Paul L. Caron

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

The IRS Scandal, Day 82

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Prior TaxProf Blog coverage:

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Investigations cannot get to "facts" when the government blacks out emails and refuses to provide most requested documents -- which sort of leads one to speculate that there is a coverup underway.

Posted by: Woody | Jul 31, 2013 8:57:38 AM

Alec MacGillis, writing in the New Republic on July 29:

The fact is, the more we learn about the scandal, the more egregiously and irresponsibly overwrought the initial coverage of it appears. . . .More and more, it looks as if what happened in Cincinnati was that agency staffers lacking direction from their Washington superiors on how to enforce an unworkable law amid a wave of applications from groups that seemed to be testing the vague bounds of that law did what bureaucrats in such situations tend to do: stalled for time, kicked the problem upstairs and sent out more and more paper in the form of needlessly nettlesome questionnaires to the applicants.

MacGillis quotes a letter to the Washington Post from retired IRS exempt-organizations branch chief Conrad Rosenberg:

Regrettably, repeated use of phrases such as "targeting conservative organizations" and "IRS scandal" implants those notions in the public consciousness, and subsequent revelations are unlikely to change that. The only scandal is the way the news media leap on incomplete "facts" and parrot unsupported accusations to churn controversy. Good people's jobs and reputations have already been damaged, if not destroyed. Words matter. But then you don't need me to tell you that.

Posted by: Bob | Jul 30, 2013 8:01:46 AM