Paul L. Caron
Dean


Wednesday, May 18, 2016

The IRS Scandal, Day 1105

IRS Logo 2Washington Post, Impeachment Hearings Are Latest Victory in Conservative War on IRS:

The House Judiciary Committee’s decision to hold hearings a week from today on whether to impeach IRS Commissioner John Koskinen is a victory for the chamber’s far-right caucus, still smarting over the agency’s treatment of conservative groups.

Over five years, House Republicans have slashed the IRS budget, passed bills banning employee bonuses and prohibiting employees fired for misconduct from getting rehired. The GOP has vowed to simplify the tax code, pounced on agency management failures and assailed customer service breakdowns caused by the budget cuts.

And last week, anti-IRS lawmakers persuaded previously hesitant House leaders to start the unusual process of removing the tax collector from office.

One of the biggest questions now is whether the 76-year-old tax commissioner will show up for the grilling. IRS officials said Monday they have made no decision on whether Koskinen will accept the Judiciary Committee’s invitation to appear May 24 and at a hearing in June.

Daily Kos, Republicans Move to Impeach Head of Government Agency for First Time Since 1876:

Suppose you hate taxes. And government. You could try to pass bills that cut taxes, scale back government … in short, do the things the extreme right Freedom Caucus says they want. Or you might simply make it impossible for the government to collect taxes by maneuvering to cripple the agency in charge, which is the approach conservatives radicals have actually taken.

The House Judiciary Committee’s decision to hold hearings a week from today on whether to impeach IRS Commissioner John Koskinen is a victory for the chamber’s far-right caucus, still smarting over the agency’s treatment of conservative groups.

The agency’s treatment of conservative groups. Which turned out to be pretty much the agency’s treatment of every sort of group. It was just that so many groups emerged from the tea party chaos, and so many of them blatantly did not know the difference between what was acceptable in a tax-exempt organization and what was not, that a high number of them became regulatory road kill.

But conservatives have never believed they have to play by the rules, and this scandal-that-wasn’t serves as sufficient pretext to carry on the teahad. ...

Oh, but do mark this down as a historic moment. It’s the first time anyone has tried to impeach the head of a government agency since the Grant administration. ... The real purpose of trying to impeach IRS Commissioner John Koskinen is to give the extremists in the GOP a distraction to talk about when they climb on the stage at rallies between now and November. The chances that they would actually remove Koskinen, who is set to leave in 2017 in any case, are somewhere between extremely slim and laughable. But he provides a demon to rail against. And his name isn’t Donald.

https://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog/2016/05/the-irs-scandal-day-1105.html

IRS News, IRS Scandal, Tax | Permalink

Comments

Suppose you hate immigration restrictions. And you want more poor people to immigrate and eventually vote for you. You could try to pass bills that increase legal immigration limits, scale back restrictions … in short, do the things the extreme left Open Borders Caucus says they want. Or you might simply make it impossible for the government to enforce immigration law by maneuvering to cripple the agency in charge, which is the approach progressive radicals have actually taken.

Posted by: AMTbuff | May 18, 2016 7:04:11 AM

Mr. AMT: What has this to do with Commissioner Koskinen? Try to focus. BTW, Paul Ryan, who may be a RINO but is surely not a "radical progressive," has been identified by TP advocates as an "open borders" guy. Moreover, open borders are advocated by Libertarians, not Democrats.

Posted by: Publius Novus | May 18, 2016 7:48:19 AM

I am not surprised that the Washington Post and Daily Kos have nothing to say about the behavior of Koskinen that has led to the impeachment movement. Rather they impute political motivations for that movement. After all, it is only natural that they assume that their opponents think the way they do, and put politics above things like common sense.

Posted by: Daniel | May 18, 2016 9:37:11 AM

I am surprised at the comments by AMT and Publius, The former seems to consider the impeachment effort as one to weaken a force that might hinder the Obama open borders policy. But Koskinen is a close ally of Obama who has no authority or relevance to open borders.
Publius points this out, but tries to exonerate the Democrats from supporting open borders. That is wildly inaccurate. Democratic politicians generally favor immigration and voting by immigrants because immigrants tend to vote for them, especially if they favor them.
I wonder if these people are regular readers of these reports or represent some effort to troll sites like this one.

Posted by: Daniel | May 18, 2016 9:50:48 AM

Open borders is advocated by some libertarians and while an incredibly small number of Democrats are against it, it is the defacto position of the party and their current policy.

Posted by: Wodun | May 18, 2016 2:22:52 PM

It's a bad joke when you have to explain it. I was mocking the Daily Kos style of argument, that's all.

Posted by: AMTbuff | May 18, 2016 9:57:44 PM

Daniel: “Open borders” is a right-wing term used to skewer anyone who favors a path to citizenship, moderate immigration policies, and any immigration policy that addresses the realities of immigration driven by political and economic forces. Democrats do not advocate open borders of the sort caricatured by the right. Moreover, Democrats advocate for humane and reasonable immigration policies because that is the American way, no matter which party new citizens vote for.

Posted by: Publius Novus | May 19, 2016 9:19:24 AM

Since this thread has drifted into the immigration issue, I’m hoping someone can explain something to me. Namely, how did the reality of 10MM+ illegal workers end up becoming a poster child for fast-track citizenship?

The answer to the illegal worker problem is simple, make them legal. They can then be taxed as a RA or a special NRA tax of, say, 20%, which would not qualify them for any benefits such as Social Security.

Then, and only then, if these now legal workers want to become citizens, they can get in line with everybody else.

How did such a simple idea get sucked into creating more Democratic voters?

Once again, we must stop doing stupid things. We don’t need to do any smart things. Just stop doing stupid things.

Posted by: Dale Spradling | May 19, 2016 12:22:20 PM