah, harassing a woman for three years with audits on her personal taxes, audits on her business, interrogations from OSHA, ATF, FBI terrorist division, and the EPA, all make sense now. That’s all due to understaffing.

      • JET

        But the fact that churches have never been scrutinized has been going on forever.

        • http://www.facebook.com/theo.fensivatheist Theo Fensivatheist

          Exactly, it’s against US law. With the reputation the US has of locking non-violent people up for crimes such as smoking weed (i don’t btw) & it’s huge prison population i find it difficult to understand why this is consistently “Overlooked” especially when the enormous amounts of money involved are needed (for things like healthcare for the needy) during a Worldwide depression. I’ve yet to see a media story on this outrage. Any thoughts as to why that is?

  • Justin Miyundees

    I don’t blame the IRS one bit for targeting groups that profess and open contempt for the very concept of taxation.

    If your fiancé had an open contempt for the institution of marriage, would you have any confidence in his or her fidelity? You’d be a fool to trust someone who paraded around bitching about how you have no right to expect monogamy.

    This “scandal” is a bunch of malarky. They asked for every bit of the scrutiny they got. They’re low hanging fruit and the churches will scream persecution even louder and idiots will line up to defend them.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Brian-Macker/518709704 Brian Macker

      The tea party movement isn’t a “tax protest” organization in the sense of one which advocates not paying one’s taxes. Maybe you’d know that if the IRS wasn’t behaving exactly as you want them to, persecuting those trying to rein in government excess. Of course the IRS and any government employee is going to be biased against anyone calling for any kind of government restraint. So I guess you are for the police beating people who are against the police beating people, is that your argument?

      The key motivation for starting the T-Party was a spontaneous speech on the evils of government bailouts, and other objectively corrupt activities. It’s financial insanity what was and is being done. That is objectively as much a public welfare issue as saving some penguins, if not more so.

      • http://www.facebook.com/eukota Darrell Ross

        While the main drive of the Tea Party may not be to not pay taxes, the extreme Tea Partiers focus on exactly that.

        It is not a stretch of the imagination by any means to associate rabid Tea Partiers with tax-dodgers.

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Brian-Macker/518709704 Brian Macker

          It’s not even a minor drive of the movement. Plus I’ve never heard anyone in the T-party movement advocate cheating on one’s taxes. There is zero evidence and the IRS is not supposed to operate on the basis of the bigoted imagination of people like you.

          Besides your whole narrative is afactual baloney. The investigation already happened into this and the criteria used have zero to do with tax evasion. They had a list of factors that included things like support of the constitution as a criteria for harassing the applicants. They weren’t merely scrutinizing the applications but harassing the applicants with personal audits, business audits, visits from the FBi antiterrorist group, the ATF, OSHA, and the EPA.

          It is also not a stretch of the imagination by any means for the IRS to associate rabid homosexuals with perverting our children. Which is exactly what they did in the past:
          http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/05/15/before-the-irs-harassed-the-tea-party-it-harassed-gay-rights-groups/

          Thankfully the IRS was ruled against in this case. It cannot deny on the basis they don’t like what the group wishes to educate the public about. That includes teaching that the IRS are a bunch of jack booted thugs.

          • Justin Miyundees

            Yes. That’s exactly what I’m saying – police should beat people who are against beating people – and doctors should infect people who don’t like diseases – thank you for clarifying my position.

            You are a savant – like Glenn & Craig here – “..and prisons”…Glenn says.

            Yes, they say (you don’t say!) we need to stop paying taxes (which, of course, is “not even a minor drive of the movement”) and we need more prisons – you know – for people who don’t pay taxes – and who don’t like police beatings….

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eUS3YDty_qQ&feature=player_embedded

  • C Peterson

    My thinking from the moment I heard about this “scandal” (which I think is being quite blown out of proportion by the Tea Party) was that excess scrutiny is far less of a problem than a complete lack scrutiny, and the latter is something we know has been going on with churches for years.

    Fix the lack of oversight of religious organizations with non-profit status, and then I’d consider looking at the alleged problems when some quasipolitical organizations were examined.

