Archive for the ‘IRS’ Category

IRS GIVES “AFTER SCHOOL SATAN CLUB” TAX-FREE STATUS IN 10 DAYS

Saturday, March 18th, 2017

 

JUDICIAL WATCH

IRS Gives “After School

Satan Club” Tax-Exempt

Status in 10 Days

MARCH 16, 2017

While the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) makes conservative groups wait years for tax-exempt status an “After School Satan Club” launched to hinder Christian-based counterparts got its nonprofit ranking in just ten days, records obtained by Judicial Watch show. The classification is offered to charitable, religious and educational organizations that operate as nonprofits. Under the Obama administration IRS political appointees illegally targeted conservative groups, either making them wait up to seven years for tax-exempt status or denying their application altogether. Judicial Watch uncovered that scandal and has obtained piles of government records showing how the IRS illegally colluded with another federal agency to single out groups with conservative-sounding terms such as patriot and Tea Party in their titles when applying for tax-exempt status.

In the meantime, leftist groups like the Satan club got fast tracked. The principle goal of establishing the Satan clubs in public schools throughout Washington State appears to be to counter existing enterprises operated by a Christian-based group. Documents obtained by Judicial Watch include the process of establishing an after-school Satan club at Point Defiance Elementary in Tacoma. The entity behind the club is a nonprofit called Reason Alliance, which is based in Somerville, Massachusetts, and operates in Washington State as the Satanic Temple of Seattle. Its director, Lilith X. Starr, established the Point Defiance Elementary Satanic club, the records show. In its application the club states that its purpose is “character development” and that adult instructors are vetted by the Satanic Temple’s “Executive Ministry.” Children ages 5-12 will develop basic critical reasoning, character qualities, problem solving and creative expression, according to the Satanic Temple filings included in the documents. The club logo is a pencil with devil’s horns. Records obtained by Judicial Watch from the Treasury Department show that the Satanic cult applied for tax-exempt status on October 21, 2014 and received it on October 31, 2014.

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VIDEO – HILLARY CLINTON’S HISTORY

Monday, September 5th, 2016

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NEW BOOK – THE INTIMIDATION GAME – HOW THE LEFT SILENCES FREE SPEECH

Tuesday, June 28th, 2016

 

Kimberley Strassel’s new book The Intimidation Game extensively chronicles how liberalintolerance is on the march.
Kimberley Strassel: How The Left Silences Free Speech

heatst.com/politics/kimberly-strassel-how-the-left-silences-free-speech/

HEATSTREET

EXCERPT FROM THIS ARTICLE:  HS:  Do you think Donald Trump would continue the war on free speech if he is elected President?

Kimberly Strassel: I don’t want to try and foretell what Donald Trump would be like as a President, especially on such a serious subject as this. What I will say is that we have seen with the current President what happens when they don’t take that office seriously and when they don’t understand that anything they say or do is an enormous signal to a vast bureaucracy. For instance, when Obama was running for re-election in 2012, he singled out the names of eight Romney donors and put them on a campaign website, accused them of terrible things just as if they were criminals — no proof to that effect — and painted a big target on the back of these eight men. In the months that followed, at least one of them, a guy I wrote about, Frank VanderSloot, found himself subjected to several IRS audits and audits from other branches of the federal government having never received any audits like this before. What he did was donate money legally, even disclosed it, and then to be targeted by the President of the United States for engaging in political speech — it doesn’t get worse than that. Suddenly a private investigator was riffling through his divorce records to dig up dirt. This is what happens when the President of the United States decides to target you, and so I think there’s a risk that with President Obama having used these tactics frequently, that the next President will feel more able to build on them rather than restrain them. In Washington, I’ve found once you let any genie out of the bottle, it’s hard to stuff it back in. Trump, Hillary Clinton, and Bernie Sanders have all made statements that ought to worry people about what they would do  in office with the power of the Presidency.

By Tom Teodorczuk|5:00 am, June 21, 2016

The Imitation Game was a recent Oscar-winning movie biopic that promoted a message of liberal tolerance. By contrast, Wall Street Journal columnist Kimberley Strassel’s new book The Intimidation Game extensively chronicles how liberalintolerance is on the march.

Largely told through Strassel interviewing those individuals affected by the IRS targeting scandal and left-wing activist campaigns against corporations and business organizations, Strassel’s book is an engrossing and alarming look at how the First Amendment is under threat.

The Left’s silencing of free speech is a phenomenon that the author thinks is getting worse.  “I only finished writing the book in February, and I could have already written a sequel!” Strassel jokes.

Heat Street spoke more with her about the subject. Below is an edited and condensed transcript:

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WHY DOES THE IRS NEED GUNS?

