The IRS Scandal, Day 365

Instapundit has had a running theme for exactly a year today. Paul Caron, a law professor in the US, began assembling each day the latest news on the use of the IRS to harass any organisation on the right-side of the political divide. From the first moment I could not see how Obama could avoid being impeached even with the media virtually all in one corner. But on this, alas, I could not have been more wrong. So a full year has gone by, and this is where we are now on Day 365. You can see the links to each of these articles by going into Caron’s article:

  • American Thinker: IRS Audits 10% of Tea Party Donors
  • The Blaze: IRS Agrees to Turn Over All Lois Lerner Emails
  • Bloomberg: House Holds Lois Lerner in Contempt for IRS Probe Silence
  • Catholic Online: Former IRS Official Lois Lerner Held in Contempt
  • Christian Science Monitor: House Holds Lois Lerner in Contempt in IRS Scandal: What Does That Mean?
  • Daily Caller: IRS Agrees To Give House Committee All Lois Lerner Emails
  • Daily Mail: IRS Finally Agrees to Turn Over ALL Lois Lerner Emails to House Republicans – A Day After She’s Found in Criminal Contempt
  • The Foundry: Why 26 Democrats Think IRS Scandal ‘Doesn’t Smell Right’
  • The Guardian: IRS Official Held in Contempt of Congress Over Tea Party Targeting
  • Human Events: Lois Lerner Held in Contempt by the House
  • Legal Insurrection: IRS to Turn Over All Lois Lerner Emails to House Committee
  • National Review: IRS to Turn Over All Lerner E-Mails
  • NBC News: GOP Focus on Benghazi and IRS Could Be Risky Business
  • News Busters: NY Times Reporter Suggests ‘Defensive’ GOP Playing Politics on Lois Lerner
  • News Max: Critic Slams Networks for Ignoring Contempt Vote on IRS’ Lerner
  • News Max: Rep. Cummings: Lerner Contempt Vote Recalls McCarthy Era
  • Newsweek: House Votes to Hold IRS’s Lois Lerner in Contempt Over Conservative Targeting
  • Roll Call: In Showdown With Lerner, House Imprisonment Not Out of the Question
  • Slate: Lois Lerner Is Held in Contempt of Congress, in Massive Consolation Prize
  • Town Hall: Guess Who Bailed on Lerner’s Contempt Vote?
  • Town Hall: Priorities: Pelosi Skips Lerner Vote, Attends Fundraiser in CA
  • USA Today: Congress Could Put Lois Lerner in Jail All by Itself — But Probably Won’t
  • Wall Street Journal: Four Ways the House Can Go After Lois Lerner
  • Wall Street Journal: Lois Lerner’s Contempt for Congress
  • Wall Street Journal: Some Democrats Target the IRS: The White House Can’t Call It a Partisan “Phony Scandal.”
  • Wall Street Journal: What’s Next for Lerner and the IRS Scandal
  • Washington Examiner: IRS’ Lois Lerner Held in Contempt by U.S. House
  • Washington Free Beacon: Meet the Democrats Who Want to Investigate the IRS
  • Washington Post: The Five Stages of GOP Scandal-Mongering: A Reader’s Guide
  • Washington Post: House Votes to Hold Lois Lerner in Contempt of Congress
  • Washington Post: Lois Lerner Is About to Join the Contempt Club. Who Else Has Been There?
  • The Weekly Standard: Six Dems Join House Republicans on Lerner Contempt Vote

Aside from media bias, the terrorist abilities of the IRS is keeping protest to an invisible low. You don’t need gulags or the army in the streets, just the Tax Department. Quite instructive but depressing.The United States is no longer a free country nor will it be a prosperous country for very long either. Its infrastructure is falling to bits which I was reminded of on another Instapundit post today which began:

Last night, I got back to California after my behind the scenes work on the Duranty Awards in New York, after a delayed flight from JFK to San Francisco that began with an hour and a half on the tarmac, proceeded by six hours in flight, inside an aging Boeing 767 with one bathroom out of service, no Wi-Fi, and plenty of turbulence.

Falling to bits in so many ways but the only issue that seems to engage their media and political class are racist comments made in private by the owner of a basketball team.

