published Monday, June 23rd, 2014

Smith: The IRS and its double standard

By Robin Smith

As one who has worked in the heavily regulated health care industry, I've dutifully kept receipts, mileage logs and emails.

I didn't file these items because of my love of paperwork but because of Internal Revenue Service regulations that require documents to be kept for three to five years.

Now, as a businessperson, I know the need for administrative accuracy and meeting the legal standards for accounting and tax collection to avoid penalties.

The IRS, the agency created to collect taxes operating under the Department of Treasury, is known for its aggressive tactics in auditing, oversight and compliance enforcement. The mammoth bureaucracy employs more than 89,000 workers to enforce just under 75,000 pages of tax code. It has a massive, $11 billion budget.

The IRS has been recently exposed for its role as a political tool to audit, harass and delay the legitimate filings of pro-Israel groups, Christian groups, and tea party organizations. According to the nonpartisan group Judicial Watch, a "database of tax exempt organizations was sent to the FBI just before the 2010 midterm elections" by the director of exempt organizations, Lois Lerner. The possibility of criminal charges against these groups for participating in perfectly legal speech was being investigated.

This IRS data turned over to the FBI was no mere file of a few pages. The data included "1.1 million pages of nonprofit tax-return data -- including confidential taxpayer information." Judicial Watch connected the dots on these data transfers by the IRS to "the Justice Department to facilitate the potential investigation of nonprofit groups engaged in lawful political speech."

During congressional proceedings, pledges were made under sworn testimony to provide copies of electronic correspondence from IRS employees involved in this criminal activity.

The patience of those in Congress has expired with IRS employees, tea party leaders and a parade of other witnesses called to testify before Congress. In these almost 18 months, the IRS has promised repeatedly its cooperation.

Lerner sits in the middle of directives issued exclusively to silence conservative political groups and an apparent cover-up that grows with time. The U.S. House voted to hold Lerner in contempt of Congress in May 2014. Further, there was bipartisan support to request that the Department of Justice appoint a special prosecutor to investigate the matter.

This has become a comedy of errors, with the IRS now a laughingstock.

The response given lately is that the emails of Lerner and six other IRS employees central to this scandal have been lost. Not just "lost" in the sense that it's a matter of time before retrieval is possible, but permanently unavailable, most likely destroyed.

You see, the IRS, that makes us keep paper records for three to five years, has failed to live up to its own standards of record-keeping. It seems the agency had no other form of email backup or retention, as required by its own policy.

History shows President Richard Nixon was nearly impeached with one of the two articles of impeachment to include the misuse of the FBI and the IRS.

We're living under a tyrant's administration, as defined by Merriam-Webster: "an absolute ruler unrestrained by law or constitution."

Robin Smith served as chairwoman of the Tennessee Republican Party, 2007 to 2009. She is a partner at the SmithWaterhouse Strategies business development and strategic planning firm and serves on Tennessee's Economic Council on Women.

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inquiringmind said...

Robin, I've gone to great extent to defend you though your politics are repulsive. You have gone too far with hypocrisy. You made large sums of money, or at least a very good living, selling drugs for Big Pharma.

The IRS was not "exposed as a political tool to audit, harass and delay" except in the NIXON Republican administration to whose minions almost all tea party and extreme REDS owe allegiance.

To allege some how that the IRS is repressing political parties from buying elections that has been ratified by the US Supreme Court is ludicrous. Every political group seeking the protection of tax-exempt status deserves the closest and most severe examination the IRS can muster.

Because you made a good income wining and dining doctors to sell drugs does not justify you supporting efforts to buy elections. Too bad your husband can't support you in the style you desire and you have to work outside the home abandoning your children of a loving mother's presence to remain in your living style. Abba would be displeased.

June 23, 2014 at 12:44 a.m.
jjmez said...

True! Inquire....so true. What's ignored is what raised the red flag anyway with the IRS. That is, so many right wing organizations filing tax exempt status under tea party heading.

