Tag Archives: IRS

What scared me the most during 8 years of the Obama administration

Is Barack Obama focused on protecting the American people?
Is Barack Obama focused on protecting the American people?

Progressives (especially liberal white women with non-STEM degrees) often ask me how I can be a conservative since I don’t fit their preconceived notion of a white male Republican. I could talk about how conservative policies are better for my life plans, but usually I just start with a story of something that the Obama administration did that scared me personally – namely, using the IRS to attack conservative groups right before the 2012 elections, so that Obama would win re-election.

Nothing was ever done to the IRS leaders who persecuted this conservative groups under the Obama administration, of course.

However, there might be a happy ending to this story under a Republican administration, as the Daily Signal reports:

Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady and tax policy subcommittee Chairman Peter Roskam sent a letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions Wednesday, noting the Obama administration refused to review the information the committee gathered in its extensive investigation into the matter.

According to the congressmen, there is clear evidence Lerner willfully partook in criminal activity during her tenure as the Exempt Organizations division director, yet former President Barak Obama insisted there was “not a smidgeon of corruption” at the agency.

“On April 9, 2014, the House Committee on Ways and Means voted to send a letter to the Department of Justice referring former IRS Exempt Organizations Division Director Lois G. Lerner for criminal prosecution,” Brady and Roskam wrote. “As indicated in the attached letter, the Committee’s nearly three-year investigation uncovered evidence of willful misconduct on the part of Ms. Lerner. Despite this fact, and for what many believe were purely partisan reasons, the prior administration refused to review Ms. Lerner’s misconduct.”

The lawmakers cited evidence showing Lerner provided misleading information to Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration’s questions and the use of her personal email, which put taxpayers’ confidential information at risk of exposure, as reasons for reopening the investigation.

The DOJ announced in October 2015 it would not pursue criminal charges against Lerner at the close of its two-year probe. The investigation faced challenges due to Lerner’s crashed hard drive, the absence of email archives, and the destruction of over 400 electronic backup tapes, and it was unable to prove the IRS official “intentionally discriminated against an applicant based upon viewpoint” and cited line-employees’ “ignorance, inertia” and “negligence” for delays in tea party applications for r 501(c )(3) status.

“It is clear that when the DOJ announced in October 2015 that it would not bring charges against Lois Lerner, the agency was following President Obama’s signal on how he wanted the investigation to be handled,” they continued. “Taxpayers deserve to know that the DOJ’s previous evaluation was not tainted by politics.”

For now, thought conservative lawmakers are at least trying to get some mony taken out of the IRS budget.

Jim Jordan, my favorite Congressman, explains in USA Today:

Part of my time in Washington has involved investigating the IRS targeting of conservative groups. For a sustained period, the IRS systematically targeted Americans based on their political beliefs.

Congressional efforts to investigate the matter were thwarted. IRS Commissioner John Koskinen was brought in to clean up the mess, but under his watch, 422 back-up tapes containing potentially 24,000 emails relevant to the scandal were destroyed. Such actions leave the American people with little trust in the IRS.

Not only did the IRS violate the First Amendment with its targeting, the agency may have violated the Fourth with the use of “Stingray” surveillance technology. Last year, the House Oversight Committee held a hearing about the technology, which tricks cellphones into pinging off a Stingray device to reveal the phone’s location. Such technology might have a place at the FBI, but why does a tax collecting agency need a device that can track citizens’ whereabouts?

These issues, along with other egregious examples of wasteful spending (one IRS employee spent $43,726 at a Ritz Carlton near Washington, D.C.) warrant the Congress to use its power of the purse to demand accountability.

Likewise, it’s up to leaders at the IRS to prioritize their budget on the agency’s core mission: collecting tax revenue and serving its customers, the American taxpayers. Instead of using taxpayer dollars to violate constitutional rights, the agency should refocus on its priorities. Applying budget cuts in a way that hurts its core mission is just another in a long line of poor decisions by IRS leadership.

Given the history of waste, disregard for civil liberties and lack of internal controls at the IRS, it is no surprise that the Trump administration would like to cut the budget. Doing so sends a signal that this Congress and administration will not reward unlawful behavior.

It seems pretty to me at least that the previous administration repeatedly used government power to target and attack those who disagreed with their communist – pacificist policies. I’d like to see Jeff Sessions punish the progressives from the last administration so that they learn the hard way to obey the law, even if they have no sense of morality. If we had electe Ted Cruz, then he would have just abolished the IRS outright, and that would be a wonderful thing.

