Paul L. Caron

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

The IRS Scandal, Day 1098

IRS Logo 2Politico, Morning Tax:

IT’S TUESDAY, and we’re marking the third anniversary of the IRS’s tea party controversy — or more specifically, the day that Lois Lerner answered a planted question at an American Bar Association conference. (That’s LLAPQABA, for short.). ...

THREE YEARS LATER: We don’t have the space to give a full recap of the full sordid tale since Lerner acknowledged the IRS improperly scrutinized conservative organizations seeking tax-exempt status. (The short version: People on the right believe it was intentional targeting, while those on the left see bureaucratic mistakes.) But Morning Tax did ask Rep. Peter Roskam (R-Ill.), the chairman of the House Ways and Means Oversight Subcommittee, where he thinks matters stand with the IRS three years later.

The takeaways: Roskam said Republicans believe the IRS is still dragging its feet on making key reforms, but made the case that the renewed focus on the agency led to a taxpayer bill of rights and even changes to civil forfeiture rules. “We’ve made significant progress, but nobody’s breathing a sigh of relief.”

The problems with cybersecurity and identity theft have gotten so pronounced, and are affecting so many taxpayers, that Republicans have had to call something of a détente with the IRS — see, for instance, that $290 million funding increase the agency got several months back. “The cyber issue is ripening very quickly, and you don’t get the sense the IRS is on top of it,” Roskam said. “When the IRS wants to do something well, they can.”

IRS Commissioner John Koskinen won’t be getting impeached. “By mid-July, the congressional year will essentially be done,” Roskam said. House Oversight Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) has been leading the charge for impeachment but recently signaled that he could accept a censure of Koskinen.

FROM THE OTHER SIDE: Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland, the top Democrat at House Oversight, on the anniversary: “House Republican efforts to impeach or censure the IRS commissioner are exercises in partisanship and a total waste of time and money. Nobody who has examined this issue has identified any evidence of political targeting — not the Justice Department, not the Republican Inspector General of the IRS, and not even the Oversight Committee. Republicans have wasted tens of millions of taxpayer dollars chasing false political conspiracy theories.”

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Of course Mr. wodun. The absence of any evidence proves beyond doubt that the Administration hid or destroyed same. Next stop, the Gulag Archipelago.

Posted by: Publius Novus | May 12, 2016 6:29:04 AM

"Nobody who has examined this issue has identified any evidence of political targeting"

The IRS, and Lerner, admitted the targeting took place and apologized for it. The IG said it took place but stopped short of saying it was politically motivated and instead blamed poor management. This is the cop out of all cop outs saying that the political appointees and Democrat party workers at the IRS didn't target their political enemies out of politics but rather management.

Also, it is hard to get the evidence from the IRS when they obstruct justice, lie to the courts, lie to congress, and destroy evidence.

This isn't some isolated incident either. The same thing happened at the EPA, VA, with Hillary's emails, with Hillarys staff's emails, and with others at the State Department.

The entire administration is corrupt and subverting the criminal justice process.

Posted by: wodun | May 11, 2016 9:16:41 PM

If we can just get a non-Democrat in the White House, they can appoint Rudy Giuliani as the new Attorney General, and he can then prosecute this den of thieves, including YOU Mr. Cummings, and your role in this targeting, as you were definitely in on it from the beginning, along with Schumer. I hope they get a chance to put you on the stand.

Posted by: Spamf Roming | May 11, 2016 12:15:51 PM

I wasn't paying attention. Trump definitely has targeting on his buzzword list. Although, he's taking it the extreme (that's how he rolls), and doesn't seem to signal what he would do about it.

Posted by: Alex | May 11, 2016 8:29:55 AM

Any chance Trump or Hillary will discuss targeting?

Posted by: Alex | May 11, 2016 8:28:04 AM