June 23, 2014 at 9:04 a.m.
timbo said...

inquiringmind....I am glad you brought up Watergate. The IFS scandal is worse because your buddies in the liberal press won't cover it. Also, democrats have so little integrity they will never turn on Barry like the Republicans did on Nixon. You guys are just to corrupt. It will all come out any way and you will need your own chicken house to provide the egg you will have on your face.

Your using the old Saul Alinsky "Rules for Radicals" tactics to basically say, because of the other party doing something more wrong, we had to do these wrong things at the IRS. In other words, the ends justify the means. Typical liberal...

This tactic is too accuse the aggrieved party of something wrong to basically change the subject.

The big problem is this scrutiny that you espouse was directed at one group you hate, the Tea Party. 90% of the groups investigated were tea party types...and of course..you think that is ok.

Man, are you jealous of Robin. This personal animosity makes me suspect you are an old democrat party hack of some kind for basically two reasons...from your style of writing and the fact that you stick to the liberal talking points of the day.

Saying the same lie over and over again doesn't make it true. The IFS scandal is real and we are pissed off about it. It won't go away and when the the hyenas in the liberal press see it that, your God, Barry, is toast.

June 23, 2014 at 12:07 p.m.
Rickaroo said...

"Also, democrats have so little integrity they will never turn on Barry like the Republicans did on Nixon." - timbo

Oh c'mon, get real. Republicans turning on Nixon had nothing to do with "integrity" and you know it. The only reason they pushed for his resignation was because he had become an albatross around their necks. They knew that if he didn't resign it would be disastrous for the upcoming Congressional elections. In other words, it was plain old self-serving politics, as always. Integrity. That's a hoot.

June 23, 2014 at 2:31 p.m.
timbo said...

Rickaroo...Just change "Nixon" to "Barry" in your second paragraph. Get it....

Also, I just want to see one, just one, democrat be upset about all the IRS lying going on. Just one,...

June 23, 2014 at 2:41 p.m.
inquiringmind said...

timbo you are pounding salt. The IRS has every right to investigate organizations applying for tax exempt status.

Oh on another subject, I see today even the Us Supreme Court agrees with the EPA that there is global warming and EPA can regulate CO2 emissions.

June 23, 2014 at 2:53 p.m.
Rickaroo said...

"Saying the same lie over and over again doesn't make it true." - timbo

So true, timbo. Like the repeated conservative lie about a "liberal media." Like the repeated conservative lie about a "vast liberal conspiracy" concerning climate change. Like the repeated conservative lie that reducing taxes on the wealthy creates jobs. Like the repeated conservative lie that government is inherently evil, that it's always the "problem," that unregulated free markets magically do the right thing. Like the repeated conservative lie that Fannie and Freddie alone created the housing bubble and the Great Recession, and reckless, greedy banksters and Wall St. gamblers playing with other people's money had nothing to do with it. Like the repeated conservative lie that austerity and cutting taxes is the magic formula for deficit reduction. And on and on and on. The conservative lies just keep on rolling along

June 23, 2014 at 2:54 p.m.
Rickaroo said...

Timbo, you won't see Democrats upset about the "IRS lying going on" because what IM says is absolutely correct. There is nothing to get upset about. You won't often find me speaking in glowing terms about the IRS or coming to its defense, but in this case the accusations being thrown at it are undeserved or at the very least overblown. The IRS is only doing its job with regard to the proliferation of groups filing for tax-exempt status. It's like "voter fraud" - a problem that doesn't exist. It's just another one of the many, many, many instances of you Obama haters trying with all your might to find something to bring him down. You and the GOP have no clue how to realistically solve problems (other than to cut taxes on the rich, deregulate business, and cut funding for the safety net programs), so you resort to spending every waking minute turning mole hills into mountains.

June 23, 2014 at 3:04 p.m.
timbo said...

Rickaroo...Then if there is nothing to it, they should stop lying. They have told 3 different stories about what happened to those e-mails. Everyone knows that they were destroyed including you. You are so drunk on the kool-aid you just don't get it.

