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Thread: IRS official Lois Lerner to take the Fifth

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    Re: IRS official Lois Lerner to take the Fifth

    Quote Originally Posted by Mithros View Post
    My apologies!., I really should be more precise. Individual examples aren’t usually sufficient to demonstrate systematic bias. But they can show us that groups of all political stripes abused non-profit status.

    And that's the danger with this scandal. Too many people are arguing that the problem is that conservative groups were investigated. However, the IG report is clear that the vast majority of groups that were investigated, deserved to be investigated. Partisan political groups on both sides are trying to use this to loosen the restraints on anonymous money in politics.

    The scandal is how groups were identified for investigation, not if the groups that were investigated deserved it.
    the profiling was done not under the premise of thinking the tea party groups was attempting to perpetrate a fraud, but they was target for their political affiliation

    No Tea Party group was denied status they was just put in limbo. during the same time we had 2 liberal group where denied so it was unjust targeting. as if any targeting is just. If anything according to past denials liberal groups should have been targeted not the tea party groups

    It was for political gains and your just being naive and disingenuous if you think other wise
    Last edited by trfjr; 05-26-13 at 05:49 PM.

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    Re: IRS official Lois Lerner to take the Fifth

    Quote Originally Posted by Mithros View Post
    The Center for American Progress was founded in 2003. But even if it had been approved in 2011, so what? The Central Valley Tea Party (Central Valley Tea Party) was approved for 501(c)(3) status. That means that it's not permitted to engage in any politics at all.
    Incorrect. Candidate advocacy is not permitted. Issue advocacy is permitted. It is possible to undertake the latter to have a strong effect on the former.
    "It's always reassuring to find you've made the right enemies." -- William J. Donovan

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    Re: IRS official Lois Lerner to take the Fifth

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Hays View Post
    Incorrect. Candidate advocacy is not permitted. Issue advocacy is permitted. It is possible to undertake the latter to have a strong effect on the former.
    You're correct, 501(c)(3) organizations can occasionally engage in limited issue advocacy. But it's only permitted under a very limited set of guidelines.
    The Restriction of Political Campaign Intervention by Section 501(c)(3) Tax-Exempt Organizations

    Certain activities or expenditures may not be prohibited depending on the facts and circumstances. For example, certain voter education activities (including presenting public forums and publishing voter education guides) conducted in a non-partisan manner do not constitute prohibited political campaign activity. In addition, other activities intended to encourage people to participate in the electoral process, such as voter registration and get-out-the-vote drives, would not be prohibited political campaign activity if conducted in a non-partisan manner.

    On the other hand, voter education or registration activities with evidence of bias that (a) would favor one candidate over another; (b) oppose a candidate in some manner; or (c) have the effect of favoring a candidate or group of candidates, will constitute prohibited participation or intervention.

    The Central Valley Tea Party does much more than issue advocacy. You can't support a party platform and call it issue advocacy. This is taken from their website, though they have since taken it down. (The internet wayback machine is a VERY useful tool). These are the reasons they give to join their group on April 5th, 2009. At the time, both congress and the presidency were controlled by Democrats.
    What is this about?click here for more information about why you should join us

    Are you fed up with a Congress and a president who:
    • Vote for a $500 billion tax bill without even reading it?
    • Are spending trillions of borrowed dollars, leaving a debt our great-grandchildren will be paying?
    • Consistently give special interest groups billions of dollars in earmarks to help get themselves re-elected?
    • Want to take your wealth and redistribute it to others?
    • Punish those who practice responsible financial behavior and reward those who do not?
    • Admit to using the financial hurt of millions as an opportunity to push their political agenda?
    • Run up trillions of dollars of debt and then sell that debt to countries such as China?
    • Want government controlled health care?
    • Want to take away the right to vote with a secret ballot in union elections?
    • Refuse to stop the flow of millions of illegal immigrants into our country?
    • Appoint a defender of child pornography to the Number 2 position in the Justice Department?
    • Want to force doctors and other medical workers to perform abortions against their will?
    • Want to impose a carbon tax on your electricity, gas and home heating fuels?
    • Want to reduce your tax deductibility for charitable gifts?
    • Take money from your family budget to pay for their federal budget?


