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The IRS Scandal Started at the Top

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#1
ECDawg

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May 16, 2013, 8:41 p.m. ET

The IRS Scandal Started at the Top
The bureaucrats at the Internal Revenue Service did exactly what the president said was the right and honorable thing to do.

By KIMBERLEY A. STRASSEL


Was the White House involved in the IRS's targeting of conservatives? No investigation needed to answer that one. Of course it was.

President Obama and Co. are in full deniability mode, noting that the IRS is an "independent" agency and that they knew nothing about its abuse. The media and Congress are sleuthing for some hint that Mr. Obama picked up the phone and sicced the tax dogs on his enemies.

But that's not how things work in post-Watergate Washington. Mr. Obama didn't need to pick up the phone. All he needed to do was exactly what he did do, in full view, for three years: Publicly suggest that conservative political groups were engaged in nefarious deeds; publicly call out by name political opponents whom he'd like to see harassed; and publicly have his party pressure the IRS to take action.

Mr. Obama now professes shock and outrage that bureaucrats at the IRS did exactly what the president of the United States said was the right and honorable thing to do. "He put a target on our backs, and he's now going to blame the people who are shooting at us?" asks Idaho businessman and longtime Republican donor Frank VanderSloot.

Mr. VanderSloot is the Obama target who in 2011 made a sizable donation to a group supporting Mitt Romney. In April 2012, an Obama campaign website named and slurred eight Romney donors. It tarred Mr. VanderSloot as a "wealthy individual" with a "less-than-reputable record." Other donors were described as having been "on the wrong side of the law."

This was the Obama version of the phone call—put out to every government investigator (and liberal activist) in the land.

Twelve days later, a man working for a political opposition-research firm called an Idaho courthouse for Mr. VanderSloot's divorce records. In June, the IRS informed Mr. VanderSloot and his wife of an audit of two years of their taxes. In July, the Department of Labor informed him of an audit of the guest workers on his Idaho cattle ranch. In September, the IRS informed him of a second audit, of one of his businesses. Mr. VanderSloot, who had never been audited before, was subject to three in the four months after Mr. Obama teed him up for such scrutiny.

The last of these audits was only concluded in recent weeks. Not one resulted in a fine or penalty. But Mr. VanderSloot has been waiting more than 20 months for a sizable refund and estimates his legal bills are $80,000. That figure doesn't account for what the president's vilification has done to his business and reputation.

The Obama call for scrutiny wasn't a mistake; it was the president's strategy—one pursued throughout 2012. The way to limit Romney money was to intimidate donors from giving. Donate, and the president would at best tie you to Big Oil or Wall Street, at worst put your name in bold, and flag you as "less than reputable" to everyone who worked for him: the IRS, the SEC, the Justice Department. The president didn't need a telephone; he had a megaphone.

The same threat was made to conservative groups that might dare play in the election. As early as January 2010, Mr. Obama would, in his state of the union address, cast aspersions on the Supreme Court's Citizens United ruling, claiming that it "reversed a century of law to open the floodgates for special interests" (read conservative groups).

The president derided "tea baggers." Vice President Joe Biden compared them to "terrorists." In more than a dozen speeches Mr. Obama raised the specter that these groups represented nefarious interests that were perverting elections. "Nobody knows who's paying for these ads," he warned. "We don't know where this money is coming from," he intoned.

In case the IRS missed his point, he raised the threat of illegality: "All around this country there are groups with harmless-sounding names like Americans for Prosperity, who are running millions of dollars of ads against Democratic candidates . . . And they don't have to say who exactly the Americans for Prosperity are. You don't know if it's a foreign-controlled corporation."

Short of directly asking federal agencies to investigate these groups, this is as close as it gets. Especially as top congressional Democrats were putting in their own versions of phone calls, sending letters to the IRS that accused it of having "failed to address" the "problem" of groups that were "improperly engaged" in campaigns. Because guess who controls that "independent" agency's budget?

The IRS is easy to demonize, but it doesn't exist in a vacuum. It got its heading from a president, and his party, who did in fact send it orders—openly, for the world to see. In his Tuesday press grilling, no question agitated White House Press Secretary Jay Carney more than the one that got to the heart of the matter: Given the president's "animosity" toward Citizens United, might he have "appreciated or wanted the IRS to be looking and scrutinizing those . . ." Mr. Carney cut off the reporter with "That's a preposterous assertion."