Monday, June 20th, 2016

Why Does the IRS Need Guns?

After grabbing legal power, bureaucrats are amassing firepower. It’s time to scale back the federal arsenal.

Dr. Coburn is a physician and former U.S. senator from Oklahoma. He is the honorary chairman, and Mr. Andrzejewski is the founder and CEO, of OpenTheBooks.com, a repository of public-spending records.

EXCERPT FROM THIS ARTICLE:  On Friday, June 17, our organization, American Transparency, is releasing its OpenTheBooks.com oversight report on the militarization of America. The report catalogs federal purchases of guns, ammunition and military-style equipment by seemingly bureaucratic federal agencies. During a nine-year period through 2014, we found, 67 agencies unaffiliated with the Department of Defense spent $1.48 billion on guns and ammo. Of that total, $335.1 million was spent by agencies traditionally viewed as regulatory or administrative, such as the Smithsonian Institution and the U.S. Mint.

Some examples of spending from 2005 through 2014 raise the question: Who are they preparing to battle?

Special agents at the IRS equipped with AR-15 military-style rifles? Health and Human Services “Special Office of Inspector General Agents” being trained by the Army’s Special Forces contractors? The Department of Veterans Affairs arming 3,700 employees?

The number of non-Defense Department federal officers authorized to make arrests and carry firearms (200,000) now exceeds the number of U.S. Marines (182,000). In its escalating arms and ammo stockpiling, this federal arms race is unlike anything in history. Over the last 20 years, the number of these federal officers with arrest-and-firearm authority has nearly tripled to over 200,000 today, from 74,500 in 1996.

What exactly is the Obama administration up to?

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WHY DISREGARD OF LAW IS AMERICA’S GREATEST THREAT

Tuesday, July 28th, 2015

 

Why disregard of law is America’s greatest threat

Citizens may ask why they should obey the rules when illegals go scot-free

By Victor Davis Hanson – – Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Barbarians at the gate usually don’t bring down once-successful civilizations. Nor does climate change. Even mass epidemics like the plague that decimated sixth-century Byzantium do not necessarily destroy a culture.

Far more dangerous are institutionalized corruption, a lack of transparency and creeping neglect of existing laws. All the German euros in the world will not save Greece if Greeks continue to dodge taxes, featherbed government and see corruption as a business model.

Even obeying so-called minor laws counts. It is no coincidence that a country where drivers routinely flout traffic laws and throw trash out the window is also a country that cooks its books and lies to its creditors. Everything from littering to speeding seems negotiable in Athens in a way not true of Munich, Zurich or London.

Mexico is a naturally richer country than Greece. It is blessed with oil, precious minerals, fertile soils, long coastlines and warm weather. Hundreds of thousands of Mexican citizens should not be voting with their feet to reject their homeland for the United States.

But Mexico also continues to be a mess because police expect bribes, property rights are iffy, and government works only for those who pay kickbacks. The result is that only north, not south, of the U.S.-Mexico border can people expect upward mobility, clean water, adequate public safety and reliable power.

In much of the Middle East and Africa, tribalism and bribery, not meritocracy, determine who gets hired and fired, wins or loses a contract, or receives or goes without public services.

Americans, too, should worry about these age-old symptoms of internal decay.

The frightening thing about disgraced Internal Revenue Service bureaucrat Lois Lerner’s knowledge of selective audits of groups on the basis of their politics is not just that she seemed to ignore it, but that she seemingly assumed no one would find out, or perhaps even mind. And she may well have been right. So far, no one at the IRS has shown much remorse for corrupting an honor-based system of tax compliance. (more…)

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THE OBAMACARE-IRS CONNECTION

Sunday, July 27th, 2014

 

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
THE OBAMACARE-IRS NEXUS
July 25, 2014 

EXCERPT FROM THIS ARTICLE:  To summarize: The IRS (famed for nitpicking and prosecuting the tax law), chose to authorize hundreds of billions of illegal subsidies without having performed a smidgen of legal due diligence, and did so at the direction of political taskmasters. The agency’s actions provided aid and comfort to elected Democrats, even as it disenfranchised millions of Americans who voted in their states to reject state-run exchanges. And Treasury knows how ugly this looks, which is why it initially stonewalled Congress in its investigation—at first refusing to give documents to investigators, and redacting large portions of the information.

Administration officials will continue to use the IRS to try to improve its political fortunes. The subsidy shenanigans are merely one example. Add Democrats’ hijacking of the agency to target and silence political opponents. What you begin to see are the makings of a Washington agency—a body with the power to harass, to collect, to fine, to imprison—working on behalf of one political party. Richard Nixon, eat your heart out

One of the big questions out of the IRS targeting scandal is this: How can an agency that engaged in such political misconduct be trusted to implement ObamaCare? This week’s Halbig v. Burwell ruling reminded us of the answer. It can’t.The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in Halbig that the administration had illegally provided ObamaCare subsidies in 36 insurance exchanges run by the federal government. Yet it wasn’t the “administration” as a whole that issued the lawless subsidy gift. It was the administration acting through its new, favorite enforcer: the IRS.