    And yet this group was approved by the IRS....

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    Re: IRS official Lois Lerner to take the Fifth

    Quote Originally Posted by Mithros View Post
    You're correct, 501(c)(3) organizations can occasionally engage in limited issue advocacy. But it's only permitted under a very limited set of guidelines.
    The Restriction of Political Campaign Intervention by Section 501(c)(3) Tax-Exempt Organizations

    Certain activities or expenditures may not be prohibited depending on the facts and circumstances. For example, certain voter education activities (including presenting public forums and publishing voter education guides) conducted in a non-partisan manner do not constitute prohibited political campaign activity. In addition, other activities intended to encourage people to participate in the electoral process, such as voter registration and get-out-the-vote drives, would not be prohibited political campaign activity if conducted in a non-partisan manner.

    On the other hand, voter education or registration activities with evidence of bias that (a) would favor one candidate over another; (b) oppose a candidate in some manner; or (c) have the effect of favoring a candidate or group of candidates, will constitute prohibited participation or intervention.

    The Central Valley Tea Party does much more than issue advocacy. You can't support a party platform and call it issue advocacy. This is taken from their website, though they have since taken it down. (The internet wayback machine is a VERY useful tool). These are the reasons they give to join their group on April 5th, 2009. At the time, both congress and the presidency were controlled by Democrats.
    What is this about?click here for more information about why you should join us

    Are you fed up with a Congress and a president who:
    • Vote for a $500 billion tax bill without even reading it?
    • Are spending trillions of borrowed dollars, leaving a debt our great-grandchildren will be paying?
    • Consistently give special interest groups billions of dollars in earmarks to help get themselves re-elected?
    • Want to take your wealth and redistribute it to others?
    • Punish those who practice responsible financial behavior and reward those who do not?
    • Admit to using the financial hurt of millions as an opportunity to push their political agenda?
    • Run up trillions of dollars of debt and then sell that debt to countries such as China?
    • Want government controlled health care?
    • Want to take away the right to vote with a secret ballot in union elections?
    • Refuse to stop the flow of millions of illegal immigrants into our country?
    • Appoint a defender of child pornography to the Number 2 position in the Justice Department?
    • Want to force doctors and other medical workers to perform abortions against their will?
    • Want to impose a carbon tax on your electricity, gas and home heating fuels?
    • Want to reduce your tax deductibility for charitable gifts?
    • Take money from your family budget to pay for their federal budget?


    And yet this group was approved by the IRS....
    I live in a contested swing state. During every recent election season I have seen torrents of "issue ads" that are obviously written to squeeze through the loophole in the law. If that were not the case then this issue would not be politically potent.
    "It's always reassuring to find you've made the right enemies." -- William J. Donovan

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    Re: IRS official Lois Lerner to take the Fifth

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Hays View Post
    I live in a contested swing state. During every recent election season I have seen torrents of "issue ads" that are obviously written to squeeze through the loophole in the law. If that were not the case then this issue would not be politically potent.
    Oh, there's no question that the IRS needs to step up enforcement, particularly among 501c groups. The problem is that many in congress were elected because of outside spending by these groups. These politicians have no incentive to enforce the law. Notice how the politicians pivoted from the real issue (the criteria used to determine who should be investigated) to outrage that groups were investigated.

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    Re: IRS official Lois Lerner to take the Fifth

    Quote Originally Posted by upsideguy View Post
    It is not something I saw on Colbert last night. I learned this during my research on the issue and have been posting this for about a week. You do not have to apply for 501(c)(4) status; you simply declare.

    Thanks for the link Upside....The article raises more questions about c4's but none the less, it seems pretty clear if your article is correct and c4's don't have to apply to claim status under the rules of the IRS, then why did their status come under this type of scrutiny? Was it only after they submitted a tax return as a c4 that they came under that scrutiny? We don't know because the story is incomplete, and if liberals have their way, will remain so because of a couple of things.

    1. It seems some liberal progressives believe in what Lerner was doing, and think it appropriate to do, even though in the inverse would be screaming discrimination.

