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Beginning in 2010, several different IRS offices – including those in Cincinnati, Ohio; El Monte, California; Laguna Niguel, California; and Washington D.C. systematically discriminated against conservative groups. The targeting was not the work of a few “rogue” agents, as IRS commissioner Steven Miller initially claimed.
The IRS targeted organizations who “criticize how the country is being run” - singling out those with “tea party”, “9/12” and “patriot” in their names.
The agency harassed right-leaning 501(c)(3) applicants with intrusive questions, including “please detail the content of your members’ prayers."
160 such applications were delayed for over 200 days – some for more than three years and two election cycles.
During this period, the IRS approved applications from several dozen groups who used words like “progressive”, “liberal” and “equality.” Media Trackers, a conservative applicant that had been delayed for 16 months, was approved in three weeks after it reapplied under the name “Greenhouse Solutions.”
The White House account of these events has changed several times. While the White House initially maintained that it had learned about the scandal through the media, it has since been revealed that both Chief of Staff Denis McDonough and Treasury Secretary Jack Lew were aware of the scandal a month prior.
Under the Obama Administration, IRS higher-ups have treated themselves to extravagant entertainment and lavish conferences on the taxpayers’ dime. The agency spent over $60,000 producing two short films for fun. In one instance, the IRS “paid for the construction of an elaborate mock-up of the bridge of the starship Enterprise.” The IRS also spent millions on luxurious accommodations for its managers – in violation of its own policies - and paid $135,000 fees to at least 15 outside speakers. One speaker was paid $17,000 to discuss “leadership through art.”
Democrats have attempted to shield themselves from blame by pointing out that IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman was a Bush appointee. Shulman’s wife, however, is a senior employee at liberal group Public Campaign, an organization “dedicated to sweeping campaign reform that aims to dramatically reduce the role of big special interest money in American politics.”
Sarah Hall Ingram, who ran the IRS’ tax-exempt division during the targeting, is now the director of the IRS’ ObamaCare office. Since graduating from Georgetown Law, Ingram has never worked anywhere except the IRS. Interestingly, Ingram has visited the White House 165 times.
The IRS has been put in charge of enforcing ObamaCare. Federal agencies are currently assembling a “Federal Data Services Hub” in what has been called “the largest consolidation of personal data in the history of the republic” by USA Today. Under ObamaCare, government-approved health insurance providers will submit reports about their customers to this database - where they will be monitored and cross-checked by the IRS. Although only 10% of Americans now say they have confidence in the IRS, we are apparently expected to trust the agency to oversee our healthcare.
Americans often hear from radical leftists that “the rich need to pay their fair share” of income taxes. The rhetoric is hard to avoid. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) based partly based his failed 2016 presidential campaign on soaking the wealthy in taxes, and House and Senate Democrats railed against the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, H.R. 1, because it lowered tax rates across the board, including on higher-income earners.
Republicans on the House Ways and Means Committee want to know why the Department of Justice (DOJ) has denied petitions by Americans whose money was seized by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The seized money was subject to federal civil asset forfeiture hearings in which the individual from whom the money was taken had to prove that it wasn’t connected to any wrongdoing.
On behalf of FreedomWorks’ activist community, I urge you to contact your representative and ask him or her to support the Preserving Taxpayers’ Rights Act, H.R. 3220, introduced by Rep. Jason Smith (R-Mo.). The bill would bring necessary reforms to allow taxpayers to resolve tax disputes with the IRS without being forced to litigate in court which is inefficient, expensive, and time consuming for taxpayers, the IRS, and the courts.
Civil asset forfeiture, a tool used by law enforcement to seize property from individuals because they have merely been accused of a crime, has gotten a lot more scrutiny in recent days due to its lack of oversight and abuse. What many may not know though is that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) also has the ability to seize property from businesses it is investigating. Fortunately, to address the abuses by the organization, Tax Policy Subcommittee Chairman Peter Roskam (R-Ill.) have introduced a bill to defend business owners from IRS forfeiture overreach.
Section 702, the controversial aspect of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) which allows for mass surveillance of American Citizens, is set to phase out at the end of 2017. Some in congress have introduced measures that would make Section 702, in its current form, permanent law and avoid any reforms which might grant Americans greater privacy protections. Here are 10 reasons why that is an absolutely horrific idea.
The estate tax, applied to assets of someone when they die, represents a tiny portion of federal revenue. But for farms and businesses at risk of being caught by this death tax, the effects can be huge. If a business or farm is valuable enough to be ensnared by the estate tax, passing on this asset built and developed over a lifetime, or across generations, becomes extraordinarily difficult and costly, sometimes even impossible. But apparently the Internal Revenue Service does not think this situation is bad enough and has proposed new regulations which would make passing on a business to your children even more difficult.
Ahead of a scheduled vote in the House of Representatives on the Clyde-Hirsch-Sowers RESPECT Act (H.R. 5523), which addresses the Internal Revenue Service’s abuse of federal civil asset forfeiture laws, FreedomWorks CEO Adam Brandon commented:
As one of our over 5.7 million FreedomWorks activists nationwide, I urge you to contact your representative and ask them to vote YES on H.Res. 828, a resolution impeaching the commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service John Koskinen for high crimes and misdemeanors. H.Res. 828 was introduced by Rep. John Fleming (R-La.).
FreedomWorks Foundation, American Legislative Exchange Council, Tea Party Patriots and Committee to Unleash Prosperity in partnership with a coalition of conservative organizations and prominent individuals, launched the Save Our Country Task Force.