Paul L. Caron

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

The IRS Scandal, Day 587

IRS Logo 2Forbes:  Did You Hear The One About Lois Lerner Walking Into A Bar?, by Peter J. Reilly:

Judicial Watch has come out with the latest in the perennial never ending IRS scandal.  It has managed to pry loose from the Justice Department e-mails that show that Lois Lerner, who was imported into the IRS from the Federal Election Commission, met with the Justice Department to discuss whether people who had lied on their exemption applications about political activities should be prosecuted.  The Justice Department is not releasing further documents which would explain why it did not prosecute anybody.  As I’ve been following this drama, I’ve often found myself looking at it from a different angle than everybody else, which is what makes me think of this as a story about Lois Lerner walking into a bar.

The IRS is tasked with a pretty big job having to collect over $2 trillion dollars.  Since Congress has decided to use Title 26( Internal Revenue Code) as its go to title to encourage or discourage this that and the other thing, the IRS gets diverted quite a bit from its core mission of collecting revenue.  To work for the IRS as a revenue agent, the education requirement is a bachelors degree with 30 hours in accounting.  So your core enforcement people in the IRS are accountants.  Task twenty odd thousand accountants with collecting $2 trillion dollars and a bunch of miscellaneous stuff, some of the miscellaneous stuff is going to slide by.  So it is understandable that they did not do such a hot job on squelching 501(c)(4) organizations that were engaging in political activity.

Then along comes Lois Lerner who is not a career IRS employee.  She is excited about violations of the campaign financing laws and now can put numerous minions into zealously scrutinizing applications, thinking up more and more devious ways in which 501(c)(4) status can be abused.  None of the thing that my father always told me about how to behave in a bar was to never talk about religion or politics.  Lois Lerner apparently could talk of nothing other than politics and that may be what is behind this mess.  That’s why Lois Lerner walking into the IRS is like her walking into a bar.  It was not good for Lois Lerner and it was not good for the bar.ot being a career IRS employee, she did not have IRS culture embedded in her. ...

IRS News, IRS Scandal, Tax | Permalink


" At any rate, another thing I have observed is that the IRS despite Lois Lerner’s zeal has turned down remarkably few 501(c)(4) organizations and that none of the rejects ever squawk about it. "

That is because process was intended to be punishment and the information gathered was intended to be disseminated to Democrat activist groups. If you simply reject a group, you don't have the opportunity to plunder confidential information or tie the group up for years wasting money and manpower dealing with the IRS.

Also, outright rejections complicate legal and political defenses of the targeted persecution program. If all of the non-Democrat groups were rejected, none of the goals of the persecution program would be met and it would have been nakedly political, compromising the Obama administration's defense.

I will take Democrats and the defenders of IRS persecution seriously when their own elected officials crack down on Democrat activist groups rather than just non-Democrat groups or Democrats voluntarily live up to the standards Democrats set for money, politics, and activism.

I wager there is a network of tax exempt Democrat activist groups organizing the current Ferguson protests, which are nothing but politics.

Democrats should put their money where their mouth is and disband their own activist groups before using the government to persecute non-Democrats. Otherwise this is just the latest example in a long series of Democrats having no standards but double standards

Posted by: wodun | Dec 17, 2014 5:08:57 PM

Bravo! Well written Mr. Reilly.

Posted by: Publius Novus | Dec 17, 2014 6:34:10 AM