    2. Obstruction of anything shady has been, and will continue to be blocked from getting to the bottom of by democrats. Ever since F&F the meme seems to be that no one above some low level actor has any knowledge, or complicity in the action that brings the scrutiny of congress. That is simply unbelievable. And it is because of two things....

    a. either it is a lie

    or

    b. This administration is totally incompetent.

    In either case progressives have failed this country.

    The reason these groups have been applying to the IRS is not because they have to get tax exempt status, but they want a determination letter. The reason Tea Party want this AND the reason they are scrutinized is because these groups are tweaners; they do not fully qualify because of their political nature.
    Nonsense, I don't buy that at all. At least from what we know to this point, the scrutiny has been one sided. I am not saying that an investigation won't change that, but at this point what we have seems to be a pattern of intimidation from this administration toward their political opponents in a totalitarian way.

    They want to qualify, because it allows them to raise money with disclosing donors. Alternatively, they could apply or be deemed 527 groups. It makes sense the the IRS singles them out for scrutiny as their applications are, by nature, questionable (after all, they are political organizations... and to be a 501(c)(4), politics must be secondary)
    If that is the case, are you saying that NO liberal groups applied, or claimed this status? Or that they came under the same scrutiny? Because any reporting to that so far seems to be in the opposite direction, to include the IRS themselves admitting that they did unfairly target conservative, or religious groups.

    This seems to be a lot of excuse making, and hoping that this just fades away. I don't think that is going to happen as long as they continue to play dumb, or have people involved in the scandal taking the 5th.
    Americans are so enamored of equality that they would rather be equal in slavery than unequal in freedom.

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    Re: IRS official Lois Lerner to take the Fifth

    politicians pivoted
    in may of 2012---long before the media, long before the politicians, long before max choo choo baucus and sander levin, long before dem congressman from boston stephen lynch called for a special prosecutor, long before eric holder launched his criminal investigation---people inside the irs told people inside the irs that the nancy marks audit had uncovered "significant problems" and "substantial bias" against groups known to be opposed to this out-of-its-depth administration

    wapo above

    now, who should americans listen to, one lonely gentleman on a completely insignificant chatsite or the auditors and inspectors general within the irs and treasury?

    regardless of who they should listen to, it is clear mom and pop are thinking for themselves

    Gallup: 74% say IRS issue is serious and needs investigation

    that includes 62% of dems and 76% of indies

    seeya at the hearings, homer---in 2014

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    Re: IRS official Lois Lerner to take the Fifth

    Quote Originally Posted by The Prof View Post
    in may of 2012---long before the media, long before the politicians, long before max choo choo baucus and sander levin, long before dem congressman from boston stephen lynch called for a special prosecutor, long before eric holder launched his criminal investigation---people inside the irs told people inside the irs that the nancy marks audit had uncovered "significant problems" and "substantial bias" against groups known to be opposed to this out-of-its-depth administration

    wapo above

    now, who should americans listen to, one lonely gentleman on a completely insignificant chatsite or the auditors and inspectors general within the irs and treasury?

    regardless of who they should listen to, it is clear mom and pop are thinking for themselves

    Gallup: 74% say IRS issue is serious and needs investigation

    that includes 62% of dems and 76% of indies

    seeya at the hearings, homer---in 2014

    Inconvenient polls are dismissed.
    Americans are so enamored of equality that they would rather be equal in slavery than unequal in freedom.

    Alexis de Tocqueville

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    Re: IRS official Lois Lerner to take the Fifth

    Quote Originally Posted by Mithros View Post
    Oh, there's no question that the IRS needs to step up enforcement, particularly among 501c groups. The problem is that many in congress were elected because of outside spending by these groups. These politicians have no incentive to enforce the law. Notice how the politicians pivoted from the real issue (the criteria used to determine who should be investigated) to outrage that groups were investigated.
    They had stepped up enforcement.... and the result was this crisis where people have led themselves to believe the IRS was harassing them for political purposes at the direction of the White House....

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    Re: IRS official Lois Lerner to take the Fifth

    Quote Originally Posted by j-mac View Post
    Thanks for the link Upside....The article raises more questions about c4's but none the less, it seems pretty clear if your article is correct and c4's don't have to apply to claim status under the rules of the IRS, then why did their status come under this type of scrutiny? Was it only after they submitted a tax return as a c4 that they came under that scrutiny? We don't know because the story is incomplete, and if liberals have their way, will remain so because of a couple of things.

