Now, it also appears that the IRS targeted families who adopted children, requesting additional personal information from over 90% and auditing almost 70% of them.
from National Review:
In 2012, the IRS requested additional information from 90 percent of returns claiming the adoption tax credit and went on to actually audit 69 percent. More details from the Taxpayer Advocate Service:
During the 2012 filing season, 90 percent of returns claiming the refundable adoption credit were subject to additional review to determine if an examination was necessary. The most common reasons were income and a lack of documentation.
■ Sixty-nine percent of all adoption credit claims during the 2012 filing season were selected for audit.
■ Of the completed adoption tax credit audits, over 55 percent ended with no change in the tax owed or refund due in fiscal year 2012. The median refund amount involved in these audits is over $15,000 and the median adjusted gross income (AGI) of the taxpayers involved is about 64,000. The average adoption credit correspondence audit currently takes 126 days, causing a lengthy delay for taxpayers waiting for refunds.
While many returns had missing or incomplete information (more on that in a moment), what was the outcome of this massive audit campaign? Not much:
Despite Congress’ express intent to target the credit to low and middle income families, the IRS created income-based rules that were responsible for over one-third of all additional reviews in FY2012.
■ Of the $668.1 million in adoption credit claims in tax year (TY) 2011 as a result of adoption credit audits, the IRS only disallowed $11 million — or one and one-half percent — in adoption credit claims. However, the IRS has also had to pay out $2.1 million in interest in TY 2011 to taxpayers whose refunds were held past the 45-day period allowed by law.
So Congress implemented a tax credit to facilitate adoption – a process that is so extraordinarily expensive that it is out of reach for many middle-class families — and the IRS responded by implementing an audit campaign that delayed much-needed tax refunds to the very families that needed them the most. Oh, and the return on its investment in this harassment? Slightly more than 1 percent.
So, not only did the IRS harass adopting parents, they got nothing in return for it other than to discourage adoption in the US, which is exactly the opposite of Congress’s intention in passing a adoption tax credit.
But if you want to run a national chain of abortion factories, that’s just fine with the IRS. They’ll even do their level best to make sure nobody pickets outside your facilities.
This video is amazing, depressing and hilarious. Jesse Watters, a Fox News producer and notorious street-interviewer, who is rumored to be an Obama supporter himself, decided to go to south Manhattan and interview Obama supporters about the latest goings on in Washington. The results are about what you’d expect.
Look, this is not “gotcha” reporting as the left would define it. There are no trick or rhetorical questions with the expressed purpose of making people look like idiots. The questions are straight forward and are asked of regular folks (well, regular Obama supporters anyway) about extremely important current events. Yes, I understand that the clips might be selectively edited somewhat. But honestly, how does anyone not know about the Benghazi or IRS scandals at this point? How far under a rock do you have to be?
I suppose I’m not really that surprised. They’re named “low-information voters” for a reason. But it is frustrating nonetheless. We have an entire swath of the population that support, defend and vote a particular way regardless of what’s going on. It’s impossible to compete with that. Nothing, nothing short of catching Obama on camera committing a hate crime of some sort would make these people stop supporting him. And this, more than anything, is why the right ever loses. It has much less to do with money or influence or power or the media or ideas and much more to do with the fact the left has a large group of voters built-in; A group that will never change its opinion because it will simply never hear the truth.
More is coming out about the past of Lois Lerner, the IRS agent who mysteriously invoked the 5th amendment Wednesday after declaring her innocence under oath. In the 1990s, Lerner was chief of enforcement at the Federal Elections Commission. During her tenure, she sued the Christian Coalition for violating campaign laws, a case that the Christian Coalition won in court.
From Fox News:
The IRS official who refused to testify at a House hearing Wednesday has become a key focus of the congressional investigations into the IRS practice of singling out conservative groups.
Now under the protection of her lawyers and the Fifth Amendment, Lois Lerner is facing a maelstrom of controversy.
Members of Congress are calling her evasive, and question why she didn’t reveal the program sooner — plus her history at the Federal Elections Commission is coming under scrutiny.
