January 19, 2014

"On a scale of 1-10, 1 being no damage and 10 being permanent long range damage, how much has the IRS and tax administration been damaged by the current IRS scandal?"

Question asked of a panel of tax law experts at a symposium on tax reform.

86 comments:

virgil xenophon said...

Maybe there is still honor among tax-law professionals, but unfortunately, thanks to the MSM's studied ignorance of even the most rudimentary facts of the affair, this "scandal" is rapidly receding in the public's rear-view mirror and will soon be a non-event politically as far as the LIV (and even the general public at-large) is concerned.

pm317 said...

Close to 1. Want a sign why? The scandal has the potential of being so damaging that the media lapdogs won't talk about it, at all. At least media in a perverse way realizes how damaging it is.

The Godfather said...

Interesting. Those who know about it think it's terrible, but the public doesn't know about it, so it isn't terrible.

Gahrie said...

Folks...the 40 ton elephant in the room is that the vast majority of President Obama's supporters don't care about the IRS scandal because they don't pay taxes, and in fact receive transfer payments from the IRS. The IRS is their friend and a significant source of income.

Michael K said...

"this "scandal" is rapidly receding in the public's rear-view mirror "

Not in the "rear-view mirror " of people who actually pay taxes. It will influence compliance and we are the only country in the world with high compliance in tax collection. Or were.

Tom said...

In defense of Mitt Romney, this is an issue that only affects the 47%. The remainder either don't pay taxes, have massive subsidies, or otherwise rely on the government for their business. The main stream media doesn't care about the 47%.

pm317 said...

The main stream media doesn't care about the 47%.

Yep.. good way to put it. the lefty media does not speak or stand up for the middle class.

Shouting Thomas said...

@Gahrie

The left isn't ignoring the IRS attack on Obama's political enemies just because they don't pay taxes.

They approve of the use of the IRS to attack Obama's enemies.

That's what they want the IRS to do. Drive their political enemies out of the arena.

Shouting Thomas said...

I live in the midst of the far left here in Woodstock.

You should hear what they have to say. I'll boil it down for you.

Republicans are bigots. Bigots have no right to be involved in the political process.

Driving the bigots out of the arena is a noble achievement. The IRS is doing a good thing.

SteveR said...

What? If a tree falls in the forest..

bbkingfish said...

Sunday chum.

pm317 said...

@ST is right. the lefty liberals that includes the media lapdogs approve of this because tea partiers, er, teabaggers are all evil. But the irony is look at the label they come up with to brand the teaparty people..

paminwi said...

And of course, Holder appoints an Obama donor as the "head" of the investigation. And this so called head of the investigation has not interviewed/talked with legal counsel for ANY of the groups who were wronged.

Basically - nothing to see here - MOVE ON, MOVE ON!

Deirdre Mundy said...

Yep, I've had numerous lefties tell me that the tea parties were ASKING for it by agitating for lower taxes in the first place.

The left thinks that it will have permanent control of the government. Therefore, overreach doesn't bother them b/c they assume that it will only be used against people they detest like Catholics, Mormons, Businesses, Tea Parties, and the like.

They're probably right, though, since if the Tea Parties took over, they'd set about limiting government power.

So, either way, the Left knows they;ll never be on the wrong end of the government's barrel.

John Lynch said...

Way to not the answer the question. Only one panelist gave a number, and he gave two answers.

Paco Wové said...

"the tea parties were ASKING for it by agitating for lower taxes in the first place."

I had no idea, up until the past year or two, that wanting to lower your taxes made you bad person, on par with the bastard spawn of the KKK and the John Birch Society, with some National Socialists thrown in for good measure.

Michael K said...

This administration has trashed the reputations of most government agencies. The FBI, NSA, IRS, National Park Service. They've let the CIA alone but it was under suspicion since Nixon.

Now the Healthcare.gov is the latest to be trashed. Boy, they have done as much for leftism as Stalin did for communism.

Rusty said...

The ability of the IRS to collect taxes depends entirely on the publics perception that the IRS is impartial.
If they won't obey their own laws, why should the taxpayer?

Anonymous said...

This hasn't hurt the IRS any more than the pederasty scandal hurt the Catholic church.