Ted Cruz’s plan to lower taxes and simplify the process for filing tax returns

How to get kissed: Heidi Cruz helping her husband
How to get kissed: Heidi Cruz helping her husband

Ted Cruz is very upset with the IRS for discriminating against conservative groups and Christian groups in order to get Barack Obama re-elected in 2012. So, he’s come up with a plan to drastically reduce their influence – and their cost to taxpayers.

Here he is talking about the plan with Megyn Kelly on Fox News.

And he has posted something about the plan on his web site:

Under the Simple Flat Tax, the current seven rates of personal income tax will collapse into a single low rate of 10 percent. For a family of four, the first $36,000 will be tax-free. The Child Tax Credit will remain in place, and the Simple Flat Tax Plan expands and modernizes the Earned Income Tax Credit with greater anti-fraud and pro-marriage reforms.

[…]The IRS will cease to exist as we know it, there will be zero targeting of individuals based on their faith or political beliefs, and there will be no way for thousands of agents to manipulate the system.

For businesses, the corporate income tax will be eliminated. It will be replaced by a simple Business Flat Tax at a single 16 percent rate. The current payroll tax system will be abolished, while maintaining full funding for Social Security and Medicare.

The convoluted tax code will be replaced with new rules of the game – so simple, in fact, that individuals and families could file their taxes on a postcard or phone app. The Death Tax will be eliminated. The Alternative Minimum Tax will be eliminated. The tax on profits earned abroad will be eliminated. And of course, the Obamacare taxes will be eliminated. Also gone will be the unending loopholes in the current code, the stacks of depreciation schedules for businesses, and the multi-tiered rates on income and investments. Under the Simple Flat Tax, the Internet remains free from taxes.

Simple.

The Tax Foundation, which is the leading non-partisan think tank that deals with the issue of taxation, scored Cruz’s plan.

They say:

  • Senator Cruz’s plan would cut taxes by $3.6 trillion over the next decade on a static basis. However, the plan would end up reducing tax revenues by $768 billion over the next decade when accounting for economic growth from increases in the supply of labor and capital and the much broader tax base due to the new value-added tax.

  • According to the Tax Foundation’s Taxes and Growth Model, the plan would significantly reduce marginal tax rates and the cost of capital, which would lead to a 13.9 percent higher GDP over the long term, provided that the tax cut could be appropriately financed.

  • The plan would also lead to a 43.9 percent larger capital stock, 12.2 percent higher wages, and 4.8 million more full-time equivalent jobs.

  • On a static basis, the plan would cut taxes by 9.2 percent, on average, for all taxpayers.

  • Accounting for economic growth, all taxpayers would see an increase in after-tax income of at least 14 percent at the end of the decade.

They conclude:

Senator Cruz’s tax plan would significantly alter the federal tax code. It would completely repeal the corporate income tax and all payroll taxes and enact a 10 percent income tax and a 16 percent “business transfer tax” or value-added tax. These changes to the tax code would increase the incentives to work and invest and would greatly increase the U.S. economy’s size in the long run, leading to higher incomes for taxpayers at all income levels. The plan would also be a large tax cut, which would increase the federal government’s deficit by over $3.6 trillion on a static basis. Accounting for the growth caused by the plan, federal revenues would decline by $768 billion over the next decade.

The non-partisan The Hill says that another major think thank for fiscal conservatism also likes Cruz’s plan:

Ted Cruz’s tax plan would cost less and stimulate the economy more than Donald Trump‘s, a recent analysis found.

“Of the two proposals that we have examined so far, those by Trump and Cruz, we find the Cruz proposal to be the better of the two,” said David Tuerck, executive director of the Beacon Hill Institute and senior fellow at the National Center for Policy Analysis. The free-market groups released a report comparing the economic effects of the tax plans from the two Republican presidential candidates.

[…]Cruz’s plan would also increase business investment and personal income more than Trump’s plan would, the report found.

I want a higher personal income, and I want more money invested into the business that employs me – so I can keep my job, or maybe find a better one. It’s very important to my life plan that I be able to earn money, and keep what I earn. I have a use for that money, whether I marry or not. And that use is not to give it to the government so they can buy people condoms and abortions in exchange for their votes. I have a better plan for the money I earn than what a secular government wants to do with it.

Now, Ted Cruz will have to come up with $768 billion in revenue to balance his plan, but that’s why he has promised to abolish or significantly reduce FIVE government departments. Don’t worry, they aren’t the useful ones. We have too much government, and we can get rid of some, and return the money to the people.

