Paul L. Caron
Dean


Sunday, October 30, 2016

The IRS Scandal, Day 1270: Why The IRS Matters This Election

IRS Logo 2Seattle Times, Why It Matters: IRS:

The Issue:
The Internal Revenue Service touches everyone, not just taxpayers but anyone who receives a government check, drives on roads made possible by tax revenue or sends a child to a school helped by Washington. It’s a touch that can come with a heavy hand, in the eyes of critics who believe the agency’s far-reaching powers are abused and the agency needs to be cut down to size.

Why It Matters: ...
With some 90,000 employees, a massive stockpile of information on citizens and powers to dig deep into the lives of those it decides to investigate, the IRS is in the face of Americans like no other agency. That’s become even more so since it was handed the job of enforcing the mandate that people carry health insurance.

The potential for abusing power is obvious, and it has happened — most vividly at the hands of President Richard Nixon but also in the administrations of John Kennedy, Franklin Roosevelt and more, historians say.

During the Obama administration, the IRS has acknowledged mistreatment of tea party groups by subjecting them to excessive scrutiny in their bid for tax-exempt status. But investigations by the Justice Department and the IRS’ independent inspector general found no evidence that actions against the conservative groups were politically motivated.

Koskinen took over after the IRS actions in question but has not been clear of the controversy. Conservative lawmakers pressed unsuccessfully to impeach him, accusing him of lying to Congress, not answering subpoenas and overseeing an agency that destroyed documents in the tea party case. He denied the accusations and told lawmakers that when he testified in June 2014 that no documents had been destroyed since congressional investigations began, he didn’t know that IRS workers had mistakenly destroyed backup tapes bearing thousands of emails.

https://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog/2016/10/the-irs-scandal-day-1270-why-the-irs-matters-this-election.html

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Comments

Impeaching John Koskinen was a no brainer and Republicans couldn't get it done. Does anyone believe the Democrats couldn't have gotten this done, under exactly the same circumstances?

The best way to clean up the total disaster Obama is going to leave our Federal Bureaucracy in is to decertify all government employee unions. One of the reasons Obama was so successful, in politicizing the government is, the employee unions are loyal Democrats so they did what they felt they had to do. I'm not sure how difficult that would be. I've heard that John Kennedy certified them through executive order. If that story is true, then they can be decertified through executive order also.

Posted by: bflat879 | Oct 30, 2016 8:45:11 AM

"But investigations by the Justice Department and the IRS’ independent inspector general found no evidence that actions against the conservative groups were politically motivated."

Since the outcome was viewpoint discrimination based on political names and policy positions, and the groups discriminated against were in direct opposition to the current administration, motivation is a moot point. The party in charge of the IRS benefitted by this pattern of behavior leading up to the 2012 election, while the party that was targeted by the IRS was disadvantaged. Whether this was intentional, coincidental or accidential, the net effect was the same. And if it was accidental or coincidental, why the false statements before Congress, pleading the 5th, and stonewalling? If you're cooperative, as Koskinen has not been, you aren't found in contempt of court...

Posted by: MM | Oct 30, 2016 9:12:31 AM

he Internal Revenue Service touches everyone, not just taxpayers but anyone who receives a government check, drives on roads made possible by tax revenue or sends a child to a school helped by Washington.

The IRS merely collects taxes. It isn't responsible for any government program. They don't get a pat on the back because we have roads and schools.

Posted by: wodun | Oct 31, 2016 2:51:09 AM