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Thread: IRS higher-ups requested info on conservative groups, letters show[W:249]

  1. #151
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    Re: IRS higher-ups requested info on conservative groups, letters show

    Quote Originally Posted by Zyphlin View Post
    I would not know any democrats who would suggest that is highly unethical if not illegal...Hey Mr. Pot, the kettle called and said you are black.

    Now care to put forth actual arguments rather than hypocritical one sided accusations of biased treatment?
    Actually this is exactly what we should be talking about. Is it right to profile? Or rather, when is profiling justified?

    Of course we should all be outraged if a guy pulls over a black guy just because he's black. But what if he pulls over a black guy just because he's black, driving a white bronco on I405 on June 17th 1994. Is that objectionable? Wouldn't it be far more objectionable to pull over every white truck just so we don't discriminate?

    When can we use race, religion, sex, etc.. as a search criteria to investigate someone? I'd say that we need evidence that some wrongdoing has occurred and evidence that the wrongdoing was carried out by someone of a particular race, religion, sex etc...

    So what was the situation here?

    From 1990-2008 political spending by groups that didn't have to disclose their donors averaged 16.3%. Immediately after Citizens United it shot up to more than double its historic average (41.3%). This was significantly higher than the previous outlier (1994-30.1%). Here's the breakdown of spending by year.

    Year
    Liberal
    Conservative
    2004
    2006
    2008
    2010
    2012
    $6.5M
    $0.6M
    $17.9M
    $10.7M
    $34.1M
    62%
    12%
    26%
    8%
    11%
    $1.9M
    $0.5M
    $39.5M
    $115.2M
    $265.2M
    18%
    10%
    57%
    88%
    85%

    Based on historic norms, the IRS would have expected 501c groups to spend between 25 and 65 Million in 2010. Instead 501c spending was 130 million, more than double the highest possible value.

    Clearly 501c organizations were no longer being used either exclusively or primarily for social welfare. This is clear evidence of abuse. Now looking at historical averages, it would be highly irregular if more than $30M was spent on a single side. Liberals spent $10M, a third of our theoretical max. Conservatives on the other hand spent $115M, more than 3 times as much as we could rationally expect.

    So we have clear and compelling evidence of dramatic increase in abuse of 501c status in 2010. We also have clear evidence that the increase in abuse is essentially only among conservative groups. So why can't we say that the IRS should be on the look out for conservative political groups masquerading as social welfare groups? And where's the evidence for abuse when we find that two thirds of the groups investigated were conservative, even though conservative groups made up 80% of the new applications and accounted for 85-90% of spending?

    Again, I'm not saying that the IRS did nothing wrong. But the vast majority of these complaints sound like someone who's upset that every white bronco wasn't pulled over during the OJ Simpson chase, instead of just the one with the black guy.

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    Re: IRS higher-ups requested info on conservative groups, letters show

    Quote Originally Posted by Mithros View Post
    Actually this is exactly what we should be talking about. Is it right to profile? Or rather, when is profiling justified?

    Of course we should all be outraged if a guy pulls over a black guy just because he's black. But what if he pulls over a black guy just because he's black, driving a white bronco on I405 on June 17th 1994. Is that objectionable? Wouldn't it be far more objectionable to pull over every white truck just so we don't discriminate?

    When can we use race, religion, sex, etc.. as a search criteria to investigate someone? I'd say that we need evidence that some wrongdoing has occurred and evidence that the wrongdoing was carried out by someone of a particular race, religion, sex etc...

    So what was the situation here?

    From 1990-2008 political spending by groups that didn't have to disclose their donors averaged 16.3%. Immediately after Citizens United it shot up to more than double its historic average (41.3%). This was significantly higher than the previous outlier (1994-30.1%). Here's the breakdown of spending by year.

    Year
    Liberal
    Conservative
    2004
    2006
    2008
    2010
    2012
    $6.5M
    $0.6M
    $17.9M
    $10.7M
    $34.1M
    62%
    12%
    26%
    8%
    11%
    $1.9M
    $0.5M
    $39.5M
    $115.2M
    $265.2M
    18%
    10%
    57%
    88%
    85%

    Based on historic norms, the IRS would have expected 501c groups to spend between 25 and 65 Million in 2010. Instead 501c spending was 130 million, more than double the highest possible value.

    Clearly 501c organizations were no longer being used either exclusively or primarily for social welfare. This is clear evidence of abuse. Now looking at historical averages, it would be highly irregular if more than $30M was spent on a single side. Liberals spent $10M, a third of our theoretical max. Conservatives on the other hand spent $115M, more than 3 times as much as we could rationally expect.

    So we have clear and compelling evidence of dramatic increase in abuse of 501c status in 2010. We also have clear evidence that the increase in abuse is essentially only among conservative groups. So why can't we say that the IRS should be on the look out for conservative political groups masquerading as social welfare groups? And where's the evidence for abuse when we find that two thirds of the groups investigated were conservative, even though conservative groups made up 80% of the new applications and accounted for 85-90% of spending?

