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Former NPR CEO Ken Stern: The IRS Had the Right Idea
The Daily Beast's Politics Beast ^ | May 25, 2013 | Ken Stern

Posted on 05/25/2013 1:09:46 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet

What’s so bad about the IRS investigating nonprofit applications? That’s their job. The real scandal is that the ensuing hubbub will discourage them from doing it again, writes Ken Stern.

Over the last week, commentators have expressed great outrage over the handling by the IRS of applications by Tea Party groups and others for 501(c)(4) status. In the haste to trigger the next administration-crippling “gate,” these analyses have largely ignored one of the most surprising aspects of this entire episode—that the IRS was actually trying to do its job.

A little context is warranted. There are more than 1.5 million nonprofit organizations in this country, a number that reliably grows by more than 50,000 each year. It’s an incredibly important sector of our economy—not just because it represents more than $1.5 trillion in annual revenues and close to 15 percent of the American workforce, but also because nonprofits dominate critical fields such as education, health care, social services, arts, and, yes, politics. Yet, despite the critical nature of these organizations and their services, the Exempt Organizations Division, the group within the IRS charged with regulating the field, plays only the most passive of roles with respect to the nonprofit sector.

How passive? The approval rate for applications to form public charities (and charities account for more than two thirds of the nonprofit sector) stands in excess of 99.8 percent. It takes little more than a reasonable facility with government forms, a small check, and the patience to wait a few months to start a federally approved charity. And the problem has only grown worse in recent years, as the IRS budget and staffing have been repeatedly pruned....

(Excerpt) Read more at thedailybeast.com ...


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Government; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: 1984; defundpbsnpr; dnctalkingpoints; internalrevenue; irs; npr; obama; obamunism; orwelliannightmare; pravdamedia; staterunmedia; teaparty; zogbyism
Surprised?
1 posted on 05/25/2013 1:09:46 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

What a DORK!!!!


2 posted on 05/25/2013 1:12:28 PM PDT by SandRat (Duty - Honor - Country! What else needs said?)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Great. Let’s sic em on PBS.


3 posted on 05/25/2013 1:12:43 PM PDT by Paisan
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

The MSM and leftist pols do not see this as a scandal at all. They believe stamping out opposition to the inevitable liberal paradise is the most important task of all government bureaucracies. Yes, things ARE that bad.


4 posted on 05/25/2013 1:17:09 PM PDT by jjotto ("Ya could look it up!")
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Meanwhile because of media claims of “overreach” in outing KGB funded Communist activities in America, the Boston Islamic terrorists were briefly interviewed and further investigations were DROPPED.

Tea Party in your name? Patriot in your name? 9-12 in your name? Give those activists PERSONAL AUDITS for 18+ months.

FUNPR.


5 posted on 05/25/2013 1:19:05 PM PDT by a fool in paradise (America 2013 - STUCK ON STUPID)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

You can bet your a** if it was Progressive groups and this was the Bush administration they would be banging on this 24/7 and marching in the streets.


6 posted on 05/25/2013 1:19:24 PM PDT by headstamp 2 (What would Scooby do?)
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To: headstamp 2

The double-standard is as wide as the Grand Canyon.


7 posted on 05/25/2013 1:20:29 PM PDT by kjo (+)
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To: FReepers; Patriots; FRiends




IMPEACH!

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8 posted on 05/25/2013 1:20:55 PM PDT by onyx (Please Support Free Republic - Donate Monthly! If you want on Sarah Palin's Ping List, Let Me know!)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
So, Ken, it's okay for the IRS to hold up these applications...as long as they're for conservative groups only?

It's already been entered in to testimony that lib groups got the green light on their applications.

I think this is the left's new meme/game plan on this, I read similar comments on a conservative blog, earlier today. The regime is getting the trolls out with their new *message*.

9 posted on 05/25/2013 1:22:14 PM PDT by Jane Long (While Marxists continue the fundamental transformation of the USA, progressive RINOs stay silent.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

“It takes little more than a reasonable facility with government forms, a small check, and the patience to wait a few months to start a federally approved charity.”

I don’t think anyone has a problem with proper oversight.

But when conservative groups are TARGETED by searching on conservative title phrases, and then subjected to figurative proctological exams, asked questions that are ILLEGAL to ask, and then, rather than being approved in a few months, NOT ONE IS APPROVED FOR YEARS AT A TIME, followed by malicious IRS audits of discovered donors, associates and critics of the regime, yes, it is a scandal.

It is an abuse of power. It is a high crime. It is a criminal felony.

And if proven that the Kenyan was in on it, is an impeachable and criminal offense. In that it resulted in the theft of an election, one could argue that the Kenyan anti-Christ is then guilty of treason against the United States and liable to hanging by the neck until dead.


10 posted on 05/25/2013 1:23:39 PM PDT by sitetest (If Roe is not overturned, no unborn child will ever be protected in law.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

So, when’s NPR going to get interrogated for it’s tax-exempt status?