    • JET

      I’m willing to bet that the Tea Party (and other organizations) saw the lack of scrutiny toward religious organizations and thought “Hey, let’s get us some of that!” But whereas the IRS has given a pass to churches, they were never told to lay off the political groups. And so the Tea Party groups were rightfully scrutinized… and then given their pass. WTF?!?

      I’m not an expert on 501(c)(whatevers), but it would appear that violations are rampant throughout and somebody needs to start reading codes and enforcing them. You can’t convince me that upstart political organizations are exclusively/primarily for social welfare, nor can you convince me that megachurches are exclusively/primarily charitable organizations and never endorse candidates.

      There’s definitely a scandal here, but it’s not what the Tea Party thinks it is.

      • C Peterson

        The fix is so simple. Simply eliminate the concept of non-profit corporations. If an ordinary corporation structures itself in such a way that it shows no profit, it doesn’t pay taxes, anyway. And even charities should pay property taxes and sales taxes. And nobody should get a tax write-off for donations, to any sort of organization.

        • Andy

          Don’t we as a society want to back it easier for charities to operate and exist? Making them pay taxes and not getting a deduction for donations to charities be a major blow to their effectiveness I would think.

          • C Peterson

            I don’t. Some of those charities support things I don’t. Why should I subsidize them?

            A true charity would make no profit, so they would owe no income taxes. If a person won’t support a cause they believe in without getting a tax deduction, I guess that belief doesn’t run very deep.

            • http://www.facebook.com/people/Brian-Macker/518709704 Brian Macker

              You are confusing income taxes with corporate taxes.

              Why should anyone practice charity at all if it doesn’t profit someone? Obviously the people receiving the goods are profiting. Also the people giving the charity feel they are profiting or they wouldn’t do it.

              I think they started calling them “non-profits” instead of charities so they could justify giving tax breaks to activities that clearly self-interested. I mean if I donate to the Opera, and then go to the opera, that doesn’t exactly benefit someone who hates opera. Charity at least supposedly helps someone who wouldn’t participate willingly with the scheme, when they find themselves destitute and needing charity. I don’t think I will ever find myself destitute and need of opera. So don’t get hung up on the word “non-profit”.

            • Andy

              Doesn’t matter how deep the beliefs run… the results matter. Making donations tax deductible increases the amount of donations charities get. Yeah some charities do stuff you don’t like, but how is that any different from where your tax money goes?

              These are ways to increase the effectiveness of organizations which for the most part are doing good in society.

          • Nate Frein

            We as a society should ideally not need charity, as the purpose of the charities should be subsumed by the government. Everyone should be paying their fair share in taking care of everyone else.

            • Stev84

              A decent amount of religious charity is actually government-financed. For example Catholic Charities is 60-80% government financed. To the tune of several billions a year. Same with many religiously affiliated adoption agencies on a state level. They get money from government programs in order to provide certain services. Then they turn around and pretend that it’s all their doing.

              This isn’t unique to the United States though. It’s the same in some other countries.

            • C Peterson

              I do think it is a primary responsibility of a functional society to ensure that everyone’s most basic needs are met. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t room for charity. Charitable causes can certainly exceed the things most people think government should be responsible for. Charities could help sick kids get their dreams, could send kids to camp, could operate exchange programs. These are all worthy causes that are arguably not the business of government, but which still would provide valuable service to individuals and society as a whole. But I don’t see why they need any special tax protected status.

            • Andy

              Not everyone agrees with that ideal (though I do for the most part). Particularly Republicans, who often believe church/charity/family should be responsible for taking care those who need assistance. In the absence of support for a more socialized government, charities help fill the gap. A lot of charities would be hurt if they had to pay property/sales tax and if they got less donations because those donations were no longer tax deductible.

            • http://www.facebook.com/people/Brian-Macker/518709704 Brian Macker

              Really, what’s your fair share of taking care of me, and where the fuck is my check?

