Free Markets, Free People

What is the IRS scandal if not political?

Peggy Noonan makes this statement today:

What happened at the IRS is the government’s essential business. The IRS case deserves and calls out for an independent counsel, fully armed with all that position’s powers. Only then will stables that badly need to be cleaned, be cleaned. Everyone involved in this abuse of power should pay a price, because if they don’t, the politicization of the IRS will continue—forever. If it is not stopped now, it will never stop. And if it isn’t stopped, no one will ever respect or have even minimal faith in the revenue-gathering arm of the U.S. government again.

And it would be shameful and shallow for any Republican operative or operator to make this scandal into a commercial and turn it into a mere partisan arguing point and part of the game. It’s not part of the game. This is not about the usual partisan slugfest. This is about the integrity of our system of government and our ability to trust, which is to say our ability to function.

First paragraph … agree, for the most part.  Where I don’t agree is that there is a “minimal faith” in the revenue gathering arm of the US government.  There’s been little faith in it since it’s inception.  Most people understand that the gun is pointed at them and the prison cell is open and waiting.  They don’t pay taxes because of any “faith” or respect for the IRS or government.  They do it out of fear.

As for the second paragraph, that’s total horse hockey.  Total.

The entire point of the scandal was it targeted “political” organizations.  How does one not politicize it?  It took place under a Democratic administration and the opponents of that party were the target of the IRS.


And what do we get from Noonan? “Hey, let’s take a knife to a gun fight”.

Noonan’s advice is, by far, the stupidest advice one could give.

Yes, this is about the integrity of the system. And, like it or not, that is directly linked to those who administer and govern.

Ms. Noonan, who is that right now? And how, if they were doing an effective job, would this have been going on for two years. Oh, and speaking of trust, how are you with the whole AP scandal? My guess is you’re wanting some heads over that.

Well, I want some heads of this. And Benghazi. And Fast and Furious.

Instead we get shrinking violets like you advising everyone to back off and not make this “political”.



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55 Responses to What is the IRS scandal if not political?

  • This happens, and then the left wonders why people refuse to give an inch on gun control?

    • Don’t be an extremist!  Be a sensible moderate.  Compromise.  Europeans.  Polls.  Next generation. blah blah blah
      They need to make sure they get all of their facts right, not spout unfounded rumors or over-hype the reality.  Just the facts.  Then use those facts to the hilt.  Turn the blade.
      Forty years from now, the name of Nixon should be a minor footnote, and the Democrats should be constantly hounded by reminders of this regime, in the same way that Republicans have been shamed for Watergate.


    Why the sudden admission?  Just coincidence, or an attempt by the IRS to get ahead of the pending release of the Inspector General Report? There was a strong suspicion that the question was planted based on the identity of the questioner.
    Now we know.  At the hearings this morning, Acting IRS Commissioner Steven Miller admitted Lerner knew about the question in advance, and that it was planned by the IRS

    More Obamic skulduggery..

    • Yeah when I first heard about the IG investigation I thought good….then when it was completed within 24 hours I realized we were being had…
      “The Fox commission had completed it’s investigation of the failure to guard and hen-house and we find no wrong doing on the part of Foxy Loxy and agree with the determination to give him a raise and bonuses”

      • Just before handing Foxy a napkin to clear off those features adhering to his muzzle…

      • Lois G. Lerner, the embattled Internal Revenue Service official who apologized for improperly scrutinizing the tax-exempt status of conservative nonprofit groups, is a member of the Humane Society of the United States, a liberal animal advocacy organization. Lerner — the suddenly infamous IRS Exempt Organizations Division director — “is an active member of the Humane Society of the United States where her efforts in performing pet rescues necessitated by the 2005 Gulf Coast hurricanes were widely acknowledged,” according to her biography. The HSUS has been accused of sending less than one percent of its funds to animal shelters, a charge that a spokesman in 2012 would not deny. According to IRS filings, the group took in $148,703,820 in revenue in 2010. On May 12, 2010, Republican Missouri Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer wrote a letter to Lerner, expressing his concerns about the tax-exempt status of the HSUS, which is listed as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit group.