Paco Wové said...

...for example, "A callous disregard for the feelings of others, the reckless disregard for the safety of others, a sense of entitlement, arrogance, a grandiose sense of self-importance. These traits are readily seen in the Tea Party..." Better get those people onto a heavy regime of psychoactive medications, stat!

pm317 said...

They've let the CIA alone but it was under suspicion since Nixon.


No, they have not. Benghazi. Brennan the inside WH guy is the head now -- they conveniently silenced Patreaus. And Read this for more: What is now crystal clear is how corrupted and servile to political bosses the CIA’s analytical side of the house has become at the management level.

Wince said...

Deirdre Mundy said...
Yep, I've had numerous lefties tell me that the tea parties were ASKING for it by agitating for lower taxes in the first place.

I think just the opposite: anyone who advocates for higher taxes should be audited. Clearly they can't be paying their fair share. Just as the Obama admin is trying to now codify in regs what the IRS did, the GOP when it returns to power should codify in regs an audit for all those who advocate raising taxes.

ST,

You forgot to mention the minority share of the population in that left wing bastion of inclusion known as Woodstock.

gadfly said...

Day 255 of "The IRS Got Caught" hoo-ha and nothing is happening. Obama has successfully buried the illegalities with misdirection and lies about Obamacare controversies and the loyal opposition has gone back to sleep.

By the time election 2014 rolls around, the low information voter will have forgotten or has never really ever knew about the agency's illegal acts against conservative groups.

That makes my rating a maybe "1" but a solid "2" - the Obama regime has gotten away clean with another series of crimes.

Original Mike said...

You mean that phony scandal?

Shouting Thomas said...

@EDH

Yes. Woodstock is 98% white.

Integration is for other places. We like it nice and white here.

Half the population of Woodstock is people who ran away from the chaos and violence (i.e., minorities) in the NYC public school system. Woodstock schools are very white, very good and very safe.

Draw your own conclusions.

George M. Spencer said...

Check out this photo comparison of Putin and Obama in the same settings from Power Line.

What a sorry character. He doesn't look the part of incipient dictator at all, particularly the photo where he's mincing in fear.

Will said...

Irreparable harm has been done. I rank it 10/10.

Note that via newly proposed IRS rules the Obama Admin is formalizing the asymmetric scrutiny that it once blamed merely on rogue agents in Cincinnatti. Lib-friendly groups will get their tax-deductibility easily since they will be labelled "social welfare" and education, while Conservative groups will be denied tax-deductibility as "political". The fix is in!! A 30% tilt is not a level playing field.

When the silent majority that plays fair realize the game is being rigged, a variety of secondary and tertiary impacts occur. Legitimacy of institutions in general but especially those in Government, will suffer greatly. Compliance will suffer as people passively resist such bullshit.

Obama likely owes his second term to the suppression (and intimidation bu Audit) of opposition groups. He has unleashed a shitstorm here folks...

What Obama lawlessness and Kangaroo "justice" that Holder oversees are a black eye on Obama's Presidency and Legacy. Holder never interviewed the groups harmed in what Obama called an "outrage".

People won't take to the streets when they see Obama opponents getting audited. But do not underestimate in the slightest how pissed off people are.

traditionalguy said...

Imagine Chris Christie's mafia staff running the IRS. He is hands on while Obama just let's worshipers do the illegal/lawless stuff.

Anonymous said...

What difference, at this point, does it make?

Damage or not, we still have to pay taxes. Damage or not, conservative groups were targeted and intimidated. Damage or not, Obama has gotten his four more years. Damage or not, Establishment Republicans are cowered and are doing Obama's biddings: One trillion budget, will pass amnesty even though only 3% voters deemed that high priority, will pass another VRA. Like you and I, Republican politicians don't want to be audited, their phone calls and emails leaked.

Hagar said...

The prevalence of VAT taxes in Europe has a lot to do with the citizens having no confidence in their governments and resorting to income tax evasions in every way they can.
The U.S. has been different in that most citizens did a reasonably good faith effort of preparing their returns, but that may be about to change.

Bruce Hayden said...

