Paul L. Caron

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Michele Bachmann, Tax Geek

Bachmann From Michele Bachmann's Wikipedia profile:

She graduated from Winona State University and later received her J.D. degree from Oral Roberts University and an LL.M. degree in tax law from the College of William and Mary's Marshall-Wythe School of Law. ...

From 1988 to 1993, Bachmann was a U.S. Treasury Department attorney in the US Federal Tax Court located in St. Paul. According to Bachmann, she represented the Internal Revenue Service "in hundreds of cases" (both civil and criminal) prosecuting people who underpaid or failed to pay their taxes. She left her government position to become a full-time mother. ...

Elected in 2006, Congresswoman Michele Bachmann is the first Republican woman to be elected to the U.S. House of Representatives from Minnesota. She served her first term from January 3, 2007, and January 3, 2009. Bachmann's third term will begin January 3, 2011.

(Hat Tip: Ann Murphy.)

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Damn you THEHAWK! Damn you to hell! You stole the words that came right out of my mouth after reading the waky-Wiki blurb. I cannot believe that she misunderstood that she worked for IRS Chief Counsel, did not know the correct name of the U.S. Tax Court (and the difference between holding trials in a city vs. being a court located in that city), she did not "prosecute" any cases because no cases are prosecuted by IRS Chief Counsel or in the Tax Court, that to the extent Chief Counsel attorneys work on criminal tax matters it is only in relation to referring the case to the Department of Justice, Tax Division and that only DoJ attorneys (either Tax Division, AUSAs, or both) Prosecute criminal tax cases. I don't have time for a Westlaw search, but does her name appear on any opinion issued by the Tax Court? Also she does not appear to understand the difference between and underPAYMENT and an underSTATEMENT of income. Does she know what a deficiency is? If you do not pay or pay less than you owe there is no understatement of income, thus no deficiency, thus no statutory notice of deficiency (90 day letter), thus no ticket to the Tax Court. A taxpayer who has underPAID taxes is not in a pre-assesment posture, rather it is a post-assessment posture--i.e., collection. Of course, if the taxpayer thought he had not underpaid or failed to pay they can pay in full and sue for refund. Of course, refund litigation is handled by DoJ in both district courts and the Court of Federal Claims. So she couldn't have done any of that either.

Personally, tax ignorance or gold plating your tax resume is not real issue when in comes to her. It is her ability to find new ways to amuse me on an almost daily basis. Before you go calling me names or labeling my political position, when it comes to politics it is mostly either boring or ridiculous. And ridiculous is more enjoyable to me. So if Bachmann and Palin were Republican, Democrat, Green Party, or LaRouchies I'd find them equally funny. Lord knows there are enough people on both sides of the isle that provide non-stop entertainment and I enjoy it all. Especially the LaRouchies. I mean, they hand me that leaflet and REALLY believe that somehow he's going to win one day. I mean, what could be more amusing than someone who thinks Lyndon LaRouche can (will) be elected?

Posted by: tax guy | Jan 6, 2011 5:46:13 PM

I have no particular opinion about Bachman but someone needs to get their wicki-facts correct. There is no US Federal Tax Court in St Paul MN. There is a United States Tax Court, located in Wash DC, whose judges "ride circuit", sometimes sitting in St. Paul. The US Tax Court does not hear criminal cases, only civil tax disputes. Those who represent the Commissioner of the IRS in Tax Court work for the Chief Counsel of the IRS. Yes, I understand that the IRS is a part of Treasury... but it is a very different animal.

Posted by: THEHAWK | Dec 30, 2010 6:59:52 PM

Oral roberts disbanded its law school in 1986. William and Mary currently does not show an LL.M in Tax program. Her IQ is not listed on any websites, but she does not show up as a MEGA society member.

Posted by: Nick Paleveda MBA J.D. LL.M | Dec 30, 2010 12:42:36 PM

Does ORU have a law school?

Posted by: Anon | Dec 30, 2010 7:03:44 AM

She also has 5 of her own kids and has sponsored 23 foster kids (including 12 special needs kids). She also helps the local food bank and her church. If you saw her in person you would not believe your eyes, she is a virtual buzz saw. I'm so glad that we have her as our represntative.

Posted by: Dan Frick | Dec 29, 2010 6:59:08 PM

George made it pretty clear which party he is a member of...LOL

Posted by: harry S | Dec 29, 2010 3:57:39 PM

Rob Ives, I laughed at the snide George W. too.

Posted by: Lala | Dec 29, 2010 2:42:47 PM

Not really big news back in her old State Senate district. There was a complaint in 2002 or 2004 about how her having an Adopt a Highway sign gave her an 'unfair advantage.'

Posted by: M. Thompson | Dec 29, 2010 2:24:36 PM

I already knew about her background as a tax attorney. What is surprising is that the GOP didn't recommend her for head of the Ways and Means Committee.

Posted by: Chris Bolts Sr | Dec 29, 2010 2:21:13 PM

It's amusing that Bachman, whose religious convictions were shared by Galileo, Einstein, Thomas Jefferson, Bill Clinton, and a few other similarly unimpressive people, is ridiculed as a closed-minded ignoramus because of those religious views, usually by strident young Democrats who cannot conceive of anyone of intelligence thinking things that they do not think.

Posted by: bobby b | Dec 29, 2010 2:18:03 PM

I HATED tax in law school, I can't imagine voluntarily going back for a Master of Laws from William and Mary, much less making a living as a litigator in federal tax court.

It's astonishing that her credentials don't pass Liberal muster, just as George Bush's Harvard MBA didn't count (no, it wasn't a "legacy" degree, his family legacy was at Yale where he was an undergrad).

I hope the GOP picks Palin-Bachman in 2012. Two brainy hot chicks up against the Empty Suit and the Windbag. More entertaining than All Star Wrestling!


Posted by: joe doakes | Dec 29, 2010 2:17:42 PM

LOL @ Michael Kennedy

The left hates anyone to the right who is female and competent. I can see why since they make them look totally INCOMPETENT and metrosexual. Same with gun proponents, heh.

Posted by: BioBob | Dec 29, 2010 1:49:12 PM

The left hates her almost as much as Sarah Palin. That has to be a good sign.

Posted by: Michael Kennedy | Dec 29, 2010 1:18:02 PM

And the GOP passed her up for some guy. Amazing.

Posted by: NotPC | Dec 29, 2010 1:09:50 PM

Somehow, tax collectors never have had great PR. I'm pretty sure this one would be hyped by opponents in a national election.

Posted by: geek49203 | Dec 29, 2010 12:37:17 PM

Wow. She is very certified. Wait. Democrats and RINOs want to paint her as a ding bat.

Is that because she's a woman? Or because she's a Republican?

See George W.'s comment above. What ever.

Posted by: Paul A'Barge | Dec 29, 2010 12:23:06 PM

So she is smarter and more educated than her detractors. Not much of a surprise.

Posted by: PaulY | Dec 29, 2010 12:22:58 PM

George: If you are going to make light of another person's intellect, as I believe you have attempted, I have some advice for you. Learn the meaning of the words "than" and "then".

Posted by: Rob Ives | Dec 29, 2010 12:20:09 PM

From personal experience I can tell you she is the most aggressive fundraiser I have ever encountered... .

Posted by: SongDog | Dec 29, 2010 11:51:30 AM

She doesn't have any excuse than....maybe it is the Oral Roberts degree.

Posted by: George W | Dec 29, 2010 11:16:41 AM

Tax yes geek no.

Posted by: mike livingston | Dec 29, 2010 11:05:24 AM