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House chairman sees IRS errors as part of pattern

By Alan Fram & Stephen Ohlemacher

Associated Press

POSTED:
LAST UPDATED: 04:51 a.m. HST, May 17, 2013


WASHINGTON » The chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee says the Internal Revenue Service's improper targeting of tea party and conservative groups seems to be part of a culture of cover-ups and political intimidation by the Obama administration.

The remark by Republican Dave Camp of Michigan came as his panel began a hearing on the IRS's tough screening of conservative groups.

The panel's top Democrat, Rep. Sander Levin of Michigan, disagreed with Camp and warned that the hearing shouldn't be aimed at scoring points for election campaigns.

The ousted head of the IRS, Steven Miller, said in a prepared statement that while his agency made mistakes, they were caused by a desire to efficiently handle growing numbers of applications for tax-exempt status — and not caused by political viewpoints.







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manakuke wrote:
The ‘Meltdown Messiah’?
on May 17,2013 | 05:09AM
HD36 wrote:
Anybody can handle adversity. The true test is when he's given power. ~ Lincoln
on May 17,2013 | 07:52AM
ross13moon wrote:
GOP bluster...GOP will sell their souls for any scrap of controversy to obstruct this administration while the real issues go to the back burner...in reality, this was merely a bunch of IRS employees who took their job to seriously and were poorly managed...those intelligent enough to remember the Roth IRS oversight hearings of 1998 will recall that not a single allegation was proven to have any substance...yes, the IRS may have violated the Tea Party, et al, Constitutional right to stupidity but is it on the same level as Bushie's venture in to Iraq looking for Weapons of Mass destruction, which only resulting in 4400 flag draped coffins?
on May 17,2013 | 05:11AM
Pacej001 wrote:
Lets sum up your post: It was Bush's fault. The Tea Party is raaacccist/deranged. GOP a bunch of sociopaths. I think that about covers it. -------None of this sort of talk from the left, with its Saul Alynski mentality--target, vilify, demean, distract, destroy, is surprising. It's just what you do and who you are. However, what IS surprising in your post is your clairvoyance! Just amazing that, this early in the investigation, you KNOW that it was "MERELY (emphasis added) a bunch of IRS employees who took their job to seriously and were poorly managed'. Some how you've managed to read the IG report which ADMITS to targeting conservative groups and ferreted (a word with two meanings) out the real truth, that it's an acceptable error of "management" that the constitutional rights of "stupid" people be violated. Given your abysmal view of Republicans in general it sounds like a lot more "mismanagement" of conservative's constitutional rights would be just fine with you.
on May 17,2013 | 07:51AM
ross13moon wrote:
I am retired IRS and mismanagement is inherent in all government agencies but there just as much greed in corporate America as there is mismanagement...it's one thing to disagreed with the Administration but the "Tea Party is raaacccist/deranged. GOP a bunch of sociopaths", (your words) which incude the "birthers", those who call BO a Communist (legitamate Economist call him an "Eisenhower Democrate) or a Muslim...the IRS will weather this storm as it has others in the past...for all the past and present accusation (substantiated or not) the IRS will remain because it's critics know that it plays a vital part of American government and is the envy of other civilized nations About the 4400 flag draped coffins, where in the world are the WMD?
on May 17,2013 | 10:24AM
Pacej001 wrote:
Actually, my overall opinion of the IRS has been pretty high (with some exceptions) based on personal experience and what I believe to be fairly positive changes from a low point or two in the past decade. As for the tea party, I don't think any group or ordinary Americans (sure there are a relatively few nut cases there. Welcome to the human race) has been so thoroughly and systematically slimed as they have by the President, his party, and liberal/progressives in general. Racist. Fanatics. Extremists. A Koch brothers conspiracy. They have been called every name in the book, a disgusting exercise in the filthiest sort of politics. Who created this environment? I believe Obama is directly responsible. The press is responsible, as well, either ignoring or vilifying one of the largest mass, grassroots political movements since the Vietnam war. And what does the IRS do? Evidently it participates in this by targeting the conservative groups? Just to day we learn that the Treasury department knew of this well before the election, that the IRS commissioner knew, and denied it when queried by congressional republicans, well before the 2012 elections. Some one said that the power to tax is the power to destroy. No truer words have ever been said. For that reason, this kind of (apparent) political corruption has to be ripped out root and branch from the IRS and from the executive branch. Otherwise, why should I or any other citizen trust agencies like the IRS with our fundamental rights. i would think you, as a former IRS agent, above all, would support this.
on May 17,2013 | 10:54AM
ross13moon wrote:
This demonstrate a basic ignorance of the IRS by using the term "IRS Agent", there is not job title as such, and your understanding of the agency is based on what other tell, you see therefor it must be true...IRS does not care who you are nor does it "plot" to target individuals, et al,..IRS' job is to administer and enforce the US tax laws and its efforts are concerned with facts and circumstances...Tea Party et al are a party of the GOP, that is any reference to such is "political" and forbidden for exempt organization status under the tax law, aka Internal Revenue Code...get over it, you're not a "victim"
on May 17,2013 | 12:17PM