11 posted on 05/25/2013 1:24:31 PM PDT by meyer (When people fear the government, you have Tyranny)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Another retarded commie lib. I’ll bet he thought Uncle Adolf and his Nazis were also doing THEIR job during WWII.


12 posted on 05/25/2013 1:25:25 PM PDT by FlingWingFlyer (If you think ObamaCare is a train wreck, wait until you see the amnesty bill.)
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To: Paisan

It was the former NPR CEO here. If they see no problem, with the IRS targeting conservatives, lets see how they like it when the IRS comes knocking on their door, and meany a few dozen search warrants from the DOJ as well.


13 posted on 05/25/2013 1:30:34 PM PDT by matt04
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To: 2ndDivisionVet; All
Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug

14 posted on 05/25/2013 1:30:44 PM PDT by SWAMPSNIPER (The Second Amendment, a Matter of Fact, Not a Matter of Opinion)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Why do I get the idea that if the IRS had only investigated Left leaning 501(c)(4) applicants under a Repub Prez, Mr. Stern would be raising holy hell on how the Repubs have politicized and polluted the IRS?


15 posted on 05/25/2013 1:37:15 PM PDT by jeffc (The U.S. media are our enemy)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

It’s good to get a clear picture of who our enemies are.


16 posted on 05/25/2013 1:54:06 PM PDT by Eric in the Ozarks (NRA Life Member)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Remember when Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh said liberals should be jailed and otherwise punished

Oh wait, its only LIBERALs who are allowed to actually say things like that out loud without being fired


17 posted on 05/25/2013 2:07:41 PM PDT by Mr. K (There are lies, damned lies, statistics, and democrat talking points.)
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To: Paisan
Great. Let’s sic em on PBS.

IIRC, PBS screamed when Nixon tried this on THEM in the early 70s.

18 posted on 05/25/2013 2:15:47 PM PDT by SuziQ
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

When the Democrats went after Nixon, his Republican defenders said, “Prove he’s guilty, then we’ll talk”.

When Obama went after the Tea Party, his Democrat defenders said, “good job”.

It’s coming to a fight.


19 posted on 05/25/2013 2:15:49 PM PDT by Jim Noble (When strong, avoid them. Attack their weaknesses. Emerge to their surprise.)
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To: jjotto
I'll tell you what, Ken. Let's just get rid of all ‘non-profit’ designations, for everyone. All those inner city churches in which the pastor, like Rev. Wright, push political agendas. Tax them. All the liberal so called ‘non-profit’ universities. Tax them. NPR, PBS, etc. Tax them. Etc. etc.
20 posted on 05/25/2013 2:20:30 PM PDT by pieceofthepuzzle
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To: pieceofthepuzzle
Forgot to add, since PBS is clearly partisan, all donations to PBS need to be taxed, and no tax deduction to the donors.
21 posted on 05/25/2013 2:21:59 PM PDT by pieceofthepuzzle
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To: pieceofthepuzzle

Non-profits are a product of the Progressive Movement of the late 19th/early 20th century. Same folks brought us the income tax that made non-profits necessary.


22 posted on 05/25/2013 2:27:29 PM PDT by jjotto ("Ya could look it up!")
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

So let me get this guy’s argument straight... Since everyone else except the President’s enemies get rubber stamped, we should be happy that that at least some applicants get the full-on proctology examination? Sheesh!

The conclusion a logical person would infer from this argument is that this kind of treatment (according to the author) is so rare, the orders for it must have come all the way down from the top.


23 posted on 05/25/2013 2:44:36 PM PDT by Sparticus (Tar and feathers for the next dumb@ss Republican that uses the word bipartisanship.)
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To: jjotto

The IRS was not doing its job, it was doing the job of liberals and exacting revenge for the Citizens United Court case. Notice they didn’t delay and investigate Democratic donors and said nothing about Obama’s 2008 foreign campaign contributions.


24 posted on 05/25/2013 3:15:09 PM PDT by NotTallTex
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Ken Stern is the sort of *sshole who would have been found lining up to give a bl*w job to Adolf Hitler.


25 posted on 05/25/2013 4:12:38 PM PDT by Jack Hammer (American)
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To: JoeProBono; All
(A BIG Thanks to FReeper Joe Pro Bono for the pic!!)


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26 posted on 05/25/2013 4:17:59 PM PDT by musicman (Until I see the REAL Long Form Vault BC, he's just "PRES__ENT" Obama = Without "ID")
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To: SandRat
What a DORK!!!!

You are far too nice. He is a 100%, total, complete, pure unadulterated POS. There, fixed it.

27 posted on 05/25/2013 4:21:56 PM PDT by Mark17 (My heart is in the Philippines, and soon I will be too.)
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To: a fool in paradise
Tea Party in your name? Patriot in your name? 9-12 in your name? Give those activists PERSONAL AUDITS for 18+ months.

There's a very simple reason why the IRS focused on conservative but not on liberal groups, and it doesn't necessarily have anything to do with malign intent.

To a liberal "progressive" causes are not partisan, they're just right and proper. Opposition to such causes is what is political, not the promotion of the cause, which is just taken for granted.