        … you don’t need a Weatherman to guess which way this “conflict-of-interest” will blow

    • These are all different agencies of government. This administration owns the failures, but not necessarily the direct blame … we’re looking at each individual case so it’s very different than what you view historically as a target where it [was] always about President Clinton. This isn’t about President Obama,” House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) told The Hill.

      An excellent example of good target identification.

  • Roskam hits richest target in Miller questioning: once IRS understood nature/scope of improper vetting, why not tell Congress immediately?
    — John Harwood (@JohnJHarwood) May 17, 2013


    • Lois Lerner in trouble for trying a modified limited hangout
      Reps. Joe Crowley (D-Queens) and Sander Levin (D-Mich), top Democrats on the House Ways and Means Committee, on Friday demanded the resignation of Lois Lerner, head of the IRS division overseeing tax-exempt organizations.

      Celia Roady, a lobbyist in the firm of Morgan Lewis, said she was called personally by Lois Lerner, the IRS head of the tax exempt division, on May 9.
      “I received a call from Lois Lerner, who told me that she wanted to address an issue after her prepared remarks at the [American Bar Association] Tax Section’s Exempt Organizations Committee Meeting, and asked if I would pose a question to her after her remarks,” Roady said in a statement to U.S. News and World Report.

      A limited hangout is a means of propaganda by exposing some minor details in order to prevent the full exposure of greater secrets.
      A modified limited hangout is the mixing of the aforementioned technique with misinformation to hinder/mislead further investigation.

  • “And it would be shameful and shallow”
    Fine, let the Tea Party candidates do it then, the Republicans don’t seem to want them as constituents any way.

  • Most people understand that the gun is pointed at them and the prison cell is open and waiting.  They don’t pay taxes because of any “faith” or respect for the IRS or government.  They do it out of fear.

    Your conclusion is certainly true, McQ.
    But very few people can be changed criminally in tax cases.  Your allusion to prison shows how successfully the iRS puts the hoo-doo on ordinary people.

  • Not completely off-topic…

    The union representing the State Department’s security officers has endorsed House Republicans’ call for a special panel to investigate the Obama administration’s handling of Benghazi.

    J. Adler, the national president of the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association, wrote to Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Va.) on Friday to call for a “bipartisan” select committee to be formed “immediately.” The union represents 26,000 federal officers, including those working for the State Department’s Bureau of Diplomatic Security.

    “In supporting this measure, I would expect full bipartisan cooperation of both parties, and save the sticks and stones feuding for trivial matters,” Adler wrote. “We have grieving family members and a seriously injured DSS [Diplomatic Security Service] Special Agent that deserve the unwavering respect and commitment of our Congress. Our heroes didn’t take pause while confronting fatal risk. Congress should not take pause in confronting the need to properly investigate this matter.”
    —The Hill

    Oh.  Dear.

    • The Gestapo will NOT be fixed by anyone inside the government. Not by ANYONE!
      Even if a dozen or even a few dozen going to jail, someone inside the network will rise up to take the reins of the Capo de tuttie capo (sp??).
      This is going to get mightly ugly and not just between branches of government.

  • Given that the IRS is going to effectively control Socialized Medicine, the IRS should be drawn and quartered over this.
    No amount of punishment is too severe.
    What kind of tool is Peggy Noonan?

  • Chuckie Schumer and Stuart Smalley encouraged the IRS to target tea party members in 2012.

    • Now they’re shocked! shocked!  to find politics going on in the IRS!

  • Most people understand that the gun is pointed at them and the prison cell is open and waiting.  They don’t pay taxes because of any “faith” or respect for the IRS or government.  They do it out of fear.

    Well ok, but is there any society anywhere where it is not the case that government revenues are not collected with the force of a gun and the threat of prison? And in failed states or states with effectively no government, warlords extract tribute under threat of violence as well? I’m not justifying it, I’m just not aware of any viable alternative that has ever existed.