Pacej001 wrote:
Never claimed to be an "expert" on the IRS. However, from the IRS IG report we learn that the IRS "targeted" (their word) Tea Party groups and applied the criteria you mentioned above unfairly, meaning the IRS obstructed/delayed/harassed the conservative groups while not applying the same scrutiny to other groups. Is this conduct you think complies with tax law? Tea Party part of the GOP? BS. They were no more part of the GOP than Move On.org or Media Matters or OFA or any of the numerous liberal/progressive non profits were organs of the democrat party. From what you say, as a career IRS person, it sounds like we definitely do have a systemic problem. IRS employees have to keep their actions on the job completely isolated from the political judgements like the one you just made.
on May 17,2013 | 12:36PM
ross13moon wrote:
Tea Party is nothing more than "lackeys" for the 1% (they hold 40% of the wealth) Tea Party really have no stake in the tax laws, just a bunch of "rubes", gullible to a fault...its the 1% GOP rich, like the Bushies, Dick, Mitty et al, succeeded dumping the financial burden of fighting the US wars on the backs of the middle class while they got a tax break...as far as IRS problems, the Courts always agreed with me
on May 17,2013 | 03:27PM
Pacej001 wrote:
Tea Party "lackeys". I can come up with equally ad hominem junk for the fools who voted for Obama for the free cell phones and government paid rent.------As a private citizen, you're welcomed to your (biased, one sided) opinion. Couldn't careless that you adopt Obama's politics of anger and envy or the terminology of the Occupy movement ignoramuses. However, that IRS officials, possibly holding similar political views, acted on them to prevent conservative groups from expressing their constitutional rights is beyond unacceptable. If that's the case, the IRS needs the wire brush treatment and it's going to get it.---- And congratulations that the courts agree with you, but with the issue at hand the IRS doesn't even agree with you, unless you somehow just know that the IG report is wrong.
on May 17,2013 | 04:55PM
ross13moon wrote:
you also have Constitutional right to hallucinate...
on May 17,2013 | 10:26PM
localguy wrote:
And these bureaucrats after the IRS are the same ones who for years have willfully failed to do their jobs, are receiving full pay while other federal workers may have to take a pay cut, the same ones who still practice earmarks? Totally dysfunctional Washington bureaucrats, the laughing stock of the world.
on May 17,2013 | 05:48AM
eoe wrote:
Yes, the midterm election cycle has started so Republicans need to begin to frighten their ignorant base with talk of "tyranny." Same thing they have been doing the last five years. Seriously, people railing against Obama are going to look back 10 years from now and just be embarrassed by their behavior. The country will survive Obama just like it survived Bush.
on May 17,2013 | 06:02AM
Pacej001 wrote:
Post should have gone here.: Max Baucus (D) on the IRS scandal: "“I have a hunch that a lot more is going to come out, frankly,” Baucus told Bloomberg News. “It’s broader than the current focus.” I don't think Maxie agrees with you. At least he represents the honest assessment inside the democrat party. ----- Almost comically, some of the same democrats who demanded the IRS investigate the Tea Party are now in full faux outrage that the IRS would actually do what they demanded they do. Very precious, this sudden affectional for free speech and the constitution. ------- Speaking of election cycles, isn't it interesting that the IRS commissioner withheld the substance of the IG report, that conservative groups were being systematically suppressed, until AFTER the 2012 presidential/congressional election. This has an erie similarity to the White House slow rolling the Benghazi investigation, misleading us about it, until after the election. --- So it looks like your camps philosophy through all of this is the following: you can't make a transformative, liberal/progressive omelet without breaking a few eggs, right? The eggs being you opponents fundamental constitutional protections and the faith of the American citizen that his government will tell him the truth without regard to political consequence.
on May 17,2013 | 09:49AM
Pacej001 wrote:
Gotta agree with the survival part. We will survive, just probably with fewer democrats. Remember the Watergate congress. Just imagine that flipped upside down.
on May 17,2013 | 10:07AM
HD36 wrote:
IRS: well, some rookies, low level guys, just happened to press the wrong button and knowbody higher up knew anything. Right.
on May 17,2013 | 06:44AM
cojef wrote:
These are not low level guys in an isloated office. All tax-exempt request was centralized and processed at this "remote" office for specific purposes. When Obama became President he designated 16 Czars to run the varies Federal agencies, although there were Civil Servants already agency heads running the oraganization. This was done to isolate the Presidents from the mundane task of carrying out his mandates good or bad. Thus, when question, he can deny any wrong doing. These Czars had their marching order from "day one". Referrals for further "dirty tricks" from one agency to anotheris easliy accomplished to harass a victim/enemy of the insiders. This is an old trick used by various Administrations in the past.
on May 17,2013 | 09:51AM
Pacej001 wrote:
Wow. I think I see a historical parallel. The Plumbers outfit that worked for Nixon. They were low level guys weren't they. "Isolate the president from the mundane tasks"---- of accountability, of congressional oversight, of direct responsibility. Ingenious way of insulating oneself. Not so ingenious way of running a country.
on May 17,2013 | 10:12AM
kainalu wrote:
Hmm? Let us review: Groups that call themselves "Taxed Enough Already", apply for tax exemptions, are then scrutinized by the IRS. Oh the drama.
on May 17,2013 | 07:31AM
Pacej001 wrote:
