The IRS Is Not Off the Hook

For your reading “pleasure”, more IRS scandals and outrages, in no particular order:

(1) Who can forget the line dancing or the Star Trek skits, paid for with our tax dollars?

(2) The IRS blew through at least 50 MILLION taxpayer dollars for conventions over the two years during which they were targeting conservatives.

(3) Despite the many IRS-related scandals, the agency plans to pay out $70 MILLION in employee bonuses. Werfel promised to stop this outrage, but now claims that he can’t because of a union contract.

(4) The man nominated to be next head of the FBI, James Comey, tells Senator Ted Cruz that the FBI investigation into IRS targeting of conservatives “should be a very high priority.”  Good parsing, Jim.  Should be is not WILL be. No Tea Partiers interviewed yet.  No answers yet on WHO’S leading this “investigation.”

(5) Was this a “mistake” or deliberate? IRS “inadvertently” placed online tens of thousands of Social Security numbers that belong to donors to tax-exempt organizations that are involved in political activities. What a coincidence! Was this data left online just long enough for opposing political operatives to data mine what is useful to them? Donations to these specific organizations are not tax deductible and must be reported to the public. With Social Security numbers, cross referencing is possible if an unethical group or person illegally accesses other databases that are supposed to be private (like individual tax returns). The people whose Social Security numbers were exposed donated between 2002 and 2008 (the Bush years).

(6) It sounds as if the IRS wants to hide or at least obfuscate what is supposed to be public information belonging to (some?) not-for-profits. Read the story to see how onerous they make it for researchers–deliberately onerous–because the

IRS is worried the big nonprofits [liberal ones?] will be upset if information such as multimillion-dollar CEO salaries is more readily available.

Note that the extra steps they take to put already “machine-processable data” into image format (and thus not easily searchable) costs the taxpayers a lot of money (although it does create more government jobs).

(7) Over 200 full-time IRS employees do no work for the taxpayers. Instead, they spend their time on “union activities.”  Full time union work, but on the taxpayers’ dime! It’s in the contract! Republican representatives want to know why.  I’d like to know why they don’t already know why.   Who writes and approves these contracts?

(8) You’re going to LOVE this one: Way back in 1996, the IRS illegally and unilaterally decided to treat illegal aliens as citizens, costing the taxpayers billions of dollars in taxpayer-funded benefits since the Clinton administration. Not only did the IRS treat illegal aliens as citizens, but it also issued an illegal regulation requiring the agency to respect the “privacy” of illegal aliens and NOT share information about them with ICE!  Newt Gingrich sponsored and Bill Clinton signed a law specifically making such a regulation illegal. The bottom line is that way back in 1996 an Inspector General recognized and reported on this ILLEGAL action by the IRS. This story explains:

It has now been seventeen years since the IRS decided it should start issuing ITINs to illegal aliens—or, as the IG put it, made a “policy decision” to “legalize illegal aliens.”

Immigration and Customs Enforcement Spokesman Brandon Montgomery told that SSA and the IRS still do not provide ICE with information about no-match W-2s or ITIN tax filings.

In the meantime, illegal aliens have been illegally collecting taxpayer-funded benefits, taking jobs belonging to citizens and legal immigrants, and claiming tax credits to which they are not entitled, while the government looks the other way. This explains how thousands of illegal aliens can get away with filing illegal tax returns from the same address. Even worse, the lack of information sharing risks national security.  After 9/11/01, this is unconscionable and inexplicable.

The question is:  What, if anything, will Congress do about this outrage?  It becomes apparent that both political parties have been looking the other way on this issue.  Surely they do NOT want this humongous theft of our tax dollars exposed, right as they plan to ram through “immigration reform”, which currently includes amnesty for corporations, too.  Everybody’s getting out of jail free, while the taxpayers are left holding the bag.

(9) It’s confirmed that political candidates and campaign donors had their tax return information breached, but the Dept. of Justice won’t prosecute. The IRS hides behind “confidentiality” to evade answering questions about the breaches. (This reminds me of the passport breach of 2008.)  In addition,

investigators also are probing two allegations that the Internal Revenue Servicetargeted for audit candidates for public office,” the Treasury’s inspector general for tax administration, J. Russell George, has privately told Sen. Chuck Grassley.

I’m shocked, shocked, to learn all this. Aren’t you?  This story explains:

Mr. George is forbidden by federal law to disclose any details. We can think of several obvious possibilities. Three years ago Austan Goolsbee, at the time the White House economic adviser, held an off-the-record briefing with reporters in which he made the astonishing claim that Koch Industries paid no corporate income taxes. … 

Austan Goolsbee spoke with the confidence of a man who had looked at the Koch tax returns.

Investigators are investigating whether the IRS audited the political opponents of the administration. Donors to Mitt Romney presidential campaign complained they were subjected to sharp scrutiny after they sent a check to Mr. Romney’s Restore Our Future super PAC. Frank L. VanderSloot, one of the top Republican contributors, was among those harassed. Though he did nothing wrong he had to spend $80,000 on accountants and lawyers to prove it.

This sounds like an “enemies list,” which would be a high crime among misdemeanors, if true.

See number (5) above and you’ll understand why it might not have been an “inadvertent mistake” to post the Social Security numbers of donors to political not-for-profits.

(10) The IRS believes it doesn’t need a stinking warrant to read your electronic communications:

An IRS 2009 Search Warrant Handbook obtained by the American Civil Liberties Union argues that “emails and other transmissions generally lose their reasonable expectation of privacy and thus their Fourth Amendment protection once they have been sent from an individual’s computer.” The handbook was prepared by the Office of Chief Counsel for the Criminal Tax Division and obtained through the Freedom of Information Act.

(11) The IRS is being sued by the National Organization for Marriage for leaking its confidential tax records to political opponents.  The IRS also stands accused of leaking nine tax-exempt applications belonging to conservative groups to their political opponents, including information about Karl Rove’s Crossroads GPS.  Yet again, we’re to believe that this was “inadvertent”.  Nothing to see here, folks, but incompetence (that benefits progressives).  Move on.

(12) Last but not least, more uppity and illegal activity by the IRS’s Fifth-pleading Lois Lerner, who hurriedly okayed tax-exempt status for Obama’s half-brother Malik‘s law-breaking “charity”, after questions were raised about its status in the media.  Lerner even gave Malik unprecedented retroactive amnesty, something she does not have the legal authority to do; but she did it, anyway.  The “charity” was operating illegally for 27 months, but don’t hold your breath waiting for any charges to be filed.  Number (8) above explains how other Obama relatives, the illegal aliens Omar and Zeituni, were able to stay and work in the USA for so long undetected.