IOW, these people quite likely did not see themselves as singling out conservative as opposed to liberal causes for scrutiny as to whether they were "political" in nature, because they didn't view the progressive groups as even being political in nature.

This rather odd POV can be seen by the fact that attempts to make drastic changes in American life, such as promoting gay marriage, are seen by them as normal and obvious. But any attempts to resist such changes are seen as aggressive and hateful.

28 posted on 05/26/2013 4:36:39 AM PDT by Sherman Logan
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To: Sherman Logan

I agree that it is their worldview but they targeted individuals for personal tax audits as well as organizations. That is pure political threat. The power to tax is the power to destroy.


29 posted on 05/26/2013 9:07:17 AM PDT by a fool in paradise (America 2013 - STUCK ON STUPID)
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To: a fool in paradise
they targeted individuals for personal tax audits as well as organizations.

Some liberals were, no doubt, also audited. To determine if significantly more outspoken conservative than liberal individuals were audited, and therefore whether they were "targeted" for their views would require statistical analysis.

This has, more or less, been done for the organizations who applied for tax-free status, and it has shown that conservative groups were indeed targeted. IMO this can largely be explained, as stated, without recourse to the auditors having a desire to punish those who disagree with them. Most liberals/progressives quite sincerely do not think of organizations pushing liberal/progressive views as political/partisan. They're just common sense. Whereas groups organized to promote conservative viewpoints are by definition political/partisan.

Now I would not be a bit surprised if it could be shown that conservative individuals were indeed more frequently audited than progressive individuals, but making this determination would require crunching the numbers for millions of returns, not thousands as for the organizations applying for tax-free status.

Since it isn't particularly likely anybody will fund such analysis, it won't be done. Which means we're back to anecdotal evidence, which exists in the mind of the aggrieved conservative, much as the anecdotal evidence about "driving while black" is for liberals impervious to reasoned argument as to whether it really exists.

One way around this might be to determine the 1,000 (or 10,000) most prominent liberals and conservatives in America not holding public office, and survey them about their audit experience. If sufficient data were obtained, it might be possible to come to some conclusions.

30 posted on 05/26/2013 9:54:24 AM PDT by Sherman Logan
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To: sitetest

Stealing an election is not treason, which is the only crime defined in the Constitution.


31 posted on 05/26/2013 9:55:34 AM PDT by Sherman Logan
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To: Sherman Logan
Dear Sherman Logan,

We are at war with Islam. Stealing the 2012 presidential election enabled the Kenyan anti-Christ to continue to aid and abet the Islamic enemy in its war against us.

Treason.


sitetest

32 posted on 05/26/2013 10:23:43 AM PDT by sitetest (If Roe is not overturned, no unborn child will ever be protected in law.)
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To: sitetest

Metaphorically you may be correct. Legally, you are not.

IMO

I am also entirely sure we do not want to routinely turn differences of opinion about policy issues into accusations of treason.


33 posted on 05/26/2013 10:31:08 AM PDT by Sherman Logan
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To: Sherman Logan
I am also entirely sure we do not want to routinely turn differences of opinion about policy issues into accusations of treason

Using the government to harrass, intimidate and shut down their opponents IS treason

34 posted on 05/26/2013 10:33:26 AM PDT by GeronL (http://asspos.blogspot.com)
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To: GeronL

No it is not.

Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court.

The Congress shall have Power to declare the Punishment of Treason, but no Attainder of Treason shall work Corruption of Blood, or Forfeiture except during the Life of the Person attainted.


35 posted on 05/26/2013 10:38:08 AM PDT by Sherman Logan
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To: Sherman Logan
Dear Sherman Logan,

I would phrase it, “Objectively, I'm correct. Legally, like everything else about the law, it's not so simple.”

“I am also entirely sure we do not want to routinely turn differences of opinion about policy issues into accusations of treason.”

It's too late. The left has been doing this sort of thing - criminalizing policy differences - at least since the Nixon years. That's really what your arguments about left-wing folks not seeing a problem with using the IRS to persecute conservatives is about.

My view is it's time to stop pretending that our enemies are merely political adversaries. They don't mean to win elections fairly and squarely, implement their policies, and then permit us the same when we win fairly and squarely. They aim to destroy us, our Constitution, our rights, our society, the family, and everything, and impose totalitarianism on us.

They are enemy.

We must destroy them.

As they have already led the way in criminalizing policy differences, I have no problem criminalizing the individual, discrete actions that are aimed at destroying our liberties and our society, even if the vermin dress them up as mere "policy differences."


sitetest

36 posted on 05/26/2013 10:59:15 AM PDT by sitetest (If Roe is not overturned, no unborn child will ever be protected in law.)
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To: Sherman Logan

The targeting of Gibson Guitars and conservative donating GMC dealerships (that were closed by Government Motors) are also suspect.


37 posted on 05/26/2013 1:02:37 PM PDT by a fool in paradise (America 2013 - STUCK ON STUPID)
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