And it was entirely political. Democrats needed those subsidies. The party had assumed that dangling subsidies before the states would induce them to set up exchanges. When dozens instead refused, the White House was faced with the prospect that citizens in 36 states—two-thirds of the country—would be exposed to the full cost of ObamaCare’s overpriced insurance. The backlash would have been horrific, potentially forcing Democrats to reopen the law, or even costing President Obama re-election.

The White House viewed it as imperative, therefore, that IRS bureaucrats ignore the law’s text and come up with a politically helpful rule. The evidence shows that career officials at the IRS did indeed do as Treasury Department and Health and Human Services Department officials told them. This, despite the fact that the IRS is supposed to be insulated from political meddling.

 cat

Getty Images/iStockphoto

We know this thanks to a largely overlooked joint investigation and February report by the House Oversight and Ways and Means committees into the history of the IRS subsidy rule. We know that in the late summer of 2010, after ObamaCare was signed into law, the IRS assembled a working group—made up of career IRS and Treasury employees—to develop regulations around ObamaCare subsidies. And we know that this working group initially decided to follow the text of the law. An early draft of its rule about subsidies explained that they were for “Exchanges established by the State.”

Yet in March 2011, Emily McMahon, the acting assistant secretary for tax policy at the Treasury Department (a political hire), saw a news article that noted a growing legal focus on the meaning of that text. She forwarded it to the working group, which in turn decided to elevate the issue—according to Congress’s report—to “senior IRS and Treasury officials.” The office of the IRS chief counsel—one of two positions appointed by the president—drafted a memo telling the group that it should read the text to mean that everyone, in every exchange, got subsidies. At some point between March 10 and March 15, 2011, the reference to “Exchanges established by the State” disappeared from the draft rule. (more…)

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THE HIGH PRICE OF OBAMA FATIGUE

Thursday, June 19th, 2014

 

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
THE HIGH PRICE OF OBAMA FATIGUE
 June 19, 2014

With 2½ years left in the Obama presidency, it is at least an open question what will be left of it by December 2016. Or us.

In this week’s Wall Street Journal-NBC poll, conducted as the disintegration of Iraq began, Mr. Obama’s approval rating has fallen to 41% and his handling of foreign policy to 37%.

Respondents to this poll know what is going on in the world—Ukraine destabilized, Iraq disintegrating, their economy eternally recovering.

Mr. Obama’s world this week consisted of flying to the University of California-Irvine to give a speech about a) himself (check the text if you doubt it) and b) climate change. On Wednesday he was in New York City for a midtown fundraiser, an LGBT fundraiser and a third, $32,000 per person fundraiser at the home of Vogue editor Anna Wintour.

The Hill newspaper ran a piece earlier this week wondering if Mr. Obama is “done with Washington.” Jamal Simmons, a Democratic strategist, says, “He’s never really made it a secret he’s not a fan of this place.” Or Syria. Or Ukraine. Or Iraq.

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President Barack Obama stands alone in the Green Room Gamma-Rapho/Getty Images (more…)

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THE IRS LOSES LOIS LERNER’S EMAILS

Monday, June 16th, 2014

 

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

THE IRS LOSES LERNER’S EMAILS
And other news that the Beltway press corps won’t cover. 
June 13, 2014
The IRS—remember those jaunty folks?—announced Friday that it can’t find two years of emails from Lois Lerner to the Departments of Justice or Treasury. And none to the White House or Democrats on Capitol Hill. An agency spokesman blames a computer crash.

Never underestimate government incompetence, but how convenient. The former IRS Director of Exempt Organizations was at the center of the IRS targeting of conservative groups and still won’t testify before Congress. Now we’ll never know whose orders she was following, or what directions she was giving. If the Reagan White House had ever offered up this excuse, John Dingell would have held the entire government in contempt.

The suspicion that this is willful obstruction of Congress is all the more warranted because this week we also learned that the IRS, days before the 2010 election, shipped a 1.1 million page database about tax-exempt groups to the FBI. Why? New emails turned up by Darrell Issa’s House Oversight Committee show Department of Justice officials worked with Ms. Lerner to investigate groups critical of President Obama.

How out of bounds was this data dump? Consider the usual procedure. The IRS is charged with granting tax-exempt status to social-welfare organizations that spend less than 50% of their resources on politics. If the IRS believes a group has violated those rules, it can assign an agent to investigate and revoke its tax-exempt status. This routinely happens and isn’t a criminal offense. 