I would put it at maybe an 8. It is no longer our government, but their government. Our ancestors may have fought for our independence, to free the slaves, to end all wars, and to free Europe and Asia from the Axis, but it is now a government of occupation. The middle class has made this country great, but the government has turned on the makers and is now in the hands of the takers - both the elite that run the country, skimming off much of the cream, and the masses that elect them.

Wonder why gun sales are through the roof? Look no further than this, the IRS able to persecute enemies of the President with impunity.

The people on the inside don't care about this because they are protected, as long as they go along to get along. And the people on the bottom economically don't care about this because they mostly don't pay taxes, and instead, the government is often the source of much of their lively hood. We just watched a lot of the Tea Party Representatives vote for that last budget, with nary a thought oft he voters putting them into office to make a change.

It is going to take a lot for many of those on the right, in particular, who know about this and other government corruption, to trust our federal government much in the future. And I suspect that the elites running the govt know this, which is why they have been arming their federal employees as fast as they could, and buying staggering amounts of ammunition for them.

chuck said...

It has certainly damaged my attitude towards the government. That, and the behavior of the Department of Justice, the EPA, and the Benghazi BS, has led me to put government in the same category as the Mafia. It's a criminal organization.

Browndog said...

Shouting Thomas said...

I live in the midst of the far left here in Woodstock.

You should hear what they have to say. I'll boil it down for you.

Republicans are bigots. Bigots have no right to be involved in the political process.

Driving the bigots out of the arena is a noble achievement. The IRS is doing a good thing.


This.

History dictates what defines a "republican" will be... progressive.

How dare you put ME under the guillotine! I started this movement!

David Davenport said...

... a black eye on Obama's Presidency

Isn't that metaphor rather racist?

pm317 said...

Blogger traditionalguy said...

Imagine Chris Christie's mafia staff running the IRS. He is hands on while Obama just let's worshipers do the illegal/lawless stuff.


Yep. one reason to avoid Christie like the plague. If the Repubs think it is payback that he would target the Dems, no. It should not work that way.

Michael K said...

"They've let the CIA alone but it was under suspicion since Nixon.


No, they have not. Benghazi. Brennan the inside WH guy is the head now -- they conveniently silenced Patreaus"

You forget that 90%+ of the CIA is made up of readers of foreign language newspapers. Actual case officers are about 3% of the total. When Bob Baer was ready to retire in Kazakhstan back in 2000 or so, he asked for a replacement who spoke the language. Instead, he got a specialist in sexual harassment.

The fake NIE about Iran's nuke program when Bush was president should have told you about CIA politics. The CIA was neutered by the Church Committee back in 1976.

Saint Croix said...

It's insanely damaging. Sarah Palin's father has been audited multiple times since 2008. Who doesn't think this is political? It creates unbelievable cynicism and hostility. It's poison.

Blick said...

If the tax collectors are not honest, why should the tax payers be honest? The trust in the tax system is now broken and the tax collectors are politicized thugs running a protection racket. The mafia is envious.

Titus said...

You guys bitch and whine all the time.

Doesn't it get exhausting or at least boring?

tits.

Beloved Commenter AReasonableMan said...

Titus said...
You guys bitch and whine all the time.

Doesn't it get exhausting or at least boring?


What he said.

Michael K said...

"Doesn't it get exhausting or at least boring?

What he said."

Says the lefty who hasn't been audited in 5 years.

Beloved Commenter AReasonableMan said...

Shouting Thomas said...
I live in the midst of the far left here in Woodstock.


If you don't like it why don't you fucking move then? There are no shortage of red states where you could live in harmony and thereby relieve us of your constant whining about your fellow citizens.

Unknown said...

So ARM, just for the avoidance of doubt, you're pretty much cool with the IRS targeting political opponents of the party in power?

If it helps you answer, you can pretend that what the IRS has been doing recently is not an example of it targeting political opponents of the party in power. You can answer it on a theoretical basis, in other words, without linking it to any real world events. I'm just curious if you genuinely think it's okay as a matter of principle.

pm317 said...

The disdain on Bret Hume's face towards Juan Williams and his stupid arguments was palpable..

Beloved Commenter AReasonableMan said...

