TaxProf Blog

Editor: Paul L. Caron
Pepperdine University School of Law

A Member of the Law Professor Blogs Network

Thursday, February 27, 2014

The IRS Scandal, Day 294

IRS Logo 2Wall Street Journal op-ed:  Connecting the Dots in the IRS Scandal, by Bradley A. Smith (Capital):

The 'smoking gun' in the targeting of conservative groups has been hiding in plain sight.

The mainstream press has justified its lack of coverage over the Internal Revenue Service targeting of conservative groups because there's been no "smoking gun" tying President Obama to the scandal. This betrays a remarkable, if not willful, failure to understand abuse of power. The political pressure on the IRS to delay or deny tax-exempt status for conservative groups has been obvious to anyone who cares to open his eyes. It did not come from a direct order from the White House, but it didn't have to. ...

In 1170, King Henry II is said to have cried out, on hearing of the latest actions of the Archbishop of Canterbury, "Will no one rid me of this turbulent priest?" Four knights then murdered the archbishop. Many in the U.S. media still willfully refuse to see anything connecting the murder of the archbishop to any actions or abuse of power by the king.

New York Times op-ed:  Why the I.R.S. Scandal Won't Go Away, by Thomas D. Edsall:

Congressional Republicans have demonstrated exceptional persistence and determination in their efforts to keep this nine-month-old controversy alive, convinced that it is a partisan goldmine. Since last May, the Ways and Means and Government Oversight Committees have, together, held at least a dozen separate hearings on the issue of I.R.S. targeting of conservative groups.

Meanwhile, the Exempt Organization Division has been paralyzed. Employees have been forced to deal not only with House investigations, but also with an investigation by the Senate Finance Committee, another by the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, an investigation by the Department of Justice and a civil suit brought by 41 of the targeted Tea Party groups.

“It’s been a huge distraction for the agency,” Marcus Owens, who was the director of the division from 1990 to 2000, told me. Owens, who is currently a tax lawyer in private practice, added: “They have gone into a bunker or a zone of silence. The events have caused a lot of tax administration to grind to a halt.”

http://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog/2014/02/the-irs-scandal-23.html

IRS News, IRS Scandal, Tax | Permalink

Comments

New York Times: “Congressional Republicans have demonstrated exceptional persistence and determination in their efforts to keep this nine-month-old controversy alive, convinced that it is a partisan goldmine.” Next, they list 6 sources of "paralysis": House Ways and Means, House Government Oversight Committees, Senate Finance Committee, Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, Department of Justice, and a civil suit.

How many of those 6 paralyzing distractions do Congressional Republicans control? Is that NYT writer a reasonable contributor to this debate, or a high-waisted partisan hack?

Posted by: Yo Gabba Gabba | Feb 27, 2014 9:58:58 AM

Amazing. Per the NYT Op-Ed this is all about Republicans protecting Karl Rove and the Koch brothers?!?

Posted by: Bruce | Feb 27, 2014 3:34:24 PM

He neglected to mention all of the propaganda from right-wing media (Fox news, WSJ editors, Newsmax, etc) which is documented here daily.

Posted by: Scott | Feb 28, 2014 6:19:06 AM