Ms. Lerner, by contrast, shipped a database of 12,000 nonprofit tax returns to the FBI, the investigating agency for Justice’s Criminal Division. The IRS, in other words, was inviting Justice to engage in a fishing expedition, and inviting people not even licensed to fish in that pond. The Criminal Division (rather than the Tax Division) investigates and prosecutes under the Internal Revenue Code only when the crimes involve IRS personnel. (more…)

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CONNECTING THE DOTS IN THE IRS SCANDAL

Friday, February 28th, 2014

 

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
CONNECTING THE DOTS IN THE IRS SCANDAL
Feb. 27, 2014

The mainstream press has justified its lack of coverage over the Internal Revenue Service targeting of conservative groups because there’s been no “smoking gun” tying President Obama to the scandal. This betrays a remarkable, if not willful, failure to understand abuse of power. The political pressure on the IRS to delay or deny tax-exempt status for conservative groups has been obvious to anyone who cares to open his eyes. It did not come from a direct order from the White House, but it didn’t have to.

First, some background: On Jan. 21, 2010, the Supreme Court issued its ruling in Citizens United v. FEC upholding the right of corporations and unions to make independent expenditures in political races. Then, on March 26, relying on Citizens United, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the rights of persons (including corporations) to pool resources for political purposes. This allowed the creation of “super PACs” as well as corporate contributions to groups organized under Section 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code that spend in political races.

The reaction to Citizens United was no secret. Various news outlets such as CNN noted that “Democrats fear the decision has given the traditionally pro-business GOP a powerful new advantage.”

Sens. Carl Levin (D., Mich.) and Dick Durbin (D., Ill.). Getty Images (2)

The 501(c)(4) groups in question are officially known as “social-welfare organizations.” They have for decades been permitted to engage in political activity under IRS rules, so long as their primary purpose (generally understood to be more than 50% of their activity) wasn’t political. They are permitted to lobby without limitation and are not required to disclose their donors. The groups span the political spectrum, from the National Rifle Association to Common Cause to the Planned Parenthood Action Fund. If forced out of 501(c)(4) status, these nonprofit advocacy groups would have to reorganize as for-profit corporations and pay taxes on donations received, or reorganize as “political committees” under Section 527 of the IRS Code and be forced to disclose their donors. (more…)

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OBAMA’S ATTEMPT TO LICENSE TAX PREPARERS

Wednesday, February 12th, 2014

 

COMMENTARY

No Wonder Obama Was so Desperate to Pack the D.C. Circuit

EXCERPT FROM THIS ARTICLE:  Why did the Obama IRS try to get away with this? Simple: to help out the big guys at the expense of the small guys, which is to say crony capitalism. Obeying the new regulations would have been no problem for, say, H&R Block or even full-time accountants. It was aimed at forcing out of the market the mom-and-pop operations who earn a few thousand dollars each spring helping friends and neighbors to file their income-tax returns.

The giveaway here is that the deputy IRS commissioner who crafted the new rules was none other than Mark Ernst, former CEO of—wait for it!—H&R Block. H&R Block, of course, was all in favor of the new rules that would have axed a considerable portion of their competition. Giving Ernst a political appointment to deal with matters directly concerning a former employer would have been flatly illegal, so he was given a “civil service” appointment instead, as though he were nothing more than one more bureaucrat moving up the ladder. His civil service career lasted less than two years.

The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals struck down another Obama administration power grab yesterday. It ruled unanimously that the IRS did not have the statutory authority, under the so-called Horse Act of 1884 (passed 29 years before the income tax existed), to license tax preparers, require them to pay annual fees, and attend at least 15 hours of continuing education a year.

The Horse Act was passed to bring an end to a rash of fraudulent claims stemming from the Civil War, where people would claim compensation from the government for horses and other property taken or killed in the war. They would often claim that some broken-down plow horse was actually a magnificent beast worth many times more. (That’s not at all dissimilar to the rash of allegedly fraudulent claims against BP for the Gulf oil spill of 2010 that’s going on right now.) It authorized the treasury secretary to establish standards for people representing claimants before the Treasury.

In 2011, rather than asking Congress for the power to license tax preparers, the Obama administration just went ahead and took the power, using the fig leaf of the Horse Act. But tax preparers, of course, don’t represent their clients before the IRS. They simply fill out the incredibly complicated forms. The clients, not the preparers, are representing that the information on the forms is correct. That was the opinion of the IRS itself up until the Obama administration came into being. In 2009 it wrote, “Just preparing a tax return [or] furnishing information at the request of the IRS … is not practice before the IRS ….” (more…)

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