More than half the country doesn't agree with you. They think like I do. That is a problem whether it is true or not. That has to be dealt with and it is not going to be enough to say that it is exaggerated. The Republicans are getting angry. This has gone beyond anger and now we all think we are being disrespected. This is a much bigger problem.

Watergate was wrong but was nothing compared to this. It was a third-rate burglary that affected nothing. If it were not for a liberal dominated press, it would have been swept under the rug.

Nixon's secretary claimed that she inadvertently erased those 18.5 minutes of the tapes. It was just an "accident" that couldn't be helped. That erasure is what sparked the decline of Nixon because no one believed him. No one..including Republicans. I don't believe him either but if you were a Republican you would say he didn't do it. Are you going to believe me or your lying eyes.

Whether it was integrity or political expediency, at least Republicans had the sense to see that Nixon was a liability because he had lost all credibility with everyone, especially the democrats.

Can't you see, that the Republicans feel the same as democrats did back then? It won't just blow over because democrats are putting their heads in the sand. There will be someone who breaks, or an e-mail will surface, and the smoking gun will be found.

You all just look dumb trying to explain it away using "partisanship."

You think will we wake up tomorrow and all of a sudden say, "those dems were right, I think I will just forget about it." Will not happen..

June 23, 2014 at 3:38 p.m.
timbo said...

Saul "inquiringmind" Alinsky... Nice try on global warming. That spin won't cut it. Here is what really happened....

".....Under Monday's ruling, EPA can continue to require permits for greenhouse gas emissions for those facilities that already have to obtain permits because they emit other pollutants that EPA has long regulated. But Justice Antonin Scalia, writing for the court's conservatives in the part of the ruling in which the justices split 5-4, SAID THE EPA COULD NOT REQUIRE A PERMIT SOLELY ON THE BASIS OF GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS."

They did say, "...The decision does not affect recent and highly controversial EPA proposals to set the first-ever national standards for new and existing power plants. One recent proposal would aim for a 30 percent emissions reduction by 2030.

Rather, at issue was a requirement that companies expanding industrial facilities or building new ones that would increase overall pollution must evaluate ways to reduce carbon emissions. The justices said Monday that the EPA lacks authority in some cases to force companies to do so. " Fox News.

The real issue is still to be debated. The EPA is a rogue organization.

June 23, 2014 at 3:55 p.m.
Rickaroo said...

Yes, timbo, we see how the Republicans and you conservatives/teabaggers/libertarians are getting angry and feeling disrespected. Those two right-wing lunatic bastards who murdered those two cops and an innocent bystander opened our eyes as to just how angry, not to mention insane, you are becoming. You all feel that your rabid conservative views make you the only "true" Americans and all of us liberals are a cancer (disease) that you think deserve to be eradicated in whatever way possible. You guys are just itching for an excuse to break out your arsenal of guns and revolt against the "big bad gubmint." If/when that happens, good luck with that.

Now, I have better things to do today than to butt heads with the likes of you, timbo. I'm outa here. And don't you have a business to run? And some climate change data to refute, and tell us all how wrong all the other scientists are, and that you, timbo the chemist, are the only one who knows how to read data? Yes, better get back to work, Science Guy/Entrepreneur. The weight of Americas rests squarely on your shoulders, Atlas.

June 23, 2014 at 4:18 p.m.
timbo said...

rickaroo...You are nuts. You can't be reasoned with in any way. You guys are delusional about your intelligence. Most of what you say is bizarre.

Comparing me or any other conservative to some whacko that committed a crime is exactly the problem with you people. No one that I know advocates killing anyone. Leaping to that conclusion is a sign of desperation. It is you and Easy and the rest who sound threatening all the time.

That is not even on subject. You can't argue with my points so you use the Saul Alinsky hustle to change the subject. You need some bi-polar medication.

I feel sorry for you...you don't have a clue.

June 23, 2014 at 4:29 p.m.
gypsylady said...

Saul Alinsky, Saul Alinsky, Saul Alinsky, SQUAWK!!

They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. The tea party has used Alinsky's book for their own organizing.