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Democrat DOJ declines to prosecute Democrat IRS officials who persecuted conservatives

Catherine Engelbrecht of True the Vote testifies about being persecuted by the fascist IRS
Catherine Engelbrecht of True the Vote testifies about being persecuted by the fascist IRS

The latest news on the IRS scandal; the corrupt Department of Justice is refusing to file charges against the corrupt Internal Revenue Service officials who persecuted conservatives.

Breitbart News reports:

The Department of Justice (DOJ) announced Friday that Lois Lerner, and other IRS officials involved in targeting conservative groups’ tax exempt applications, will not have criminal charges filed against them.

[…]In a statement responding to the DOJ, [House Judiciary chairman Rep. Bob ] Goodlatte said, “At every turn President Obama and administration officials have repeatedly and publicly undermined the investigation into the IRS’s targeting of conservative groups yet today’s announcement from the Department of Justice is still very disturbing.”

The chairman continued:

I repeatedly called on then Attorney General Holder to appoint a Special Counsel to conduct the investigation to ensure a fair and thorough process but instead the investigation was led by a loyal Democratic donor. Even as far back as last year unnamed DOJ officials leaked information to the media suggesting that the Department did not plan to file criminal charges over the IRS’s targeting of conservative groups.

[…]When an Inspector General’s audit found that IRS agents had targeted Tea Party and other conservative groups during the 2010 and 2012 elections in their applications for tax-exempt status, a firestorm ensued. Multiple investigations by congressional committees focused primarily on Lerner’s part in the activities, with investigators discovering her emails that denigrated Republicans. Subsequently, the House voted to hold Lerner in contempt of Congress in 2014 following her refusal to answer the Oversight Committee’s questions.

In response to the DOJ’s announcement, Tea Party Patriots CEO and co-founder Jenny Beth Martin said, “By failing to indict Lois Lerner, the Obama Justice Department – or, should we say, the Obama Injustice Department – is making a mockery of this ‘investigation,’ when countless American citizens, by Ms. Lerner’s own admission, were persecuted by the Internal Revenue Service.”

“This is a woman, after all, who looked into the camera at a national television audience and directly at a congressional committee and refused to answer their questions for fear of incriminating herself,” Martin continued in her statement. “This is just the latest evidence that the Justice Department, whether under Eric Holder or Loretta Lynch, has simply become the political hatchet-men for President Obama and his cronies throughout the administration.”

Mark Meckler, co-founder of the Tea Party movement and president of Citizens for Self Governance—a group that continues its class lawsuit against the IRS—said, “Lois Lerner made an entire career out of attacking conservatives and Christians starting with her time at the FEC. There is a reason the majority of Americans fear their government, and Lerner is the poster child for that reason.”

Meckler added that, via the DOJ’s decision not to file charges, Lerner “has been rewarded for abusing her government positions to attack her fellow citizens. And until the Department of Injustice once again becomes the Department of Justice, Americans will live in fear.”

“It’s no wonder why so many Americans have had it with Washington and the elite political class who can get away with something like this,” he said. “We will continue to press our case in the courts to bring justice and to defend or protect our First Amendment rights and to preserve our democratic republic.”

The article does not mention what happened to True the Vote, so I want to remind everyone what the IRS persecution of conservative groups really looks like.

Catherine Engelbrecht

Here is True the Vote’s CEO reacting to the news that the mandatory taxes that she pays was used to pay the salaries of the corrupt IRS leaders who persecuted her:

And here is her testimony during the investigation of IRS corruption:

And of course, the mainstream media covered up for the IRS, because the laws don’t protect everyone equally.

Elijah Cummings

Interesting that the loudest mouth at the Benghazi hearing was actually the driving force behind the use of the IRS as a weapon against Tea Party groups.

Katie Pavlich writes about it at Townhall:

New IRS emails released by the House Oversight Committee show staff working for Democratic Ranking Member Elijah Cummings communicated with the IRS multiple times between 2012 and 2013 about voter fraud prevention group True the Vote. True the Vote was targeted by the IRS after applying for tax exempt status more than two years ago. Further, information shows the IRS and Cummings’ staff asked for nearly identical information from True the Vote President Catherine Engelbrecht about her organization, indicating coordination and improper sharing of confidential taxpayer information.