    • Not arguing that point, Robert.  Making the point that tax-collection has little to do with “faith” or respect of government as Noonan tries to claim.

    • Well, it isn’t like we always had income taxes. Once upon a time the government ran on tariffs and such. Yeah, that was still collected at gun point, but there was also significantly less room for abuse.

      Also, with respect to failed states, that is more of a cultural issue then government issue IMO.

  • “We’re portrayed by Republicans as either being lying or idiots,” said one Obama administration official who was part of the Benghazi response. “It’s actually closer to us being idiots.”

    Ah.  The ol’ “We were idiots” alibi….  And they are running national security.

    • I’ve said since day one Obama is either lying, or incompetant, I always let them choose which one he was.   I’ll give them the same option.

      • Why can’t he be both?

        • Oh, he CAN be, I was just trying to make the point.
          The same guy who went to a black supremacist church for 20 years and didn’t notice.  We should be surprised at his lack of knowledge in his current job?

          • Again, fellers, I think it a cardinal mistake to think of Obama as feckless.  He is not.
            He knows what he intends, and is doing it.

  • Simple fix.  And if the Republicans were honestly interested in reducing the power of the IRS, they would do this. Change the tax code to a national sales tax. Or, at least, a low flat tax with no exemptions.   Reduce the ability and authority of the IRS to ever do this.
    But they won’t. They enjoy the power that the tax code give them.

    • You are singing my song, Squid.  “Burn it down”.  Right to the roots, and repeal the 16th.
      START there.

  • So tell me Mrs Noonan, If the repubs manage to destroy the faith of the public in the IRS, then how is that a bad thing?

    From the “nobody is perfect” files.
    Including, of course, nobody is a perfect Collectivist tool.
    Although Erp comes REALLY close.

  • Noonan is an anachronism.  She doesn’t want to sling mud because 50 year ago that could backfire.  Its a matter of course today and the republicans are being cudgeled with it.  People believe as irrefutable fact things about the Bush years that were entirely based unproven mud-flinging accusations.
    Now granted the ‘news’ will allow the left to fling unsubstantiated or inaccurate mud and leave it to the Republicans to defend themselves.  But if the Republicans do that, the media will scream to the heavens.  So when they do get something this solid, they need to use it for all its worth.

  • Whether it is political or not (and of course it is) it is criminal.

    • Is it?  Bureaucracies block people with unnecessary, intrusive, arbitrary and capricious red tape all of the time.  It is how they do things.  Was it illegal for them to green light the liberal 401(c)4 applications?  Was it actually in violation of any federal statute to discriminate on the basis of politics?
      I’m not a lawyer, but I suspect that the bureaucrats who helped to put together the laws were smart enough to make their favorite activities technically legal.
      Given that the chairs were shuffled right after the election and the question which uncovered this scandal was planted, this whole thing looks like a pre-planned distraction, a red herring to be brought out as a diversion when whistle blowers finally came forward on Benghazi.

      • As to criminality, I dunno.  I am (thankfully) not that familiar with the criminal code, but I bet Mark Levin knows.
        On the CIVIL side, these people and organizations have a set of very clear causes of action.
        The discovery should be fun, and news of the lawsuits will keep this in the press for years, along with real people victims.

      • I should add, the severity of what has already been admitted to warrants conviction and punishment.  I can only conceive of this not happening if there is a failure to muster the political will to carry out the prosecution or those who conducted the crimes at the lowest levels are given immunity for their testifying against their bosses, and the bosses get a jury of Democrats.

      • So trump up a charge and throw ’em in jail. They were content to trample on rights, I don’t see where they deserve any. Besides, they’re not going to be lined up against a wall and given a blindfold and cigarette as they actually should be. So they’d be getting off lightly.

      • The IRS has the power to send people to jail.  Not just charge a few fees.  Zero tolerance for abuse.  And just because abuse happens in lesser bureaucracies doesn’t excuse it.