John Constantius said...
So ARM, just for the avoidance of doubt, you're pretty much cool with the IRS targeting political opponents of the party in power?


We currently have considerable power sharing between the two parties. Repubs control both the House and the Supreme Court. They have ample avenues for recourse if there was a real problem. Apparently there wasn't.

David said...

"Ellen Aprill (John E. Anderson Chair in Tax Law, Loyola-L.A.): I agree with all of that. I have myself avoided the word "scandal" because I just don't know. And some of the people I know personally. I don't think that was their political motivation. So I've used "controversy" and "brouhaha" and everything but tried not to go all the way to scandal. ..."

The only woman on the panel. And the only bullshit answer.

David said...

only woman who was quoted, at least.

Rusty said...

Titus said...
You guys bitch and whine all the time.

Doesn't it get exhausting or at least boring?

tits.

Ever been audited? Of course not you've never owned a business.
You're a good little drone aren't you.

Rusty said...

Titus said...
You guys bitch and whine all the time.

Doesn't it get exhausting or at least boring?

tits.

Ever been audited? Of course not you've never owned a business.
You're a good little drone aren't you.

Oso Negro said...

Dear Titus,

Bitching and whining is the best approach until the shooting starts. I am guessing you won't like that at all.

Michael K said...

"We currently have considerable power sharing between the two parties. Repubs control both the House and the Supreme Court. They have ample avenues for recourse if there was a real problem. Apparently there wasn't."

So, rule by executive order is OK with you ? With Holder the most corrupt AG since Mitchell ?

Interesting.

Ctmom4 said...

@ ARM "
We currently have considerable power sharing between the two parties. Repubs control both the House and the Supreme Court. They have ample avenues for recourse if there was a real problem. Apparently there wasn't." What recourse does the house have. They FOIA documents and are ignored. They subpoena witnesses and they don't show up, or take the Fifth. The FBI "investigates" and doesn't question any victims. What can the SC do?

Ctmom4 said...

On lefty blogs, it is an article of faith that it wasn't politically motivated, as they targeted organizations with "progressive" in the names. Even though this has been debunked, the "lie told often enough has become the truth".

Browndog said...

AReasonableMan said...

Shouting Thomas said...
I live in the midst of the far left here in Woodstock.

If you don't like it why don't you fucking move then?


Yea! What Gov. Cuomo said!!

You're choice...'til it's not-

damikesc said...

I just hope, for the sake of Dems, Republicans never get the WH again.

Because payback is going to be a bitch.

I do hope the next Republican President declassifies a ton of documents from Obama's admin.

If you don't like it why don't you fucking move then?

You say that to Progressives flooding Texas to try and turn Texas "blue"?

How about Progressives who flooded FL for years?

Paco Wové said...

"Repubs control ...the Supreme Court. They have ample avenues for recourse..."

So, like, Boehner can phone up John Roberts and order up the Supreme Court ruling he wants? And all the Court's rulings are really driven by the desires of the Republicans? And the Court can rule on things that haven't even come before it yet? What fascinating views on the American system you have, ARM.

Beloved Commenter AReasonableMan said...

damikesc said...
You say that to Progressives flooding Texas to try and turn Texas "blue"?


I would if they complained constantly about their fellow citizens. ST lives in a pleasant interesting place that is full of hippies. He rides his bike and does yoga and hates liberals. He's full of it.

Shouting Thomas said...

I like Woodstock fine.

I don't live there for the politics.

I'm a professional musician. Woodstock is a music town.

I live there because of the music biz, and because I like living in the mountains.

Of course, until recently, I was a two home person and I had a place in NY City.

What kind of moron thinks we should segregate ourselves according to perceived ideology.

Answer... a moron like ARM.

Shouting Thomas said...

As I said over at LEM's place, ARM is one of those strange characters who's a complete fucking moron... but has somehow convinced himself that he's clever.

Odd, huh?

Beloved Commenter AReasonableMan said...

Shouting Thomas said...

I'm a professional musician.


You are not a professional musician's asshole. You play Chuck Berry covers. I doubt you cover expenses. You are a dilettante. A trust fund baby with mummy issues.

Shouting Thomas said...

So, before you take the next step, ARM, which is the ego attack...

You might want to consider...