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Brian-Macker/518709704 Brian Macker

            Society doesn’t “want” anything. It doesn’t have a brain. Some people want this, like you. Not sure why it would be a major blow, and especially if we trim the size of government back to something reasonable. Funny, I never hear people like you complaining about what a major blow taxes are to the delivery of heating oil.

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Brian-Macker/518709704 Brian Macker

          So, C. Peterson, you ignorantly believe that non-profits don’t make profits? So why bother registering as a non-profit at all? Just don’t make any profits? Hint: It is not only the non-profit that gets the tax deductions. I’m giggling at this entire conversation, and at your belief that the Tea Party is religiously affiliated, or in any way motivated by religion. It’s like listening to a white southern racist discuss blacks.

          • C Peterson

            I can’t really figure out what you’re talking about, since it seems to have little to do with anything I actually said.

            • http://www.facebook.com/people/Brian-Macker/518709704 Brian Macker

              Seems the comments I responded to have been edited. So yes it makes no sense now.

              • C Peterson

                None of my comments have been edited. I have no means of editing my posts.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Brian-Macker/518709704 Brian Macker

      Oh, it is NOT blown out of proportion. That’s why these people lost their jobs and should be going to jail, and if the president can be proven to be behind it he should be impeached.

      • C Peterson

        Your response supports my view: blown out of proportion.

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Brian-Macker/518709704 Brian Macker

          So I guess if you ever decide to form an non-profit and you have to wait twenty months before they send you a list of intrusive questions you won’t mind them sending the FBI terrorist unit to your home to question you, an audit of your personal taxes, an audit of your business, four FBI inquiries. Unscheduled audits by OSHA, the Commisioner of Environmental Quality, and the ATF twice. They did this to one woman and she still has not got an decision after three years.

          BTW, these nonprofits, all of them under this category, are allowed to spend up to 50% of their resources on political speech. So there is zero reason for an audit on the notion they are political, because that is allowed. So sending sending agents from every fucking agency to harass this woman is a gross abuse of power.

          • C Peterson

            You completely miss the point. What happened with the IRS in its handling of a few conservative nonprofits (which occurred under new, uninterpreted law) was utterly trivial in comparison with its wholesale ignoring of solid, existing law with respect to religious nonprofits that flagrantly violated the law, abusing their nonprofit status.

            The IRS acted badly, but this latest “scandal” is the least of it.

  • Antinomian

    The other never reported scandal is the IRS going after the small fringe players. Putting it to scale would send the whole leadership of the the American Crossroads 501 c4 non profit and Carl Rove to Guantanimo.

  • Rob

    you need a proofreader. I would love to share this but the spelling and grammatical errors are unforgiveable.

    • http://twitter.com/InMyUnbelief TCC

      Muphry’s Law strikes again. The word is spelled “unforgivable.” Also, you need a comma after “this,” and the first word of the comment should be capitalized. If Hemant needs a proofreader, it sure as hell shouldn’t be you.

  • http://parkandbark.wordpress.com/ Houndentenor

    They knew the IRS wasn’t going to do anything. they don’t dare. They will scream persecution, Fox News will cover it nonstop and CNN will follow suit because they are just stenographers not reporters. So no, nothing is going to happen.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Brian-Macker/518709704 Brian Macker

      Why don’t they dare? That is the real question. Might be they are afraid of this going to the courts.

      The pastors are doing this on purpose because it certainly does seem strange that the government would remove a tax exemption on the basis of someone exercising their right to free speech? Why is that? It smacks of politicians giving out favors to people in return for them keeping quite.

      Also, It’s clear that non-profit global warming groups endorsed Al Gore for president. This line they draw seems awfully artificial.

      I also see zero reason for my taxes to be going to either Churches or any other non-profit. Especially groups like Acorn (and renamed versions of this group) which are directly involved in doing things like getting out the vote, while bribing those same voters with tax supported goodies. It’s nod-nod wink-wink, we are just enrolling voters in an unbiased way. Baloney.

      My position is that there should be no tax breaks for anyone for any activity. Nor any tax disincentives for any activity. . If an activity is harming people involuntarily then it should be dealt with in the law, not the tax system. I shouldn’t be able to pay more taxes in order to harm others against their will.