        • Actually, no.  It does not.
          The IRS cannot “send people to jail”.  In fact, the tax offenses for which one may be charged criminally are few, and one has to DO bad stuff to be at risk.
          The IRS does NOT prosecute criminal complaints.  Those are given over to the pros, who are a lot less jug-headed, and much more apt to be reasonable.  Only a TINY percent of Americans are convicted of tax crimes in a given year.

      • This may be meant as a backfire.  This does not mean it is not a fire which burns.

    • Yes it is criminal to use the government’s investigative and regulatory powers for partisan purposes.  It is a part 1983 violation of the equal protections clause.  It is a felony and the penalties are quite severe.

      • My bad 42USC.Sec1983 permits you to sue them into the ground.
        It’s 18USC.Sec241 that has a penalty of 10 years , and fines, and death if death has resulted.  The violated rights would be the equal protection clause, due process, and a little thing called the 1st Amendment.

  • DEMOCRATIC SEN. MAX BAUCUS PREDICTS THE IRS SCANDAL WILL GROW: “I have a hunch that a lot more is going to come out, frankly. It’s broader than the current focus.”

    Posted at 8:35 am by Glenn Reynolds

    MICHAEL BARONE: Benghazi and IRS Targeting: Politics by Other Means. “What do the Benghazi cover-up and the IRS scandal have in common? They were both about winning elections, under false pretenses.”
    They were both about winning the election at any…ANY…cost.

  • NYT:

    For Senator Mike Lee of Utah, these incidents proved that the federal budget has to be cut even more deeply. “We need to return it to a simpler, more manageable government,” he said, “because that’s the only way that we’re ever going to prevent things like this from happening.”

    There are no “things like this,” beyond a coincidence of bad timing. But they do have one thing in common: when bound together and loudly denounced on cable television and in hearings, they serve to obscure the real damage that Republicans continue to do to the economy and the workings of government.

    We’ve got to get away from these people. We need to break away, let liberals drown in their crapulence. And it needs to happen within the next couple of decades before shooting starts.

  • According to a new poll from Gallup, 69 percent of those polled agreed that questions over the Obama administration’s public response to the September 11, 2012, attack on the American consulate in Benghazi, Libya deserve more investgiation, including 52 percent who “strongly agree.” On the IRS scandal, even more Americans, 74 percent, agree that issue needs to be investigated more, including 56 percent who “strongly agree.”
    Erp…  Wanna tell us again that we are out of touch…???

  • Of course it’s political:  the IRS is the State and the Democrat Party.  They are the same people.

    Isn’t that special

  • We should not allow the IRS to make any decision about taxes.  We need a simpler tax code, one that unleashes the economy, avoids political interference and eliminates the IRS.  No deductions, no exemptions, no adjustments.  No bailouts, no subsidies, no groups with special standing.  No withholding; each month, every taxpayer writes a check.  No progressive rates – 10% – one size fits all.  No H&R Block and especially, no TurboTax.  In April, take last year’s income, move the decimal point one digit left. 

    During the Bush Administration, government survived on $1.6 trillion in revenue, plus $900B for social security and medicare.  That $2.5 trillion included the genius who thought up ethanol, the one gallon toilet and the gas can that doesn’t work.  It included Head Start, No Child Left Behind, Transportation Security Agency, Department of Energy and lots of other useless bureaucratic bloat.  $2.5 trillion is fat.  What is the federal government doing today that justifies an additional $1.3 trillion?  Nothing!

  • Oh, Erp, baaa-beee…CNN–

    But 59% now say that the U.S government could have prevented the attack in Benghazi, up 11 points from last November. And only 37% say that congressional Republicans are overreacting in their handling of the matter, with 59% saying they’ve reacted appropriately.
    It’s the same story on the IRS controversy, with 54% saying the GOP in Congress has not overplayed its hand.

    ThoughtCrime will not go unpunished by anyone in the media who steps out of line.

  • Now the Wall Street Journal and NBC’s Chuck Todd both report that the top lawyer in the White House did indeed know about the scandal for weeks before it broke publicly…
    But, since SHE had a very high duty to report information to her client (Pres. Schultz), we are assured he “…knew nuzing…nuzing…!!!!”
    Right, Erp, you tool?