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31 Responses to The IRS Scandal, Day 365

  1. The IRS scandal is a true scandal of massive proportions.

    The Democrats literally used the IRS to target conservative groups and harrass them. It went beyond the IRS; individuals who signed up to Tea Party groups or founded them suddenly got investigated by several seemingly unrelated departments for seemingly unrelated things.

    The IRS basically stopped the Tea Party in its tracks; they literally couldn’t operate.

  2. ChrisPer

    It staggered me that no-one has talked about direct action on this scandal. Why are IRS officials feeling safe to appear in public? Why are their families not embarrassed at their connection to corrupt people and organisations?

  3. Mike of Marion

    IF the republicans ever get back in, they ought to declare the democrats as a terrorist organisation!!!!

  4. Mk50 of Brisbane, Henchman to the VRWC

    it gets worse.

    If that story is true, this is the tech developed for Fallujah. Link to an ORACLE database and work the movement patterns (as they did there to discern patterns amongst the terrorists and so open them up for annihilation) and you actually have the perfect police state. You deviate from your normal route to work, the police will know, and pull you over to ask why.

  5. Ant

    Classic tactic of the Left. Divert and lie when in power, attack mercilessly and lie when in opposition.

  6. old bloke

    Why can’t the Americans see what’s happening to their country?

  7. Senile Old Guy

    Last night, I got back to California after my behind the scenes work on the Duranty Awards in New York, after a delayed flight from JFK to San Francisco that began with an hour and a half on the tarmac, proceeded by six hours in flight, inside an aging Boeing 767 with one bathroom out of service, no Wi-Fi, and plenty of turbulence.

    The horror! No Wi-Fi for a few hours! And turbulence! (Turbulence being due to natural air movements and not something anyone can do anything about.)

  8. struth

    Why can’t the Americans see what’s happening to their country?

    Institutions like education (as the tax office) hijacked by the left.
    Msm as a result , left wing.
    Immigration for a left wing ideology no one voted for called multiculturalism, just creats multi tribalism. A therefore divided nation. A divided nation is a conquered nation.
    All USA’s problems are caused , just like here, by the left’s relentless march through the institutions.

  9. Greigoz

    And the saddest note to end with – the Republicans are divided and Hillary is odds on to become the next President. After 8 more years of Democratic rule, just how will Russia, the Middle East/Israel and China look? Worse, how will the USA look (Nationwide Detroit syndrome anyone?)

  10. Bruce of Newcastle

    Why can’t the Americans see what’s happening to their country?

    Like here most Americans don’t pay any tax other than mostly invisible GST, so they don’t fear the IRS anymore.

    That is why I want the tax free threshold lowered to $0 per annum. And that tax returns remain mandatory for everyone.

    People must pay visible and painful tax every year so they understand that government is costly. That is the only way to win them over to backing smaller government.

  11. Megan

    I drove more than 600 miles across California and back this week. The condition of the freeways and highways was appalling, potholes, long cracks, rough and uneven tarmac, damaged and broken median dividers. And utterly unbelievable traffic chaos returning home on the 101 Wednesday because the Prez was dropping in to schmooze donors at 5:15pm and traffic diversions were in place on all the possible routes he might take. Took me an hour to drive across 5 miles of freeway.

    On my obligatory shopping trip the number of empty shops, buildings and offices was depressing. Yet, they think the Boy King is marvellous what with the free health care and all. Their sales tax is not invisible. I maintain a mental total when I shop and had to keep my irritation under control at the register when I thought I had spent around $50 and was hit with the extra. Why not simply include it in the marked price?

  12. Eyrie

    Megan,

    So it causes pain as it did to you. Same for the income tax. Collect at end of year instead of PAYE. There will be an instant lower tax movement.

  13. stackja

    Obama is protected by his colour. Others may be tried and if found guilty be punished. But Obama will never face justice.

  14. Notafan
    I maintain a mental total when I shop and had to keep my irritation under control at the register when I thought I had spent around $50 and was hit with the extra. Why not simply include it in the marked price

    ?
    Impossible, every state is different and within states different counties sometimes add extra eg Cook County in Il, it would a nightmare for any but locally made and marketed products to price their goods.
    Plus big outfits like Amazon got away without charging sales tax for years and a sales tax inclusive price would have messed with their competiviteness.
    Non the less it is very irritating, a dollar item becomes a $1.08 and you end up with a lot of one cent coins.