    1. It seems some liberal progressives believe in what Lerner was doing, and think it appropriate to do, even though in the inverse would be screaming discrimination.

    2. Obstruction of anything shady has been, and will continue to be blocked from getting to the bottom of by democrats. Ever since F&F the meme seems to be that no one above some low level actor has any knowledge, or complicity in the action that brings the scrutiny of congress. That is simply unbelievable. And it is because of two things....

    a. either it is a lie

    or

    b. This administration is totally incompetent.
    or c. certain groups are trying to make an issue out of the most benign things and organizing facts to meet their arguments (see also, Salem Witch Trials)

    Quote Originally Posted by j-mac View Post
    Nonsense, I don't buy that at all. At least from what we know to this point, the scrutiny has been one sided. I am not saying that an investigation won't change that, but at this point what we have seems to be a pattern of intimidation from this administration toward their political opponents in a totalitarian way.

    If that is the case, are you saying that NO liberal groups applied, or claimed this status? Or that they came under the same scrutiny? Because any reporting to that so far seems to be in the opposite direction, to include the IRS themselves admitting that they did unfairly target conservative, or religious groups.

    This seems to be a lot of excuse making, and hoping that this just fades away. I don't think that is going to happen as long as they continue to play dumb, or have people involved in the scandal taking the 5th.
    Again, the issue is about determination letters. Now, drawing on my background as a CPA (earlier in my career), you can self declare and never have to ask the IRS anything, but you are responsible for carrying on your affairs in a matter consistent with the qualification. Alternatively, as with any questionable tax position, tax payers seek a IRS Determination Letter. They present the facts to the IRS and ask for their judgment. They want the Determination Letter to take to their donors; they need the Determination Letter because their application is not a slam dunk; they wait for their Determination Letter because getting one from the IRS is a difficult, labor intensive process.

    The problem with groups with a substantial political focus is they are questionable for 501(c)(4) status. In fact, by the letter of the law, they do not qualify because they have to be exclusively social welfare, with no political component. Fortunately, for these groups, when the regs were written, they relaxed "exclusively" substituting the "primarily" standard, which opened the door for political activity.

    If these groups stuck to the social welfare aspect of their jobs and stayed out of the political side, the IRS determination would not be necessary and their would be no controversy. The fact that these are controversial groups (from a 501(c)(4) qualification status) made this controversial.

    The political groups liked the 501(c)(4) status because they do not have to disclose donors. The perceived uneven application to conservative groups is largely de facto: 1) The vast majority of political groups formed in the 2009-2011 time frame were Tea Party groups.... and their focus was hardly a-political. It was clear they were 'tweeners"; if they qualified, they would barely qualify...2) many liberal groups are actually social welfare groups first with a political component second... they are advocating for a cause, not a party. Groups like Green Peace or the Sierra Club (which were already formed... so this does apply to them), are more typical of progressive groups... they clearly advocate a social position ahead of a political position (which firmly qualifies them as a 501(c)(4)). It is easier to qualify a social group, then a political one.

    Religious groups would generally apply as a 501(c)(3) organization so that donor contributions were tax deductible. They could only have this status if they had NO political component. If they engaged at all in politics, or advocated political positions from the pulpit, they could get "kicked-down" to 501(c)(4) status. Religious groups have a bad habit of wanting to engage in politics and wanting to tell their constituencies how they should vote in the name of God... (their on sinners using the Lord's name to their political vein on both sides of the aisle... but the evangelicals, at least during the Bush years, often crossed the line)

    Quote Originally Posted by j-mac View Post
    In either case progressives have failed this country.
    Obviously, I would change out one word in that statement to make it true.

    BTW... when you are the attorney for the highest ranking official in the controversy (Lois Lerner) and have political leaders saying irresponsible things like '..someone needs to jail, it would be mal-practice for her attorney to let her testify. This whole issue is already out of control (see also, Salem witch trials) .... she can always testify letter, but can never take her words back.
    Last edited by upsideguy; 05-27-13 at 12:13 PM.

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