      • http://twitter.com/InMyUnbelief TCC

        We currently have rules prohibiting electioneering by religious organizations and stating that 501(c)4s are supposed to be social welfare organizations, not political entities. If you want the tax-exempt status, you need to agree to those rules. That’s how the system works. If religious organizations want to be able to endorse candidates, then they should suck it up and decline their tax-exempt status. This notion that these organizations should be able to have their cake and eat it, too, because FREE SPEECH is just absurd.

        • http://parkandbark.wordpress.com/ Houndentenor

          I’m all for their free speech rights. but if they are engaged in political activities, they shouldn’t be tax exempt. That’s not a violation of anyone’s rights. There is a Constitutional right to free speech. There is no such right to tax exempt status.

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Brian-Macker/518709704 Brian Macker

            That just restatement of the claim. Why shouldn’t organizations engaged in political activities be tax exempt? Then once you have a valid reason what happens when you apply it to everything. Put another way, where do I sign up to keep my mouth closed about politics so I don’t have to pay another dime in taxes? Also, they don’t tax politicians election funds as profit the last time I checked. Presumably an organization that is trying to achieve some great social goal can be more efficient in getting there if they can speak out against politicians who are working in the opposite direction. Why can’t some global warming organization just come out and say, elect Al Gore? No, I’m not asking about the law. I’m asking in the same way a black slave asks why slavery is legal. What’s the justification?

            • http://parkandbark.wordpress.com/ Houndentenor

              The point of tax-exempt status was primarily designed to help organizations that weren’t going to ever turn a profit anyway. It allowed donations to be a tax write-off which is a benefit for those trying to fundraise. Mostly these are educational organizations. In fact, arts organizations have to apply as educational organizations. Museums, symphonies, etc. are given this status. It is specifically NOT for political purposes. That all worked quite well until Citizens United. No, the green organization should not have endorsed Al Gore. That act should have lost them their tax exempt status. And no, you as an individual would not be required to keep quiet about politics. But the organization would not be allowed to engage in political activities. You could of course belong to multiple organizations, some political and some not. Those organizations and their funding should be separate. We now have a big mess thanks to SCOTUS. The only alternative if this can’t be addressed is to revoke tax exempt status across the board. While many will see this as a way to punish large religious organizations which cross the line into politics far too often but who it will really punish is the small local church who couldn’t possible afford property tax on their 150 year old building and not only would they close but so would their food panty and other community charitable work. I don’t see that as a benefit. The rules worked just fine until the court mucked it up. We need to revert back to the old rules. Again, tax exempt status should not apply to ORGANIZATIONS (note: not individuals) engaging in political activity.

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Brian-Macker/518709704 Brian Macker

          I know what the rules are. So justify them. Why should there be this connection of tax exempt status to shut your mouth?

  • Jason Borgmann

    Hemant, did you just have a stroke? This looks like a “draft” that accidentally got published.

    That being said, I agree. :)

  • DougI

    More special rights for the Christians.

  • Duh

    Soon as Tax subsidized higher educations stops supporting a lib agenda I ll care about this…

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Brian-Macker/518709704 Brian Macker

      DiD you see the video by that guy who was being expelled from Syracuse U. because he complained about a racist comment by a black at an event he was volunteering for. He was one of only two white students present who volunteered to teach inner city children, and the speaker had the gall to say they needed more black volunteers. He mentioned it on his Facebook page and wondered if he was chopped liver for being white. FIRE got involved and they backed off.

  • Brucifer

    Leave it to the gentle Obaminastration to not attack this hard & mean, Conservative-style. Seriously, they have the right of way on this issue (and Benghazi, and the economy, and Obama not being the antichrist, etc), yet they’re just laying down & politely taking the lumps. I’m just waiting for Ken Starr to pop back out of the woodwork to finish Barry Obams off.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Brian-Macker/518709704 Brian Macker

    Nowhere in the article did it state that Obama disciplined anyone. This is the same Obama guy as the one who joked about sicking the IRS on people. This pretending he is against what he is obviously for is a lot of hot air on his part. Nothing substantial will be done, and it will be back to business as usual. Firing someone is not enough. This is criminal.