  15. Dan

    Sounds like the qantas flight to hawaii, just not as bad. No wifi either and turbulence obviously possible

  16. Somerville

    struth

    #1299697, posted on May 10, 2014 at 10:31 am

    Why can’t the Americans see what’s happening to their country?

    All USA’s problems are caused , just like here, by the left’s relentless march through the institutions.

    This is the depressing truth. It’s too late for the USA, the Gramsci-ite takeover has succeeded. It may also be too late here. The next few years of coalition government will be critical in determining if the Marxist march through our institutions can be halted and perhaps even reversed. It is not even clear that the Coalition even want to try.

  17. Ruth Anne

    … can’t the Americans see …do you really believe that it’s not happening here ?

    …and IRS officers, just like ATO officers here feel safe, because of the general apathy of most people.

    There are no major protests in the streets of Sydney, Melbourne, and every other major Australian city – more is the pity!

    I could not list all the examples of the ATO doing as it pleases – destroying the lives of productive, tax-paying Aussies, recklessly bankrupting so that the taxpayer can’t mount a defence. They are no different to the IRS. Our mainstream media are asleep! Or don’t care?

    It is time to bombard the media and politicians demanding genuine reform of the system instead of the lip-service seen today. Senator elect, Bob Day spoke about this recently – check out his site – for a thoughtful and researched look at this broken system.
    The other useful article recently posted on this blog by Judith Sloan, from memory titled Tax Office Out of Control is quite revealing. And ‘out of control’ is a true description – that, if given some thought to associated consequences , is more than a little terrifying.
    As readers and commentators on this blog, you all care about Oz, so please inform yourselves about all this and if it seems to be unjust – a burden too great upon Aussies, prove the ‘pen’ mightier by protesting to all an sundry.

  18. Ellen of Tasmania

    How America went from the world’s biggest creditor to the world’s biggest debtor. (The first 10-15 mins will give you all you need.)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QatbooMSvyk

  19. Notafan

    I don’t agree Ruth Anne, I am sure there are some horror stories, it’s a big organisation but I have never heard of the ATO being involved in wide spread politcal partisanship and it is has just gone through a change in owner, so to speak. Constituents are free to raise claims of bias with local members, the Taxation ombudsman and several other oversight bodies and Mr Hockey spoke only last year of breaking the ATO up.
    It’s like Gillard trying to clamp down on the freedom of the media in Australia because of what happened in the UK, at least Murdoch was a common denominator.


    ATO professionalism survey

  20. Peredur

    Non contradiction; either – or; A is A

  21. Ellen of Tasmania

    Ruth Anne,

    I took a look at Bob Day’s speech and this is the bit where he refers to the ATO. Like Notafan, I’m not sure this suggests political partisanship. Lousy tax laws, certainly. Good speech overall.

    “Also, importantly, rules must apply equally to everybody. But the rules governing tax liabilities have become so tangled and complex that nobody can be sure any longer what the rules say or how they will apply in any given case. And behind the vast volume of laws – the actual legislation, looms an equally massive bulk of ATO public determinations, public rulings, bulletins, interpretative decisions, policy papers, circulars, administrative guidelines and practice statements. Some of these are supposed to be binding on ATO officers, and in general ATO staff rely on these sources, rather than on the legislation, thereby giving them in practice something close to the force of law. The ATO no longer simply implements a known set of rules, but rather it develops and amends the rules case by case. In effect, the ATO makes its own rules. In fairness, the ATO is probably just trying to make an unworkable law work but the net result is confusion and uncertainty. As a consequence, we live with laws which have lost their intelligibility, certainty and predictability. Tax law is not real law as we’ve come to understand it.”

    (http://www.familyfirst.org.au/Bob-Day-articles-landing-page.php – it’s his address to the Tax Institute of S.A. and it’s a download.)

  22. Robert Blair

    Struth, Somerville:

    All USA’s problems are caused , just like here, by the left’s relentless march through the institutions

    I agree. The root of all these problems is the institutional capture.

    It may be too late anyway.
    Previous socialist experiments foundered, at least partly, because of the impracticality of their ambition to control every part of the lives of the citizens. Think the ever present Big Brother, with records on everyone, cameras following everyone.

