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Reality of the IRS Scandal
Townhall.com ^ | July 13, 2014 | Bruce Bialosky

Posted on 07/13/2014 6:07:02 AM PDT by Kaslin

People who are not distraught about Lois Lerner and the IRS must have never actually dealt with the organization. As someone who has for 36 years, it is clear that at best we are dealing with fabrications and at worst outright lies and criminal actions. The fact that any American --let alone the national press, Congressional Democrats, and the White House – might not be agitated is dangerous for our society.

First, let us be clear: despite billions of dollars of taxpayer money being spent on improving their computer system, it is still rank. Second, the Internal Revenue has gradually over my career asserted more and more control at higher levels leaving agents and revenue officers less flexibility. That means there is less opportunity for an agent in the field to make their own decisions about any matter.

If you ever sat in an IRS office or waited endlessly on the telephone, you would know that this entire scenario of lost emails is not remotely plausible. First, when you sit in their office across the desk from an agent, you clearly see that they have one operating system. Just like any large operation, their computers are hooked up to a server which the agent does not control. I cannot tell you how many times over the years (and recently) I have been on hold for over a half hour, only to be told by the live person who finally arrives on the line that their system is down and I should call back in a couple hours or the next day. The IRS does not seem to me to be someplace where an individual’s computer would crash and lose all of their emails. What about other work product that would have been lost; why has that not been discussed?

Interestingly, Ms. Lerner was not the only person who mysteriously crashed her hard drive and supposedly lost a portion of her email history. There are seven people in total – all of which had something to do with the Exempt Organizations Division which is at the heart of the scandal. It is unclear from the information that was released by the IRS of the location of one of these seven, but at least three were in the Cincinnati office and three were bigwigs in D.C., including Lerner. That opens up the question of whether these seven (who all were involved in Exempt Organizations and supposedly had computer crashes) were the only ones in the IRS who had these supposed crashes or were there others? If so, how many? It makes even the least skeptical mind wonder how just these seven in this division lost their hard drives.

One of these people, Nicole Flax, who later became the chief of staff for the IRS Commissioner, was apparently intimately involved with Lerner’s effort when Flax worked for Lerner. In a two year period Flax made 31 visits to the White House. As a reminder previously IRS personnel rarely visited the White House to avoid the appearance of being coerced.

Then there is the question about the outside service provider, email-archiving Sonasoft. Their contract was canceled after six years directly after the hard-drive crash. Why was the contract cancelled? What happened to their archived files? What company replaced them? How could they have archived files if they were not on a centralized system? Also, weeks after Lerner’s computer crash, the IRS prematurely retired data storage devices in the IT offices in Maryland. Why did they retire these devices and what happened to the data on them?

As I have stated before, one would think a potential scandal like this would scare the wits out of the national press and members of Congress of any party. If you don’t believe there is anything to the Exempt Organizations matter, let us give you a momentary pass. But it is clear that someone (most likely Lerner) provided IRS information to at least the Justice Department and a private entity. I have asked multiple IRS employees if they could imagine doing such a thing to which they replied absolutely not. But to the national press and the Democrats in the Congress, this appears not to be a major concern.

This is not a partisan issue. Let me please repeat that. This is not a partisan issue. Anytime the IRS uses its power to improperly chastise citizens or release their information to third parties, ALL of us should be outraged. But the Left is stupidly acting partisan. The public editor of the New York Times, Margaret Sullivan, recently wrote “One side sees a Nixonian abuse of power and cover-up; the other side sees an effort to smear the White House for electoral gain in the midterms. That stuff brings out passions.” Really, Ms. Sullivan, is that the best you can do? What would you do if a Republican Administration, given license by your docile reaction to this matter, went after your newspaper? Where is your outrage? Judy Woodruff, a real professional journalist and co-host of the NewsHour on PBS, was a panelist recently on Fox News Sunday. The topic of the lost emails was being discussed and, when the conversation turned to her, she started by stating they had not covered the issue so she was not well-versed on the subject. Shame on you and your network, Ms. Woodruff. But that can be said for most of the press.

This is a real scandal of enormous proportions. There appears to be a cover-up, evidenced by Ms. Lerner’s invoking of her Fifth Amendment rights to non-incrimination and the nonsensical loss of computer information which was reported to Congress four months after it supposedly came to light. I don’t care about the history of IRS Commissioner John Koskinen and his supposed integrity. He currently is acting as a political hack and is part of the problem, not part of the solution. The rest of the hardworking employees at the IRS who do the right thing every day are being tarnished by these people who participated in this political use of the IRS, orchestrated by Lerner and whoever worked with her. The IRS has enough problems keeping a decent image; they don’t need these political actors destroying the creditability of their organization.