Lerner touched off the public controversy when, at an American Bar Association conference earlier this month, she apologized for the IRS’ practice of targeting conservative organizations for additional scrutiny. It was the first time the agency acknowledged the practice.
“They used names like Tea Party or patriots … and they selected cases simply because the application had those names in the title,” she admitted.
She said she hadn’t revealed the information sooner, because she was never asked.
…In the 1990’s, Lerner also served as chief of enforcement at the Federal Elections Commission.
Under her direction, the FEC undertook the largest enforcement action in its history — suing the Christian Coalition for violating campaign laws. The Christian Coalition won, but in one deposition, FEC lawyers asked a defendant if televangelist Pat Robertson prayed for him.
James Bopp, the Christian Coalition’s lawyer, said he was “shocked and appalled” by that.
Things got a little awkward when South Carolina representative Trey Gowdy questioned the former head of the IRS, Doug Shulman, today. Shulman rarely had an explanation or a defense as Gowdy asked him why he refused to do more to stop the targeting of conservative groups.
Here’s the video:
His line of questioning is exactly on target. Here it is (in my words):
Let’s assume no managers were involved, why did the employees feel comfortable doing this? Why is that the culture?
How is possible that these employees all had the same idea at the same time?
Why would Mr. Shulman allow this unethical and illegal behavior to continue after he knew about it? Why would he not investigate and insist that it stop immediately?
If it were any other type of illegal activity, would the person in charge put a stop to it? If it were employees embezzling money, would the head of the IRS just sit and do nothing after he was told it was happening? Or would he try his best to put a stop to it.
How is it possible that Mr. Shulman maintains (without laughing) that it might not have been partisan?
This sort of corruption and abuse of power should chill conservatives and liberals to the bone. The mere fact that there are some still playing politics with this is unbelievable, maddening and speaks to just how dishonest and far-gone the American left is.
Bravo to Representative Gowdy for not letting him get away with lying to you.
Exit thought: Lindsey Graham will presumably be running for office in 2014. I wonder if Representative Gowdy will consider a primary challenge?
A report by Fox 19 in Cincinnati explains the protocol and chain of command at the IRS, both of which strongly suggests that the overseer of the entire Cincinnati office must have known of the indiscretions taking place at the IRS.
Here’s the video. It’s worth the watch.
Let’s sum this up. After non-profit applications are in the computer system for 270 days without a response, they are automatically flagged by the system and made known to the person in charge of the branch. In this case, that person is Cindy Thomas. Cindy Thomas, who has yet to testify before congress, would have known about every one of the Tea Party applications because the computer would have automatically flagged them and made them known to her.
There’s no way that this was carried out by lower-level employees only. Managers must have known about this based solely on protocol.
As we reported to you earlier, Lois Lerner apparently doesn’t understand how the 5th amendment works. And, judging by the fact that Lerner has been called back to testify again, Darrell Issa agrees.
House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa said embattled IRS official Lois Lerner waived her Fifth Amendment rights and will be hauled back to appear before his panel again.
The California Republican said Lerner’s Fifth Amendment right to avoid self-incrimination was voided when she gave an opening statement this morning denying any wrongdoing and professing pride in her government service.
“When I asked her her questions from the very beginning, I did so so she could assert her rights prior to any statement,” Issa told POLITICO. “She chose not to do so — so she waived.”
…She appeared before Issa’s committee this morning under the order of a subpoena and surprised many by reading a strong statement to the panel.
“I have not done anything wrong,” she said. “I have not broken any laws. I have not violated any IRS rules or regulations, and I have not provided false information to this or any other committee.”
Issa is exactly right. The 5th Amendment exists to prevent a person from incriminating themselves. In other words, the government cannot use the oath of a witness as a way to garner private information about that person’s possible past criminal wrongdoings if that person doesn’t want them to. It makes perfect sense and, like the rest of the Constitution, is a way to limit the power of government. However, in her opening statement, Lerner said she was innocent under oath. This means that she can’t possibly incriminate herself even if she wanted to and, therefore, cannot plead the 5th.
Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I’d get the popcorn ready. It’s about to get good.