Preposterous because, according to Mr. Obama, he is "outraged" and "angry" that the IRS looked into the very groups and individuals that he spent years claiming were shady, undemocratic, even lawbreaking. After all, he expects the IRS to "operate with absolute integrity." Even when he does not.

http://online.wsj.co...ss_opinion_main
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#2
smokeyone

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Chicagoland thugs gonna thug.

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#3
NextYearIsHere

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The IRS targeted liberal groups as well.

Number of Tea Party groups denied: 0

Number of Democrat groups denied: 1
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#4
GatorHunter

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^^^^^That's not what I read...several Conservative groups gave up on getting the 501©3 status...on the other hand, liberal groups got there's in a few short weeks.

Here's what's hilarious about your post...the stinkin' IRS has admitted it unfairly targeted Conservative groups...and you fools are still denying it!!! :)

Edited by GatorHunter, 18 May 2013 - 01:11 AM.


#5
zartan

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10/10 would laugh at again

#6
nova

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JFC you guys will make excuses for anything he does won't you?  I can't imagine what you'd say if they found a dead hooker in his bed....

#7
nova

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View PostNextYearIsHere, on 17 May 2013 - 11:47 PM, said:

The IRS targeted liberal groups as well.

Number of Tea Party groups denied: 0

Number of Democrat groups denied: 1

Hey fellas, lets think about that for a second.  Groups on the right were targeted at a ratio of about 30:1 to those on the left and the only group they found worthy to deny legal status to was a liberal group.  An Emerge America really did deserve to be denied because they're overtly political.  Their stated mission is to get Democrats elected to office.

Even the IG says they did wrong...

http://www.washingto...942e_story.html

#8
rwspear

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View PostNextYearIsHere, on 17 May 2013 - 11:47 PM, said:

The IRS targeted liberal groups as well.

Number of Tea Party groups denied: 0

Number of Democrat groups denied: 1

so?

IRS admits to targeting specific groups of US citizens to further other group's of citizens' political careers.

doesnt take aristotle to put the logical dots together on this one. SOMEONE turned the IRS into a bunch of cronies.

again, if that doesnt scare you, i nominate you for the Sheep-of-the-year award.

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Edited by rwspear, 18 May 2013 - 09:43 AM.


#9
NextYearIsHere

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You guys wont be happy until you have a video tape of Barry saying to the head IRS guy to Posted Image over the Tea Party, will you? Because that's what you believe happen, so therefore it did.
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#10
GatorHunter

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View PostNextYearIsHere, on 18 May 2013 - 03:20 PM, said:

You guys wont be happy until you have a video tape of Barry saying to the head IRS guy to :lanekiffin: over the Tea Party, will you? Because that's what you believe happen, so therefore it did.

Actually...no...every time Barry pushes his belly to a podium he blames all his failures on the GOP, demonizes the Tea Party and anyone else who doesn't agree with him.  Basically, Barry, being the "rockstar" president that he is...lays his list out in front of his cabinet henchmen and they do the dirty work...that's how it happened.

#11
NextYearIsHere

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View PostGatorHunter, on 18 May 2013 - 06:35 PM, said:

Actually...no...every time Barry pushes his belly to a podium he blames all his failures on the GOP, demonizes the Tea Party and anyone else who doesn't agree with him.  Basically, Barry, being the "rockstar" president that he is...lays his list out in front of his cabinet henchmen and they do the dirty work...that's how it happened.


So terrible as a doctor he's now taking his talents to law and being a psychic. Good luck ever proving that fantasy. Enjoy the next 3 and a half years of the Rockstar
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#12
rwspear

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um obviously all three scandals were Bush' fault. Also, the person in charge is never actually in charge so it's not fair to blame King Obama... unless something good happens, in which case he receives full credit. All Hail!

signed,
Liberals

#13
nova

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We'll see how much crow there is to be eaten when those low level IRS employees finish testifying before Congress.  They don't seem to be inclined to go quietly under the bus...

#14
nova

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Getting better and better.  Reports are that other angencies involved in political targeting may include FBI, BATFE, and OSHA....

#15
rwspear

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View Postnova, on 20 May 2013 - 11:39 AM, said:

Getting better and better.  Reports are that other angencies involved in political targeting may include FBI, BATFE, and OSHA....

!!!

if true, libs better find a nice soft piece of sand to put their head in

and link please!

Edited by rwspear, 20 May 2013 - 01:01 PM.