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Monday, February 17, 2014

The IRS Scandal, Day 284

IRS Logo 2Legal Insurrection:  They’re From the IRS, and They’re Here to Help, by Neo-neocon:

At this point it’s tempting to regard the IRS as not-so-secret agents of the Obama administration and the Democrats. This is not paranoia. As Ed Rogers wrote in the WaPo, it is fact: 

Encouraged by the lack of a public backlash, an uninquisitive press, cover from the White House and an eager-to-please bureaucracy, the Democrats are boldly counting on the IRS to be their political and policy enforcer.This statement isn’t an overreach by the “vast right-wing conspiracy” or a phony crisis created by hecklers (like me) on the right — it goes back to the early stages of President Obama’s reelection campaign.

Rogers goes on to list some of the more egregious examples of what has occurred and how the administration has been emboldened by the fact that so far there have been few negative consequences to them for their actions.

The hue and cry that might have been expected – and to a certain extent came at first, when some of the revelations about Tea Party harassment were revealed – has been muted and blunted. So now the excesses are being further and more openly institutionalized. ...

I wonder, though, how much the IRS scandal has affected Obama’s and the Democrats’ ratings with the public. I can’t find any polls about the subject since last summer, but my guess is that it has had some part in the downturn. I certainly hope so; all Americans of any political stripe should be highly alarmed, although of course that isn’t happening. One of the most pernicious reasons is ignorance of history; some people say, “Oh, all administrations do this.”

No, they don’t – at least, not really like this in terms of extent and success. Nixon was excoriated for expressing a desire to do it in the Nixon tapes, and the assumption has been that he did do it. But in fact for the most part he failed at it. Why? Because the heads of the IRS at the time would not cooperate (see this for a background discussion).

Here’s a very short history of the efforts of other presidents. You can see that, except for the Nixon example, it seems that most of the presidents who were involved with any small success in such undertakings were Democrats. That’s no accident because, as “Nixon henchman Jack Caulfield astutely complained,…the IRS was a ‘monstrous bureaucracy…dominated and controlled by Democrats.’”

So Nixon is convicted in the eyes of the public for what appears to have been largely thought crime, whereas the Obama administration and its handmaidens such as Lois Lerner get off seemingly free (so far) for the actual crime. Obama’s much greater success compared to earlier efforts appears to be due to several factors: greater drive, boldness, and scope; public ignorance/apathy; the coverup attempts by much of the MSM; and the simpatico political persuasion of much of the IRS.

http://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog/2014/02/the-irs-scandal-14.html

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