How I was able to afford to be maintain a home in NYC and Woodstock for over 35 years?

Michael K said...

"What fascinating views on the American system you have, ARM."

Lefties live in an imaginary world. It's cargo cult all the way. Ask them about Obamacare. They are going to run on Obamacare next November. Russia is our friend. Iran will stop making nukes if we ask nice. China will not pester Japan over those silly little islands.

Georgetown law students can't afford contraceptives. Abortion Barbie in Texas went to law school all on her own. No husband help, even from the guy who got her kids' custody.

Shouting Thomas said...

I've got no interest in justifying myself to an idiot like you, ARM.

It's of no importance to me.

Shouting Thomas said...

ARM is just a fucking moron.

His suggestion that we should segregate ourselves by perceived ideology is all the proof you need.

Completely empty headed fucking idiot.

Unknown said...

ARM, I'll repeat the question because you failed to answer it. Are you generally okay with the IRS being used to target the political opponents of the party in power? Purely on a theoretical or principles basis, with no reference to the current situation, is this something that you think is appropriate?

Beloved Commenter AReasonableMan said...

Like all reasonable people I don't answer 'when did you stop beating your wife' questions. If there has been a problem the Repubs have no shortage of avenues through which to seek redress both in congress and in the courts. Their failure to do so is telling. They don't have a case. To date Issa has only managed to make a complete fool of himself.

Unknown said...

Sorry ARM, it's not a "when did you stop beating your wife?" question. It's a "do you think it's okay to beat your wife?" question.

I'm not sure what to make of the fact that you refuse to answer, and in fact get defensive and evasive when pressed.

Beloved Commenter AReasonableMan said...

I am neither defensive nor evasive. Darrell Issa has tried for months now to give this thing legs and it has gone nowhere. He has enormous resources and power relative to anyone on this blog. He's got nothing. Why would I be foolish enough to believe that you have something? Everything you know is third or fourth hand. There is no scandal.

Shouting Thomas said...

@ARM,

In other words, you're a moron.

We already knew that. Your belief in ideology segregation is the proof. So, there's no doubt there.

You're persistently and intentionally refusing to answer the question because you don't have an answer.

Prove you're not a moron, if you can.

Unknown said...

I'm not asking if there's a scandal, ARM. And you continue to evade the question I'm asking. For the avoidance of doubt, I'll ask it again:

Speaking entirely theoretically, do you, ARM, think it would be appropriate for the IRS to be used to target the political opponents of the party in power?

Beloved Commenter AReasonableMan said...

John Constantius said...
Speaking entirely theoretically, do you, ARM, think it would be appropriate for the IRS to be used to target the political opponents of the party in power?


Obviously not.

Now, do you seriously believe that this occurred under Obama's administration given that Darrell Issa has so completely failed to produce any substantial evidence despite his considerable power to produce that evidence? Or are you just trolling?

Unknown said...

ARM, thank you for answering the question. I don't understand why I had to ask it three times before you did, but so be it. I trust your future postings will reflect the belief you are expressing here.

As for me, yes, I do believe this kind of abuse has occurred under the Obama administration. I believe it has occurred under prior administrations as well with less fanfare.

I also think your belief that the Republicans would object to this abuse of power (with a few off-the-reservation exceptions like Issa) is charming in its naivety. I am sure the Republican leadership are eagerly looking forward to using this power for themselves the next time they take over the executive branch. Admittedly it will be harder for them since so much of the entrenched bureaucracy leans Democrat, but I have no doubt they will be able to deal with such obstructions.

Based on your posts on this thread, it seems like you actually believe the Republicans' story that they are the party of small government and that they are interested in stamping out governmental abuses of power. I think that kind of innocence is absolutely charming, I really do. It surprises me that you would attribute such an appealing and positive motivation to a party that you seem to disagree with politically, but I suppose I've run into stranger things on the net.

Beloved Commenter AReasonableMan said...

John, you are probably not a stupid guy, but this is a stupid sequence of posts. Bad shit does occur at all levels of government and life, get over it. You are not a savant looking down on all of us from a position of ideological purity. You are down in the gutter with the rest of us, possibly looking up at the stars - but then again maybe they are just klieg lights.