And no, Timbo, more than half the country do not think like you do. Trust me.

June 23, 2014 at 5:20 p.m.
GaussianInteger said...

The IRS "scandal" will never come to fruition, as Timbo predicts, because the GOP (in particular, the "Conservative"-wing of the party) are like a horny 15 year old. Instead of taking their time and finding things out first, they stick it in, hump it twice, and it's over leaving the girl unsatisfied. They are so quick to point out these so-called "scandals", they jump the gun and come out looking like buffoons. Still waiting on that damning evidence from Benghazi. Still waiting on that damning evidence that Obama is a Muslim-born Kenyan and his birth certificate is a phony. I guess the GOP thinks if they can push enough "scandals" out into the public eye, eventually one may be true. Watching Fox News is honestly like seeing a National Enquirer; partial truth and little substance. And you have clowns like timbo biting; hook, line, and sinker.

June 23, 2014 at 9:22 p.m.
inquiringmind said...

If you follow the house committee hearing chair being led the the horses iIssa, you realize truth never is sought, no red gives a person time to provide information, only seeks to assassinate character and play with ones pri**, hopefully gathering votes back home. It is an embarrassment of the United States Government and its people.

June 23, 2014 at 11:33 p.m.
inquiringmind said...

Also timbo, the US Supreme Court affirmed the authority of EPA to control emissions contributing to global warming, you can't paint over that salient fact.

June 24, 2014 at 7:59 a.m.
timbo said...

Gypsylady.. No, you are a liberal...you are the last person I trust.

Look at the latest Fox, CNN, and Wall Street Journal polls. All say the the majority of voters think the White House had something to do with this and almost 70% think there is corruption at the IRS on this issue.

Take your head out of your...sand and try to be honest. I know it is almost impossible for a liberal to do that.

June 24, 2014 at 9:39 a.m.
timbo said...

Gaussianinterger...."Still waiting on that damning evidence from Benghazi. Still waiting on that damning evidence that Obama is a Muslim-born Kenyan and his birth certificate is a phony." Typical "Rules for Radicals" tactics. Old Saul Alinsky is alive and well on this page.

The only reason this has gone on as long as it has is because of stone-walling and destruction of evidence. If you were honest, you would be pushing just as hard as we are to get that information. Our reason is to nail Obama...your reason is exonerate him. Either way..the e-mails will tell us. Why are you guys so afraid of those e-mails?

June 24, 2014 at 10:43 a.m.
Easy123 said...

Timboner is the typical, Right WingNut moron that has no other means of communication outside of talking out of his ass.

June 24, 2014 at 11:47 a.m.
Ki said...

These are just test runs by the GOP to see which 'doo' 'doo' they throw against the wall sticks and hold the longest in preparation to use in 2016 presidential campaign. See they already have at least one gullible poster in their corner in timbro. :-)

June 24, 2014 at 11:52 a.m.
timbo said...

Ki...It is a question of honesty...either you want to clear your guy by the e-mails, or you are afraid it will nail him. All the other stuff doesn't matter. If there is nothing to be found, send it all out and we will see. Destroying evidence and stone-walling is not honest.

Now, did that stick?

June 24, 2014 at 1:28 p.m.
Ki said...

-timbro said: did that stick?

Nope!! :-)

June 24, 2014 at 1:46 p.m.
timbo said...

Ki...It is obvious you are not honest if it didn't stick.

June 24, 2014 at 1:59 p.m.
Ki said...

Actually, I'm quite honest, vigilant and wise. ;)

June 24, 2014 at 2:14 p.m.
timbo said...

Ki...only in your dreams. To make excuses about this subject when an honest look at those e-mails would clear everything up is not honest or wise. By the way, vigilant of what? That we might find out the truth.

What are you guys afraid of?

June 24, 2014 at 2:26 p.m.
Ki said...

Nope!

Like all the other accusations this too will prove just another embarrassment for the GOP. These are all just diversions to divert away from the fact the party is imploding, but thats what happens when one makes a pack with the 'devil'. There's so much infighting taking place they're likely to vaporize one another long before 2016.