Chairman of the House Oversight Committee Darrell Issa, along with five Subcommittee Chairmen are demanding Cummings provide an explanation for the staff inquiries to the IRS about True the Vote and for his denial that his staff ever contacted the IRS about the group.

“Although you have previously denied that your staff made inquiries to the IRS about conservative organization True the Vote that may have led to additional agency scrutiny, communication records between your staff and IRS officials – which you did not disclose to Majority Members or staff – indicates otherwise,” the letter to Cummings states. “As the Committee is scheduled to consider a resolution holding Ms. Lerner, a participant in responding to your communications that you failed to disclose, in contempt of Congress, you have an obligation to fully explain your staff’s undisclosed contacts with the IRS.”

The first contact between the IRS and Cummings’ staffers about True the Vote happened in August 2012. In January 2013, staff asked for more information from the IRS about the group. Former head of tax exempt groups at the IRS Lois Lerner went out of her way to try and get information to Cummings’ office.The information Cummings received was not shared with Majority Members on the Committee.

And this is why, when conservatives like me are asked which departments we would abolish at the federal level, so their responsibilities can be pushed down to the state level, we typically answer: The Department of Education, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Energy and the Internal Revenue Service. As for the Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, we need a housecleaning of all the executives to ensure that they are professional and non-partisan in the execution of their duties.

There is some good news: The House Republicans are impeaching the Commissioner of the IRS John Koskinen.

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Obama vetoes bill that “authorizes pay, benefits and training for U.S. troops”

He's better at golf than foreign policy
He’s better at golf than foreign policy, and he sucks at golf

Here’s the Wall Street Journal.

Excerpt:

President Obama is playing politics with national defense, and in the process he is taking down the military’s welfare. In an act of partisan gamesmanship, the president on Thursday vetoed the National Defense Authorization Act, a bill that a bipartisan majority of Congress passed and that delivers the resources needed by troops to defend the nation.

[…]He has become the first commander in chief willing to sacrifice national security by vetoing a bill that authorizes pay, benefits and training for U.S. troops, simply because he seeks leverage to pursue his domestic political agenda.

[…]President Obama’s veto was about broader spending issues that have absolutely nothing to do with defense. By vowing recently that he “will not fix defense without fixing nondefense spending,” the president is holding the military hostage to increase funding for Washington bureaucracies like the Environmental Protection Agency and the Internal Revenue Service.

The Environmental Protection Agency is more important?:

EPA dumps 1 million gallons of mining waste into river
EPA dumps 1 million gallons of mining waste into river

The Internal Revenue Service is more important?:

IRS Chief Fascist Lois Lerner
IRS Chief Fascist Lois Lerner

More Wall Street Journal:

In vetoing this bill, the president imposes more harm and uncertainty on the military at a time when America faces dangerous and complex threats from around the world. He has prevented critical policies from taking effect that would immediately improve the lives of service members and military families while addressing needs of wounded, ill or injured service members. For example, President Obama has rejected measures that open service members’ access to medical care; enhance protections for military sexual-assault victims; extend retirement benefits to more than 80% of service members; make significant, long-overdue reforms to the defense acquisition system; and authorize hundreds of other measures that are critical to national security.

Perhaps most disturbingly, the president’s veto has sent a message to America’s enemies and allies alike that he is more concerned about funding broken Washington bureaucracies than he is about maintaining the nation’s distinction for being defended by the world’s greatest fighting force.

That is the wrong message to send when America faces an array of crises that demand a strong national defense, including war in Afghanistan, China’s illegal activities in the South China Sea, Islamic State’s terrorist reign across Iraq and Syria, Bashar Assad’s bombing campaign—now backed by Russia and Iran—against his own people in Syria,Vladimir Putin’s annexation of Crimea and dismemberment of Ukraine, and Iran’s malign activities propping up terrorist proxies destabilizing the Middle East.

These and other threats make it clear that the U.S. faces more national-security threats than at any time since the end of World War II. It is reckless, cynical and downright dangerous for the president to veto the NDAA, denying the American military the authorizations it desperately needs.

We have to fund the EPA and the IRS, but we can’t fund our armed forces. At a time where Russia, China and Iran are arming up and getting more aggressive, we can’t fund our armed forces. Democrat Party priorities.

UPDATE: Reader tells me that it affects things like hazard pay, enlistment bonuses, not the annual pay increase:

The Thursday veto will jeopardize a host of other specialty pays and bonuses, and has inflamed an already bitter budget standoff between Obama and congressional Republicans.