Unknown said...

Are you feeling okay ARM? Your last post was sort of weird.

Maybe try again tomorrow after you've gotten some sleep?

Beloved Commenter AReasonableMan said...

John Constantius said...
Are you feeling okay ARM? Your last post was sort of weird.


No, you just didn't get it. Not your fault.

Michael K said...

"Why would I be foolish enough to believe that you have something? Everything you know is third or fourth hand. There is no scandal. "

So Gregory Hicks is "third or fourth hand?"

Darrell Issa is up against an an amoral and corrupt AG named Holder who will not investigate anything that contradicts the Obama agenda. The FBI did not go to Benghazi, has not interviewed Tea Party plaintiffs and cancelled a civil rights case that already had a plea bargain.

Your concept of competent government is interesting. Even Diane Feinstein doesn't go that far.

It might get more interesting after the fall election. I expect all stops that remain will be pulled to avoid investigations.

Rusty said...


Your concept of competent government is interesting. Even Diane Feinstein doesn't go that far.

It might get more interesting after the fall election. I expect all stops that remain will be pulled to avoid investigations


Oh. I think the justice department will be making arrests long before that.

tim in vermont said...

That's rich, to be lectured by Titus for being annoying.

Paco Wové said...

"to be lectured by Titus for being annoying."

Or by ARM for being "unreasonable".

Known Unknown said...

... a black eye on Obama's Presidency

Isn't that metaphor rather racist?


Okay, a brown eye, then.

jr565 said...

The problem with the IRS scandal and why it hasn't gained any traction is because it didn't take place under the Christie adminstration.

Douglas said...

I read through all the posts, and didn't find any that disputed the conclusion of the tax experts that this episode has seriously damaged the IRS and the public's confidence in the IRS.

The notion that the party out of power - with no ability to convene grand juries, and only a limited ability to compel a recalcitrant administration to produce documents and witnesses - could somehow get to the bottom of this, is charmingly naive. Didn't one of the top political appointees at the IRS testify that he "couldn't recall" eighty times in response to Committee questions? What is the House supposed to do in such a case? Ask Holder to prosecute the witness for perjury? Please.

The bigger damage is to the NSA and to the Government's ability to conduct intelligence operations in the modern era. It may be true that the NSA has collected tons of megadata and has not to date misused any of it. But it's pretty easy to imagine that some eager beavers there might take seriously a future president's speech denouncing his political enemies as evil and immoral and un-American, and decide "on their own" to sift through the piles of megadata for evidence of crimes (or extremely embarrassing behavior, like having an affair) by said political enemies, which can then conveniently be leaked to the appropriate police agencies or reporters. That's the problem, and I lay it at President Obama's feet.

damikesc said...

I would if they complained constantly about their fellow citizens

Austin residents routinely do so.

I am neither defensive nor evasive. Darrell Issa has tried for months now to give this thing legs and it has gone nowhere. He has enormous resources and power relative to anyone on this blog. He's got nothing.

He has a Senate held by a party that will, literally, do nothing to a President of their party, no matter what.

He has an A.G who has shown zero desire to abide by laws at all.

He has a President who, also, has shown zero desire to abide by laws.

It's difficult to get much done when the A.G has become the President's lawyer instead of the people's lawyer, which, you know, is his job.

Don't worry. Nobody will expect you to be consistent when a Republican is in office. I, on the other hand, will bemoan the lack of law, but recognize that Obama started this.

It's a bit sad that I root for most other states when they deal with Obama.

Rusty said...

tim in vermont said...
That's rich, to be lectured by Titus for being annoying.

1/20/14, 6:01 AM
Blogger Paco Wové said...
"to be lectured by Titus for being annoying."

Or by ARM for being "unreasonable".

Their hypocrisy is what endears them to us.

Paul said...

The IRS, like lawyers, has been the butt of jokes since it's creation.

The latest scandals only reinforced, just like layers, they can't be trusted.

Jesus was right about the tax collectors and prostitutes. But at least the prostitutes didn't wrap themselves up in the flag like they were true blue Americans.

damikesc said...

Conservatives need to take over the GOP and make defunding of the IRS a major platform plank.