Archive for the ‘IRS’ Category

THE IRS EVADES ACCOUNTABILITY

Thursday, January 11th, 2018

 

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

The IRS Evades Accountability—and Its Excuse Is Ridiculous

It claims its rules lack a ‘significant economic impact’ because they’re ‘derived from’ statutes.

By John J. Vecchione and James Valvo     Mr. Vecchione is president and CEO of Cause of Action Institute, where Mr. Valvo is counsel and a senior policy adviser.   January 10, 2018
EXCERPT FROM THIS ARTICLE:  

Specifically, the White House should demand that the IRS submit all rules to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs for review. It should make it known that it will delay the implementation of any new rules until the IRS conducts the requisite economic analysis. And the Senate should demand that President Trump’s nominee for IRS commissioner—who has yet to be named—publicly commit to reforming this practice. Anyone who wants to lead the IRS should promise to produce economic analyses for proposed rules and share that information with the public.

No agency has more influence over every taxpayer than the IRS. It’s time for oversight of that agency to match its unparalleled role in Americans’ lives.

 
 

Every American knows the Internal Revenue Service collects taxes and audits taxpayers. Fewer realize that the agency also issues far-reaching rules that affect the entire economy. Any agency with such vast rule-making power deserves the highest level of scrutiny and accountability. The IRS is in particular need of oversight following the scandals that have engulfed it in recent years.

Yet a new report from the Cause of Action Institute reveals that the IRS has been evading numerous oversight mechanisms, and it refuses to comply with laws requiring it to measure the economic impact of its rules.

Congress has passed several laws, including the Regulatory Flexibility Act and the Congressional Review Act, that require agencies to report on their rules’ economic impact to lawmakers and the public. The president also conducts oversight of agency rules through the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs. These good-government measures are meant to ensure unelected bureaucrats can be checked by the public.

Crucially, they are all triggered by an initial determination by the agency of whether its new rule will have a “significant economic impact.” But as our report shows, the IRS has made up a series of exemptions that allow it to avoid basic scrutiny. The agency takes the position that its rules have no economic effect because any impact is attributable to the underlying law that authorized the rule, not the agency’s decision to issue or alter the rule.

The IRS prominently used this excuse in 2016. It had proposed changes to the way it valued interests in closely held businesses for estate- and gift-tax purposes. This rule would have had a dramatic effect on thousands of small businesses and family farms and their inheritors. The affected communities reacted strongly, but the IRS still asserted the rule was only interpretive. It provided no more than the boilerplate statement that any economic effect “is derived from the operation of the statute, or its intended application, and not from the proposed regulations in this notice of proposed rule-making.”

This is pablum. Were it correct, rules from every federal agency would be exempt from oversight, since all agency rules are based in statute. If other agencies adopted this mind-set, it would gut oversight of the regulatory state by the elected branches.

The IRS did submit the rule to the Small Business Administration’s Office of Advocacy for comment on how it would affect small businesses. That office firmly rejected the IRS claim that the rule was exempt from economic analysis. The IRS brushed aside the SBA’s argument, but the Trump Treasury Department halted this ill-advised rule.

Yet the IRS’s brazen assertion of immunity from oversight remains in place. It first bestowed the economic-impact exemption on itself in 1998, after Congress amended the Regulatory Flexibility Act expressly to cover IRS interpretive rules. The IRS Office of Chief Counsel issued a notice claiming that its interpretive rules do not have an economic impact, an outrageous assertion meant to help the agency avoid the new law. The IRS originally stated that only the “revenue impact”—the amount of money collected and transferred to the Treasury—was exempt from analysis. It has since broadened this claim to evade White House review and the Congressional Review Act. The IRS now asserts the exemption for all “effects” from its rules, including macroeconomic impacts, behavioral changes, compliance costs, and record-keeping and reporting burdens.

Criticism of the IRS position goes beyond the SBA. Members of Congress and the Government Accountability Office have also called for reform of this baseless practice. Congress and President Trump should step in to correct this dubious behavior and ensure the IRS is held accountable for its actions.

Specifically, the White House should demand that the IRS submit all rules to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs for review. It should make it known that it will delay the implementation of any new rules until the IRS conducts the requisite economic analysis. And the Senate should demand that President Trump’s nominee for IRS commissioner—who has yet to be named—publicly commit to reforming this practice. Anyone who wants to lead the IRS should promise to produce economic analyses for proposed rules and share that information with the public.

No agency has more influence over every taxpayer than the IRS. It’s time for oversight of that agency to match its unparalleled role in Americans’ lives.

Share

CIVIL SERVICE REFORM – 2018 ISSUE FOR PRESIDENT TRUMP

Sunday, December 31st, 2017
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

A Big, Beautiful Trump 2018 Issue

Civil-service reform could get bipartisan support, even in a rough election year.