So, it's fine with you that a group of people supporting less taxation is "brown shirted" by the very agency that collects their taxes, unelected bureaucrats, possibly working at the behest of elected politicians who desperately want to enact laws aimed at expanding the scope and reach of the IRS and increasing taxes or that that same agency has a union which strongly supports the democrat party with endorsements and contributions? Assuming this is so, it's pretty clear you'd have come down on the side of the British during our revolution.
on May 17,2013 | 08:19AM
eoe wrote:
Wow, that's quite the list of incendiary claims. You managed to throw Nazis, bureaucrats, politicians, unions, taxes, Democrats, the IRS and the Revolutionary war into two sentences. When you write stuff like this, do you realize how unhinged you sound?
on May 17,2013 | 09:27AM
Pacej001 wrote:
I think I sound witty and provocative, but mainly accurate. You, on the other hand sound like the Republicans in 1972 defending Richard Nixon.
on May 17,2013 | 09:54AM
kainalu wrote:
Just keeping it simple - why the drama over the IRS giving an extra look to groups that openly proclaims "taxed enough already"? Duh. A mountain over a molehill, much like your first response.
on May 17,2013 | 09:59AM
Pacej001 wrote:
Illogical. The IRS has no business in deciding which citizens get to express their political views. The IRS has no business advocating higher OR lower taxes. The ONLY source of taxation is the people themselves through their elected representatives. You may have heard this prrase: No taxation (or tax policy) without (duly elected, accountable) representation. The only legal, legitimate role the IRS has is to implement tax laws passed by the congress. They have absolutely zero right to harass or intimidate citizens who happen to want more or less taxation or even want to abolish the IRS.------- So, rather than a molehill, this is a volcano, especially if it goes into the president's office.
on May 17,2013 | 10:21AM
Pacej001 wrote:
Max Baucus (D) on the IRS scandal: "“I have a hunch that a lot more is going to come out, frankly,” “It’s broader than the current focus.” I don't think Maxie agrees with you. At least he represents the honest assessment buried in the democrat party. Almost comically, some of the same democrats who demanded the IRS investigate the Tea Party are now in full faux outrage that the IRS would actually do what they demanded they do, come down hard on conservative groups. Very precious, this sudden affectional for free speech and the constitution. ------- Speaking of election cycles, isn't it interesting that the IRS commissioner withheld the substance of the IG report, that conservative groups were being systematically suppressed, until AFTER the 2012 presidential/congressional election. This has an erie similarity to the White House stonewalling the Benghazi investigation, misleading us about it, until after the election. --- So it looks like your camps philosophy through all of this is the following: you can't make a transformative, liberal/progressive omelet without breaking a few eggs, right? The eggs being you opponents fundamental constitutional protections and the faith of the American citizen that his government will tell him the truth without regard to political consequence.
on May 17,2013 | 08:12AM
Pacej001 wrote:
Max Baucus (D) on the IRS scandal: "“I have a hunch that a lot more is going to come out, frankly,” Baucus told Bloomberg News. “It’s broader than the current focus.” I don't think Maxie agrees with you. At least he represents the honest assessment inside the democrat party. ----- Almost comically, some of the same democrats who demanded the IRS investigate the Tea Party are now in full faux outrage that the IRS would actually do what they demanded they do. Very precious, this sudden affectional for free speech and the constitution. ------- Speaking of election cycles, isn't it interesting that the IRS commissioner withheld the substance of the IG report, that conservative groups were being systematically suppressed, until AFTER the 2012 presidential/congressional election. This has an erie similarity to the White House slow rolling the Benghazi investigation, misleading us about it, until after the election. --- So it looks like your camps philosophy through all of this is the following: you can't make a transformative, liberal/progressive omelet without breaking a few eggs, right? The eggs being you opponents fundamental constitutional protections and the faith of the American citizen that his government will tell him the truth without regard to political consequence.
on May 17,2013 | 08:14AM
eoe wrote:
Shocking. You mean to tell me politicians act in political ways? I'm sure Republicans would have self-disclosed this the very first day this crossed their desk. Or wait, wait- I know: The Republicans never would have done this in the first place because theirs is the cause of righteousness, God smiles on them and their political methods are purer than white driven snow.
on May 17,2013 | 09:29AM
Pacej001 wrote:
Now you've done it. You've built a straw man of straw men. The Republicans are evil and corrupt, would have done the same thing that the democrats did (You're now acknowledging the acts of corruption on the part of the IRS and, possibly their democrat enablers). ----- Politicians acting in political ways. If, by political ways, you mean violating the first amendment, subverting an election, abuse of governmental power, destruction of the credibility of the IRS, and further weakening the nearly nonexistent faith in government. These are not trivial things at all. It would be irrational to describe them so. This mess has to be sorted out and heads have to roll, up to and including Obama's if he had a direct role. His role in vilifying his political opponents already indicts him, morally speaking. Time will tell whether that indictment rises to the level of criminality.
on May 17,2013 | 10:04AM
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