    Again, I'm not saying that the IRS did nothing wrong. But the vast majority of these complaints sound like someone who's upset that every white bronco wasn't pulled over during the OJ Simpson chase, instead of just the one with the black guy.
    There is no evidence whatsoever of abuse.
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    Re: IRS higher-ups requested info on conservative groups, letters show

    Quote Originally Posted by justabubba View Post
    it is partisan when you - and those like you - insist that it was only 'conservative' organizations whose applications were being held up
    that belief is not true
    but that is why your arguments are found to be partisan ones
    Of course it's true, where have you been?
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    Re: IRS higher-ups requested info on conservative groups, letters show

    Quote Originally Posted by Mithros View Post
    Actually this is exactly what we should be talking about. Is it right to profile? Or rather, when is profiling justified?

    Of course we should all be outraged if a guy pulls over a black guy just because he's black. But what if he pulls over a black guy just because he's black, driving a white bronco on I405 on June 17th 1994. Is that objectionable? Wouldn't it be far more objectionable to pull over every white truck just so we don't discriminate?

    When can we use race, religion, sex, etc.. as a search criteria to investigate someone? I'd say that we need evidence that some wrongdoing has occurred and evidence that the wrongdoing was carried out by someone of a particular race, religion, sex etc...

    So what was the situation here?

    From 1990-2008 political spending by groups that didn't have to disclose their donors averaged 16.3%. Immediately after Citizens United it shot up to more than double its historic average (41.3%). This was significantly higher than the previous outlier (1994-30.1%). Here's the breakdown of spending by year.

    Year
    Liberal
    Conservative
    2004
    2006
    2008
    2010
    2012
    $6.5M
    $0.6M
    $17.9M
    $10.7M
    $34.1M
    62%
    12%
    26%
    8%
    11%
    $1.9M
    $0.5M
    $39.5M
    $115.2M
    $265.2M
    18%
    10%
    57%
    88%
    85%

    Based on historic norms, the IRS would have expected 501c groups to spend between 25 and 65 Million in 2010. Instead 501c spending was 130 million, more than double the highest possible value.

    Clearly 501c organizations were no longer being used either exclusively or primarily for social welfare. This is clear evidence of abuse. Now looking at historical averages, it would be highly irregular if more than $30M was spent on a single side. Liberals spent $10M, a third of our theoretical max. Conservatives on the other hand spent $115M, more than 3 times as much as we could rationally expect.

    So we have clear and compelling evidence of dramatic increase in abuse of 501c status in 2010. We also have clear evidence that the increase in abuse is essentially only among conservative groups. So why can't we say that the IRS should be on the look out for conservative political groups masquerading as social welfare groups? And where's the evidence for abuse when we find that two thirds of the groups investigated were conservative, even though conservative groups made up 80% of the new applications and accounted for 85-90% of spending?

    Again, I'm not saying that the IRS did nothing wrong. But the vast majority of these complaints sound like someone who's upset that every white bronco wasn't pulled over during the OJ Simpson chase, instead of just the one with the black guy.
    You inspect them all with the same legal standard. Thats what equal under the law is supposed to mean in the first place. If you dont have enough agents for that, you collect a sample and do audits and extra scrutiny in a random manner. You do not single out one side of the other using words or phrases that you know will encompass one side or the other.

    Spending is not evidence of abuse, use of money outside of legal means is. Regarding bolded...did you link that earlier in the thread? If you did can you do so again? Because Im not seeing it.

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    Re: IRS higher-ups requested info on conservative groups, letters show

    Quote Originally Posted by OpportunityCost View Post
    You inspect them all with the same legal standard. Thats what equal under the law is supposed to mean in the first place. If you dont have enough agents for that, you collect a sample and do audits and extra scrutiny in a random manner. You do not single out one side of the other using words or phrases that you know will encompass one side or the other.

    Spending is not evidence of abuse, use of money outside of legal means is. Regarding bolded...did you link that earlier in the thread? If you did can you do so again? Because Im not seeing it.
    This isn't outside spending in general, it's the portion of outside spending by 501c groups which by definition must be exclusively engaged in social welfare. After Citizens United we see a decrease in 527 spending and an increase in 501c spending. Citizens United happens and we see levels of 501c spending that are more than double the highest % of outside spending in modern history. Its easy to make the case that this spending is not exclusively for social welfare, ie abuse.

    Remember, many of these groups lied on their applications. Sure it would be great if there were enough agents to properly investigate all applications. But budget cuts ensured that there weren't enough to go around.
    Last edited by Mithros; 06-05-13 at 02:08 AM.