 

 

Share

HOW TAX CUTS WILL AFFECT FAMILIES

Thursday, December 28th, 2017

 

VIDEO

CBS asked an accountant how tax cuts will affect families.

Share

LOIS LERNER DOESN’T TRUST YOU

Tuesday, November 21st, 2017

 

Lois Lerner Doesn’t Trust You

“You can’t handle the truth,” the former IRS official tells the American people.

IRS official Louis Lerner testifies before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on Capitol Hill, May 22, 2013. PHOTO: PETE MAROVICH/BLOOMBERG
Share

VIDEO – DINESH D’SOUZA AT LIBERTY UNIVERSITY – ‘THE BIG LIE’

Sunday, October 8th, 2017

Share

THE UNACCOUNTABLE IRS

Friday, September 29th, 2017

 

THE WEEKLY STANDARD

The Unaccountable IRS

EXCERPT FROM THIS ARTICLE:  President Obama declared on national television during the height of the scandal that there was “not even a smidgen of corruption” in the agency. That’s laughable. But then, when it comes to policing executive agencies, his administration was arguably the most lawless in modern history. In 2014, 47 of the 73 federal inspectors general signed a public letter accusing the administration of intimidation, stonewalling their investigations, and generally interfering in their “ability to conduct our work thoroughly, independently, and in a timely manner.”

The promise of the Trump administration, especially in contrast to Hillary

To understand the pragmatic realities of federal governance in the 21st century, one must recognize the existence of a fourth branch of government: the administrative state. We have some two million federal bureaucrats with extraconstitutional legislative powers. Not only do they write the reams of regulations that order our lives, they have the authority to enforce them capriciously. And thanks to absurd civil service protections, it is exceedingly difficult to hold them accountable for abuses of power, even when Congress demands it.

(more…)

Share

VIDEO – EXPOSING THE DEEP STATE – JUDICIAL WATCH

Saturday, September 16th, 2017

Share

VIDEO – OBAMA’S NSA CONDUCTED ILLEGAL SEARCHES ON AMERICANS FOR YEARS

Tuesday, May 30th, 2017

 

OBAMA’S NSA CONDUCTED ILLEGAL SEARCHES ON AMERICANS FOR YEARS 

On Wednesday, May 24, 2017,  Judicial Watch Director of Investigations and Research, Chris Farrell,  appeared on “Lou Dobbs Tonight” on the Fox Business Network to discuss the NSA under Obama routinely violated American privacy protections by conducting illegal searches for years.

“The Constitution is at risk”………”there has got to be a criminal prosecution”
VIDEO  

Share

VIDEO – OBAMA’S NSA USED FOR POLITICAL INTELLIGENCE

Friday, May 26th, 2017

 

 

Unprecedented documented crimes, and almost no coverage—yet.

VIDEO

www.youtube.com/watch?v=QSygF17_foc&feature=youtu.be

 JUDICIAL WATCH

On Watch: Episode 16 – Obama NSA used for domestic political intelligence & violated Constitution

 

Published on May 25, 2017

 

View the Top-Secret FISA court order

 

 here: www.judicialwatch.org/document

 

 

 

 

 

 

Share

THE LEFT’S WAR ON FREE SPEECH

Thursday, May 11th, 2017

 

Imprimis

The Left’s War on Free Speech

April 2017 • Volume 46, Number 4

Kimberley Strassel
Author, The Intimidation Game: How the Left Is Silencing Free Speech

Kimberley StrasselKimberley Strassel writes the weekly “Potomac Watch” column for The Wall Street Journal, where she is also a member of the editorial board. A graduate of Princeton University, her previous positions at the Journal include news assistant in Brussels, internet reporter in London, commercial real estate reporter in New York, assistant editorial features editor, columnist for OpinionJournal.com, and senior editorial page writer. In 2013 she served as a Pulliam Distinguished Visiting Fellow at Hillsdale College, and in 2014 she was a recipient of the Bradley Prize. She is the author of The Intimidation Game: How the Left Is Silencing Free Speech.

The following is adapted from a speech delivered on April 26, 2017, at Hillsdale College’s Allan P. Kirby, Jr. Center for Constitutional Studies and Citizenship in Washington, D.C., as part of the AWC Family Foundation Lecture Series.

EXCERPT FROM THIS SPEECH:  We need to think hard about ways to limit the powers of the administrative state, to stop rogue agents at the IRS and other agencies from trampling on free speech rights. We can make great progress simply by cutting the size of federal and state bureaucracies. But beyond that, we need to conduct systematic reviews of agency powers and strip from unaccountable bureaucracies any discretion over the political activities of Americans. The IRS should be doing what it was created to do—making sure taxpayers fill out their forms correctly. Period.

(more…)

Share
Search All Posts
Categories