This is the kind of arrogance that Rep. Darrell Issa and company are dealing with in their investigations of the numerous White House scandals. Today, when asked why he visited the White House 118 times, former IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman replied, “The Easter egg roll.” He waited a second before adding other reasons, prompting even a Democratic rep to remind him that he was under oath.
Here’s the video:
No, of course he didn’t meet with Obama to discuss targeting conservative groups. He was just there for the Easter egg roll.
Yesterday, NPR White House correspondent, Ari Shapiro tweeted this:
Spotted: @joshtpm @CapehartJ @ezraklein & other lefty columnists headed into the West Wing as a group. POTUS coffee? Carney meeting? Anyone?
Now what on earth could this possibly mean? Could it be that the White House isn’t fooling anyone with its ridiculous “I didn’t know anything” defense about each one of the myriad of scandals going on at the moment and is looking for some damage control?
I’m not optimistic that Americans will suddenly wake up and see the president for who and what he truly is. But I truly hope that enough damage has been done that at least some of his extremist policies will be stopped.
But for those of you who are intellectually honest and still see Obama in a good light, please understand that, whether Obama was directly involved in any of these scandals or not, this is what happens when leftists run the show. This is liberalism almost by definition. When you have a massive government (the end goal of leftism), you get oppression. When you have small government, oppression cannot exist. It’s really quite as simple as that. Ruminate on this: the right doesn’t have its small government policies because they “hate poor people” or “hate minorities” or “love fat cats and large corporations”. They simply understand the danger of having a massive, unchecked government that can do whatever it wants. It leads to tyranny every time.
The IRS official who headed up the division that oversaw non-profits wil plead the 5th, according to her defense lawyer.
from LA Times:
A top IRS official in the division that reviews nonprofit groups will invoke the Fifth Amendment and refuse to answer questions before a House committee investigating the agency’s improper screening of conservative nonprofit groups.
Lois Lerner, the head of the exempt organizations division of the IRS, won’t answer questions about what she knew about the improper screening – or why she didn’t reveal it to Congress, according to a letter from her defense lawyer, William W. Taylor 3rd.
Lerner was scheduled to appear before the House Oversight committee Wednesday.
“She has not committed any crime or made any misrepresentation but under the circumstances she has no choice but to take this course,” said a letter by Taylor to committee Chairman Darrell E. Issa, R-Calif. The letter, sent Monday, was obtained Tuesday by the Los Angeles Times.
Taylor, a criminal defense attorney from the Washington firm of Zuckerman Spaeder, said that the Department of Justice has launched a criminal investigation, and that the House committee has asked Lerner to explain why she provided “false or misleading information” to the committee four times last year.
Since Lerner won’t answer questions, Taylor asked that she be excused from appearing, saying that would “have no purpose other than to embarrass or burden her.” There was no immediate word whether the committee will grant her request.
A few thoughts about this. Is Lois Lerner guilty of a crime? It is very likely. Do I blame her for pleading the 5th? Not one iota. Realistically, any lawyer worth his salt would tell his client to plead the 5th, even if they were 100% innocent.
The 5th Amendment is a protection guaranteed to us in writing by our Founding Fathers, and we shouldn’t look at it as an admission of guilt. For all we know, Lerner could be the White House’s new scapegoat for the whole IRS mess, and why would she appear before Congress just to hang herself?
Let the investigation move forward. Examine the paper trail. Hear the testimony of whistleblowers (I’m sure they will come forward). Prosecute all those who appear guilty of a crime (including Lois Lerner if it comes to that).
What’s interesting about this clip to me is that Senator Cornyn gives him multiple opportunities to apologize, and it seems like he comes close at a couple points. But he just doesn’t. His position seems to be, “It wasn’t my fault, so I don’t apologize.”
Here’s the video:
And that’s been the story of every single high-level official in the Obama administration on every single scandal. ”I regret that this happened, but it wasn’t me.”
According to new reports, more whistle-blowers are prepared to testify as to the details surrounding Benghazi. And if what they have said off the record is true, it’s not good news for Obama or Clinton.