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    Re: IRS higher-ups requested info on conservative groups, letters show

    Quote Originally Posted by American View Post
    Of course it's true, where have you been?
    much of the time has been here, asking for the criteria used to distinguish conservative from progressive organizations
    and have yet to receive a response to that inquiry
    which then tells me you and those like you have no clue about which of the applicant organizations were conservative or progressive
    making your argument one which lacks facts and substance
    bombast is a very weak substitute. sorry
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    Re: IRS higher-ups requested info on conservative groups, letters show

    Quote Originally Posted by Mithros View Post
    This isn't outside spending in general, it's the portion of outside spending by 501c groups which by definition must be exclusively engaged in social welfare. After Citizens United we see a decrease in 527 spending and an increase in 501c spending. Citizens United happens and we see levels of 501c spending that are more than double the highest % of outside spending in modern history. Its easy to make the case that this spending is not exclusively for social welfare, ie abuse.

    Remember, many of these groups lied on their applications. Sure it would be great if there were enough agents to properly investigate all applications. But budget cuts ensured that there weren't enough to go around.
    Really. "Many", care to cite that? You are inferring quite a lot with very little data to work with. Especially things like what extra questions were asked, what data was shared with political opponents of those groups, what groups are still awaiting status, what are the criteria for social welfare....you seem to want to argue for nothing being amiss with limited data and only the data that the IRS wants to release. Seems like a formula for CYA, not the truth.

    The best way to investigate is through random sample. Im not buying that the ONLY instance where our government uses profiling is to abuse conservatives. If it did, that shouldnt be policy.

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    Re: IRS higher-ups requested info on conservative groups, letters show

    Quote Originally Posted by OpportunityCost View Post
    Really. "Many", care to cite that? You are inferring quite a lot with very little data to work with. Especially things like what extra questions were asked, what data was shared with political opponents of those groups, what groups are still awaiting status, what are the criteria for social welfare....you seem to want to argue for nothing being amiss with limited data and only the data that the IRS wants to release. Seems like a formula for CYA, not the truth.

    The best way to investigate is through random sample. Im not buying that the ONLY instance where our government uses profiling is to abuse conservatives. If it did, that shouldnt be policy.
    I can give you raw data, calculations, and methodology for everything I quoted. What do you want? As long as you're willing to consider it with an open mind, I'm happy to provide.

    I have two dogs in this fight. First is to keep dark money out of politics. I concede that outside spending is an inevitable, so I take the pre 2010 GOP position; disclose, disclose, disclose. Second is in support of basic math. I was curious to know the actual effects of this scandal. But when I dug through the data I didn't see it. No matter what I tried, I couldn't find any evidence that conservatives were investigated at a higher rate than they applied. If anything the opposite conclusion popped out.

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    Re: IRS higher-ups requested info on conservative groups, letters show

    Quote Originally Posted by Mithros View Post
    I can give you raw data, calculations, and methodology for everything I quoted. What do you want? As long as you're willing to consider it with an open mind, I'm happy to provide.

    I have two dogs in this fight. First is to keep dark money out of politics. I concede that outside spending is an inevitable, so I take the pre 2010 GOP position; disclose, disclose, disclose. Second is in support of basic math. I was curious to know the actual effects of this scandal. But when I dug through the data I didn't see it. No matter what I tried, I couldn't find any evidence that conservatives were investigated at a higher rate than they applied. If anything the opposite conclusion popped out.
    Well, we would need something we dont have. Namely, how many applications have been delayed without being processed. All we are getting is the information the IRS wants to release to cover their butt.

    Now we are finding out things like the IRS leaked its donor lists to the opposition, cross agency interference from OSHA amongst others, invasive questioning into religious beliefs and group affiliations.

    We are also finding out that specific representatives and senators on the democratic side asked specific organizations to be looked into by the IRS. I think thats the kind of cross referencing we arent seeing yet that is being hidden in the DC unit that hasnt testified yet or like Lerner will be pleading the fifth.

    Im sorry Mithros, what is it Mark Twain said about statistics?

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    Re: IRS higher-ups requested info on conservative groups, letters show

    Quote Originally Posted by OpportunityCost View Post
    Well, we would need something we dont have. Namely, how many applications have been delayed without being processed. All we are getting is the information the IRS wants to release to cover their butt.

    Now we are finding out things like the IRS leaked its donor lists to the opposition, cross agency interference from OSHA amongst others, invasive questioning into religious beliefs and group affiliations.

    We are also finding out that specific representatives and senators on the democratic side asked specific organizations to be looked into by the IRS. I think thats the kind of cross referencing we arent seeing yet that is being hidden in the DC unit that hasnt testified yet or like Lerner will be pleading the fifth.

    Im sorry Mithros, what is it Mark Twain said about statistics?
    Absolutely! You can make statistics sound like they're saying anything you want them to say. That's why it's important to be good at math.

    I'd say that there's a pretty wide gulf between what we're finding out and what's being alleged. That's not to say that the IRS did nothing wrong, but there just isn't any evidence of any widespread conspiracy or political bias. The rest is just political posturing.

    Oh, and we do have that. I don't have that number off hand, but it's somewhere around 100. They would all need to be conservative groups in order to show even a slight amount of bias, and we know that's not true. (Patriot Majority was not listed in the approved groups meaning it's a limbo group).
    Last edited by Mithros; 06-05-13 at 03:16 PM.

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