But it does not alter plans for a 1.3 percent raise for troops effective Jan. 1, which is ensured regardless of how the veto fight shakes out.

[…]The defense authorization bill still affects things like enlistment bonuses, hazard pays, and other specialty compensation for which authorization must be renewed each year. If lawmakers has substituted their own pay raise or tried to supercede the presidential order in the bill, Obama’s veto would have affected that, too.

130 left-wing fascist groups petition Obama to end religious liberty in America

Gay activist vandalizes pro-marriage sign
Gay activist vandalizes pro-marriage sign

Christian Daily has the story.

A group of 130 organizations sent a letter to President Obama asking for a review of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), worried that a 2007 Justice Department memo allows for federally funded religious organizations to discriminate in the hiring process.

The letter requests President Obama to direct Attorney General Loretta Lynch to reevalute a 2007 memo from the Justice Department that interprets the Religious Freedom Restoration Act as allowing for faith-based groups to be exempt from nondiscrimination laws.

“RFRA was intended to provide protection for free exercise rights… to federal laws that substantially burden religious exercise. RFRA was not intended to create blanket exemptions to laws that protect against discrimination,” the organizations contend in the letter to Obama.

[…]However, Derek Gaubatz of the Federalist Society asserted in a 2011 article that the decision on whether to reverse the 2007 memo or not “will affect the ability of faith-based providers who engage in religious hiring preferences to compete with secular and other faith-based organizations for federal social service grants.”

[…]The Religious Freedom Restoration Act is a federal law that ensures the protection of religious freedom and had been enacted in 1993.

That story is also being reported in the mainstream media, e.g. – the Washington Post. BuzzFeed has the full text of the letter and the list of organizations who signed it.

If Obama chooses to act on the letter, it would be a federal level fix which would expose Christians in the entire country to lawsuits of the kinds we are seeing in “non-discrimination” states, where Christian florists, bakers, photographers, etc. are being dragged before tribunals, forced to pay huge fines, forced into sensitivity training, and forced to celebrate things that are against their religious liberty and conscience.

Once again, here are the states where anti-Christian bigotry is legal:

States with non-discrimination laws
States with non-discrimination laws, which allow Christians to be put on trial

The 130 groups are going for a federal 50-state implementation of these laws. The Democrats have actually already introduced the “Equality Act”, which I wrote about before. This bill would achieve this goal, so the letter is really to get Obama to push for that and sign it. That goes to show you how the secular left feels about tolerance and diversity, by the way. They want to push their views and values on others, using the government, in all 50 states.

One of the groups, the Human Rights Campaign, had previously got caught trying to squelch the free speech of pro-marriage activists.

From the Daily Signal in June 2014.

Excerpt:

Two years after activists for same-sex marriage obtained the confidential tax return and donor list of a national group opposed to redefining marriage, the Internal Revenue Service has admitted wrongdoing and agreed to settle the resulting lawsuit.

The Daily Signal has learned that, under a consent judgment today, the IRS agreed to pay $50,000 in damages to the National Organization for Marriage as a result of the unlawful release of the confidential information to a gay rights group, the Human Rights Campaign, that is NOM’s chief political rival.

“Congress made the disclosure of confidential tax return information a serious matter for a reason,” NOM Chairman John D. Eastman told The Daily Signal. “We’re delighted that the IRS has now been held accountable for the illegal disclosure of our list of major donors from our tax return.”

The have the background to this story as well:

In February 2012, the Human Rights Campaign posted on its web site NOM’s 2008 tax return and the names and contact information of the marriage group’s major donors, including soon-to-be Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney. That information then was published by the Huffington Post and other liberal-leaning news sites.

HRC’s president at the time, Joe Solmonese, was tapped that same month as a national co-chairman of President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign.

[…]HRC is among organizations and activists advocating same-sex marriage that routinely describe NOM as a “hate group” or “anti-gay” for making the case for preserving marriage as the union of one man and one woman.

The Human Rights Campaign is a group that had previously condemned the Family Research Council as a hate group. This is the same Family Research Council that was later attacked by a convicted domestic terrorist / gay activist. After the attack, the HRC continued to denounce the FRC as a hate group. This is the group that Obama hires out of.

Shouldn’t there be criminal charges for whoever leaked the donor names to the gay activists? There should be, but…:

Unauthorized disclosure of confidential tax information is a felony offense that can result in five years in prison, but the Department of Justice did not bring criminal charges.

The Department of Justice did not press charges because they are on the same team as the leakers.