    As the Gestapo, the NKVD, the Stasi found – you can try but it is (with manual record keeping systems) not possible to know everything about everyone all the time. Here is an example of Stasi records: Stasi Records

    Happily for the dictatorial, new technology (courtesy the happy Silicon Valley Obama-fanbois) means that it IS now possible.

    Watch them do it people. Look out for these milestones:
    - Large amounts of cash made illegal (force you to depend on the net finance system)
    - Only “connected” vehicles allowed on the road
    - Government services/licences/permission delivered only via a net account

    And most people will be only too keen to get there.

  23. Notafan

    I am concerned about letting government use technology to access private data, third party data especially other government data, not so much.
    Access to private information something we should monitor and resist.
    I always wonder about tax legislation and suspect that it is forever being added to as tax professionals look for new and exciting ways to avoid tax obligations.
    The lower the tax rate the less incentive there is to do this.
    Even better abolish income taxes.

  24. mareeS

    Do people still travel to the USA other than for necessity? 40yrs of doing business in that place has cured us of ever wishing to pass through the aliens line one more time. As people have said previously, the roads are now crap, the airports are nightmares, the whole culture is another universe.

    Doing business and travelling generally in Asia is civilised and well-mannered. The USA has really let itself go, like an old drunk.

  25. Ed Snack

    I would guess, though, he would a lot more sympathy for his flight if he hadn’t chosen the cheapest possible airfare….

    I know people with horror stories of flying Air Sudan (back when it was till operating, old Turpolev’s I think) from London to Rome, horrid experience, but was $50 cheaper than the competition. I had to say what did they fucking EXPECT ! They did see the point, eventually.

  26. Big Jim

    The admission that the US is broken or at least severely dented is interesting – coming from what I think of as neo-cons – ( I know, too unsubtle, I apologise) – but ten years ago on say the Blair blog it was all ‘America Alone’ bluff n bluster. If someone had said what Maree just said, we would have piled on with ‘So where’d ya rather live, Teheran?’, and similar faux tough guy comments.

    And it’s not enough to say Obama done it. John McCain would have had even less cash to mend pot-holes.

    Australia Alone is still worth a shot because the demographics are not yet ruined, but the clock is ticking.

  27. Notafan

    My experience with Americans is that they are very reluctant to hand over their hard earned and would rather drive over poor roads than fix them, if it means cutting off their noses to spite their faces.
    They also have very hard winters in the north and road repair seems to be a constant. California is Democrat as far as I know and the administration has its own money problems.

  28. Megan

    So it causes pain as it did to you. Same for the income tax. Collect at end of year instead of PAYE. There will be an instant lower tax movement.

    Point taken! But it does not seem to have that effect on the local residents. They cough up without a murmur.

  29. Ruth Anne

    Just because it hasn’t been exposed does not mean political partisanship does not exist…

    Consider the recent comments about leftism being institutionalised – and combine it with the comments from Bob Day’s speech regarding the ATO virtually being a law unto itself and, in my opinion, a recipe for abuse of power by people who are supposed to be public servants is more than ripe!

    And because of this power, few journalists are prepared to mount a serious investigation into what is actually going on within the monolith.

    And the tax lawyers are not going to talk about it because its a lucrative money spinner for them. Although one, in a moment of weakness explained that they call it the ‘pay now, fight later’ strategy which the ATO used against anyone they choose with devastating ruthlessness.

    And many lawyers will not even take a case against the ATO. Some have experienced the heavy hand used by the ATO, saying they almost lost their business. I could go on and on about the tactics of bullying and intimidation, but that’s not my purpose.

    I merely suggest Australians seek the truth about the ATO for themselves, for each and everyone of us are stakeholders and will be affected if the current situation is not remedied.

    Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts, absolutely.

  30. Crossie

    That is why I want the tax free threshold lowered to $0 per annum. And that tax returns remain mandatory for everyone.

    The other option is to do away with income tax altogether and ramp up the consumption tax aka GST.

  31. Crossie

    The next few years of coalition government will be critical in determining if the Marxist march through our institutions can be halted and perhaps even reversed. It is not even clear that the Coalition even want to try.

    The Coalition will be demonised by the media, academia and the ALP so they should just charge ahead anyway: defund ABC, make the academia work for their funding and tell the media to take a flying jump.

    If we are sharing the pain then the leftosphere should be made to reach for Panadol just like the rest of us.

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