June 24, 2014 at 7:06 p.m.
GaussianInteger said...

You're right, Timbo. Obama spent all night deleting those damning emails. I'm sure you and Dowdy will be able to produce the evidence sometime close to never.

June 24, 2014 at 9:13 p.m.
timbo said...

Ki...what planet are you on....nothing has been dis-proven...Bengazi, Fast and Furious, Veterans Admin., IRS, all alive and well. You are delusional.

June 25, 2014 at 2:25 p.m.
timbo said...

Guassianinterger.....Your making light of the IRS e-mails won't cut it. So let's get this straight...you are proud that there was an attempt to destroy these e-mails. You are proud of the stone-walling.

You are acting like a spoiled child that is mad his hand was caught in the cookie jar. Nobody but you hardcore, dishonest partisans are perpetuating this myth. Have you seen the latest poll? 63% of Democrats believe that the e-mails were deliberately destroyed.

The good news is that 63% of democrats are at least awake, the bad news is that 37% of you liberals are either stupid, dishonest, or asleep....maybe all three.

June 25, 2014 at 2:31 p.m.
gypsylady said...

Were these the same pollsters that said that Romney and Cantor had it in the bag? Or are these "unskewed polls."

Riddle me this, Batman. Were liberal groups targeted for extra scrutiny? Should these arguably political groups be granted 501 status? I personally don't think so. All nonprofits have gotten out of hand.

June 25, 2014 at 3:05 p.m.
timbo said...

gypsylady....When Clemson won the national championship in the 80's I lived in South Carolina and my neighbors were Clemson fans. Suffice it to say they were excited but the next year they were put on probation for 39 major violations...a record...

Their excuse was that everybody does it so what is the big deal. Well I said, "Well everybody doesn't do it 39 times."

Over 90% of the scrutinized, delayed, applicants, were tea party types. There were letters from two prominent democrat senators imploring the IRS to check into these evil Tea Party groups and this was all done in an election year. You seem to think it was some kind of "coincidence."

As far as 501-C3's, let's look at the 501-C4's..why weren't they looked over? Answer: Because that is the designation for unions and democrat type groups.

Changing the subject to "well this is wrong and all of them should be scrutinized." That is after the horse has left the barn.

Either you liberals are honest or your not...I say it is obvious that your not. Whether of not there should be any non-profit tax relief is not the question. The question is did they use the IFS for political purposes..don't change the subject.

June 25, 2014 at 3:30 p.m.
Easy123 said...

Never trust a person that doesn't know the difference between "your" and "you're".

It's tough to pass yourself off as intelligent when you make that mistake on a regular basis, Timboner. Extreme imprecision on your part. No one should take you seriously until you learn how to spell words and use them correctly.

Your Shoddy Daisy education is failing you.

June 25, 2014 at 4:02 p.m.
GaussianInteger said...

No prouder then all of the previous "stone-walling" from other administrations. Again, a brilliant scientist such as yourself, should understand that, here in the US, a person cannot be convicted because you think something happened. The IRS hearings are just a sideshow. A chance for some GOP politician to thump his chest on Fox News and display for his constituents. I honestly wished they didn't broadcast the hearings. That way, instead of the GOP screaming at a witness/showing off on camera and not allowing an answer, they actually may get to the bottom of things.

June 25, 2014 at 4:03 p.m.
inquiringmind said...

I hope Issa keeps it up. He alone can fully cement the death sentence of the tea party and fascist Reds. His partisanship and mean spirit are patently evident by the way he cuts off the microphone of speakers whose comments he does not like, his unilateral use of supoena (even for a woman who never even worked for the IRS during the time of interest but now works for the one he sees as the anti-Christ - President Obama) and the catty little name calling. Sooner or later, like McCarthy before him, he will go so far beyond the bounds of decency that the house will be forced to censure him. In the mean time, it keeps the reds involved in an exercise of pointless futility and out of the business of actually doing anything constructive.

June 25, 2014 at 8:26 p.m.
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