    Obama is part of the problem. Every political campaign he has won has involved having government officials poke into the private records of his opponents, illegally. Closed court documents aren’t a problem in Illinois and he fucked over two opponents there with private records. Why do you think they were so quick to make Harry Reid shut his trap? How could he be so sure Romney paid no taxes if he didn’t look at some private tax returns?

    Plus the article is biased bullshit. This activity was known at the highest levels. Holder, Obama’s main man, quashed any investigation. Don’t you remember all the people on the Clinton’s enemy list that got audited by the IRS. Well Obama has been doing the same thing. His critics get audited when they speak out. Joe the plumber, various reporters, on and on. They knew and didn’t care. You don’t think they know about such incidents that could politically harm them and then marshal their people, not to investigate, but to spin falsehoods?

    Sarah Hall Ingram, the IRS executive in charge of the tax exempt division in 2010 when it began targeting these enemy groups (including pro-Israel groups) is now in charge of healthcare regulation.

    This is exactly why things like socialized medicine are a bad thing. When the government gets to decide whether you get medicine, your mother gets that heart operation, etc. then the government owns you. Of course, that’s the mindset of the left in the first place, that the government owns you. You can’t work harder and trade it to get what you need, you only get what you need by political means.

    The ink on Obamacare had not even dried before they were handing out exceptions as political favors to those who support Obama and the Democrats. You think that is some accident? You think this is an accident?

    The only reason any of this got any traction in the press is because of the AP story. I’ve know about IRS targeting of these groups and individuals for a very long time. You probably did too. He gored the press, which was stupid on his part. You can violate the rights of out groups all you want (like those who’d like the government to behave responsibly), and not get bad press. Obama knew about this and didn’t give a shit about it before. It fits his MO of appointing people, like Holder, who are biased against his opponents, and are willing to let people with billy clubs intimidate voters at the polling booths.

    When opponent groups rights are violated and they complain, well that can be dismissed as partisan. Now that the AP got gored it’s serious.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Brian-Macker/518709704 Brian Macker

      Here’s an example from last year of the same exact behavior with Obama’s knowing and willing cooperation, by not doing what he is pretending to do now:

      “This column has already told the story of Frank VanderSloot, an Idaho businessman who last year contributed to a group supporting Mitt Romney. An Obama campaign website in April sent a message to those who’d donate to the president’s opponent. It called out Mr. VanderSloot and seven other private donors by name and occupation and slurred them as having “less-than-reputable” records.

      Mr. VanderSloot has since been learning what it means to be on a presidential enemies list. Just 12 days after the attack, the Idahoan found an investigator digging to unearth his divorce records. This bloodhound—a recent employee of Senate Democrats—worked for a for-hire opposition research firm.

      Now Mr. VanderSloot has been targeted by the federal government. In a letter dated June 21, he was informed that his tax records had been “selected for examination” by the Internal Revenue Service. The audit also encompasses Mr. VanderSloot’s wife, and not one, but two years of past filings (2008 and 2009).”

      http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10000872396390444464304577537233908744496.html?mod=rss_Politics_And_Policy

      Shit like this has been nonstop. Like the punishment of Gibson’s Guitars. If the president is unaware then he is incompetent at best. How can he not be aware of the fact that the guy, Joe the Plumber, he had outs with was now being audited? Or these other people?

  • http://www.facebook.com/paul.grimm.14 Paul Grimm

    The Catholics have been wondering how these churches can get away with having a tax exempt status while holding rallies and even inviting the candidates to speak. It’s been going on for a while

  • midnight rambler

    (***Edit***: Looking back, it’s unclear what role Miller had in any of this, so while it’s good to see action, this is really more symbolic than anything else.)

    Actually, it’s now been revealed that the initial question that led to the story breaking was an audience plant by the IRS in a horribly bad attempt to get ahead of the story, so with such gross incompetence I’d say firing him is justified regardless.


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