From PJ Media:
More whistleblowers will emerge shortly in the escalating Benghazi scandal, according to two former U.S. diplomats who spoke with PJ Media Monday afternoon.
These whistleblowers, colleagues of the former diplomats, are currently securing legal counsel because they work in areas not fully protected by the Whistleblower law.
According to the diplomats, what these whistleblowers will say will be at least as explosive as what we have already learned about the scandal, including details about what really transpired in Benghazi that are potentially devastating to both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.
The former diplomats inform PJM the new revelations concentrate in two areas — what Ambassador Chris Stevens was actually doing in Benghazi and the pressure put on General Carter Ham, then in command of U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) and therefore responsible for Libya, not to act to protect jeopardized U.S. personnel.
Stevens’ mission in Benghazi, they will say, was to buy back Stinger missiles from al-Qaeda groups issued to them by the State Department, not by the CIA.
…He added that he and his colleagues think the leaking of General David Petraeus’ affair with his biographer Paula Broadwell was timed to silence the former CIA chief on these matters.
Regarding General Ham, military contacts of the diplomats tell them that AFRICOM had Special Ops “assets in place that could have come to the aid of the Benghazi consulate immediately (not in six hours).”
Sharyl Attkisson, the Emmy-award winning CBS News investigative reporter, says that her personal and work computers have been compromised and are under investigation.
“I can confirm that an intrusion of my computers has been under some investigation on my end for some months but I’m not prepared to make an allegation against a specific entity today as I’ve been patient and methodical about this matter,” Attkisson told POLITICO on Tuesday. “I need to check with my attorney and CBS to get their recommendations on info we make public.”
In an earlier interview with WPHT Philadelphia, Attkisson said that though she did not know the full details of the intrustion, “there could be some relationship between these things and what’s happened to James [Rosen],” the Fox News reporter who became the subject of a Justice Dept. investigation after reporting on CIA intelligence about North Korea in 2009.
Attkisson is the one mainstream reporter who has consistently and fearlessly reported on both the Fast and Furious and Benghazi scandals. In short, the Obama administration does not like her. We’ll update with any new information that comes out about this story.
I understand that it’s typical for Democrats to waste no time in using a tragic event to further their political agenda, but this one is even outrageous by their standards. Sheldon Whitehouse, distinguished senator from Rhode Island, decided to blame Republicans for yesterday’s tornadoes in Oklahoma which killed at least 50*. His “logic” is this: If it weren’t for Republicans, there would be no global warming.
From the DC:
While many Americans were tuned into news coverage of the massive damage from tornadoes ravaging the state of Oklahoma, Rhode Island Democratic Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse took to the Senate floor to rail against his Republican colleagues for denying the theory of anthropogenic global warming.
Whitehouse spent 15 minutes chastising GOP senators and justified his remarks by alluding to states that seek federal assistance in the wake of natural disasters.
“So, you may have a question for me,” Whitehouse said. “Why do you care? Why do you, Sheldon Whitehouse, Democrat of Rhode Island, care if we Republicans run off the climate cliff like a bunch of proverbial lemmings and disgrace ourselves? I’ll tell you why. We’re stuck in this together. We are stuck in this together. When cyclones tear up Oklahoma and hurricanes swamp Alabama and wildfires scorch Texas, you come to us, the rest of the country, for billions of dollars to recover. And the damage that your polluters and deniers are doing doesn’t just hit Oklahoma and Alabama and Texas. It hits Rhode Island with floods and storms. It hits Oregon with acidified seas, it hits Montana with dying forests. So, like it or not, we’re in this together.”
This guy is a special kind of crazy. I’m serious. To make matters worse, apparently Mr. Whitehouse doesn’t read the news. If he did, he would know that so-called global warming has been at a standstill since 1998 and that we have been seeing record low numbers of tornadoes lately. But facts never stand in the way of partisan leftists. They never have and never will.
I do hope that his fellow democrats will begin distancing themselves from Mr. Whitehouse because of this inappropriate and, quite frankly, nutty rant. But if the past is any indication, he’ll be a hero of the left by the end of the week.
*The death toll has been revised downward considerably to 24 but is expected to rise.