It is high time the Democrats and the national press got with it, and the best way to do such is for you to demand they do. If these actions are not properly rooted out and punished, you could be the next to be the victim of this organization—no matter what your background or political leanings. That should really scare you.


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Government
KEYWORDS: 0bamaadmin; email; gettherope; impeachnow; irs; irsscandal; loislerner; sonasoft; teaparty

1 posted on 07/13/2014 6:07:02 AM PDT by Kaslin
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To: Kaslin
Remember what I wrote as two of the eight downsides of the current income tax system:

6. Government uses the tax code as a political instrument to favor or punish political constituencies as little as ONE taxpaying entity. The recent scandal using the IRS to target conservative 501(c)(3) and 501(c)(4) groups is clear proof of this.
7. Because the IRS needs to know intimate details of personal and business financial records in tax return filings, there are potentially serious issues with invasion of privacy. Care to explain why former Presidential candidate Mitt Romney's private tax returns ended up in the offices of Senator Harry Reid (D-NV)?

The very fact we know know the IRS abused its powers on behest of the Obama Administration for political purpuses proves me right in these two assertions. This is why in the end, the only solution is to get rid of the income tax and replace it with this:

It would be the most liberating thing to happen to the USA since the American Revolution itself, in my humble opinion.

2 posted on 07/13/2014 6:25:06 AM PDT by RayChuang88 (FairTax: America's economic cure)
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To: Kaslin

3 posted on 07/13/2014 6:26:58 AM PDT by Travis McGee (www.EnemiesForeignAndDomestic.com)
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To: Kaslin

There are two nations within our borders. There is The United States of America and there is Democratland. The citizens of Democratland take money from the citizens of The United States. One of the citizens of Democratland is now the President of The United States. Another citizen of Democratland is head of The United States Senate.


4 posted on 07/13/2014 6:31:01 AM PDT by blueunicorn6 ("A crack shot and a good dancer")
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To: Kaslin

What about other work product that would have been lost; why has that not been discussed?..........

This is a very important point. Lerner, if her hard drive did actually crash, would need a new computer almost instantly, just to function and fulfill her day to day responsibilities. You just don’t get a blank computer and continue to run your office from that point. She must have had 10’s of folder filled with documented data that she would need to have recovered and placed on her new computer to be able to have her office function.
So obviously the lost data was available on a server somewhere. Obviously it was recovered and reloaded on her computer, almost immediately, not months later. Her email folder would have been an almost invaluable piece of that data. Almost invalualbe. It would be one of the first things anyone would want recovered and reloaded on their computer, and yet we are to believe they were able to recover all her other data but not the email folder?
This is an important area that needs to be investigated.
Maybe the Federal judges putting pressure on the IT people at the IRS will shed some light on this.


5 posted on 07/13/2014 6:34:24 AM PDT by WILLIALAL
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To: blueunicorn6

There are actually multiple sovereign entities within the geographic borders of North America. Most of them were here before the formation of the current United States of America.

Perhaps one or two of them would be viable alternatives two the current federal government.

Hmmmmm.


6 posted on 07/13/2014 6:43:28 AM PDT by Triple (Socialism denies people the right to the fruits of their labor, and is as abhorrent as slavery)
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To: RayChuang88
The only solution is to get rid of the income tax...

It would be the most liberating thing to happen to the USA since the American Revolution itself, in my humble opinion.

Agreed RayChuang88.

No business taxes.
No withholding.
No forms for private citizens to fill out
No gov agency knowing how much tax you pay or what you own or how many kids you claim, etc

Everyone paying the same marginal rate. Everyone from us citizens to illegals to tourists... everyone pays the same marginal rate. Everyone.

Exports become more competitive with removal of tax costs. Manufacturing becomes more competitive by having imports pay the excise.

7 posted on 07/13/2014 6:44:04 AM PDT by Principled (Obama: Unblemished by success.)
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To: RayChuang88

The Fair Tax is better than what we have.

The **best** plan would be the 50 state plan.

The federal government sends our 50 tax bills, one to each state. The size of the bill is set by the number of people over the age of 18 ( determined by the census) living in the state.

Let the states figure out how to collect the tax. With 50 state, eventually, the most efficient, least intrusive, economy friendly, and least expensive to collect for the citizen and the state, would emerge. In fact, the states would compete with each other to have the most efficient, least expensive to administer and collect, and compassionate plan to collect the taxes.


8 posted on 07/13/2014 6:51:08 AM PDT by wintertime
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To: WILLIALAL
...So obviously the lost data was available on a server somewhere...
Since about the mid '90s most companies with an actual IT department required all of their users to place all work product on their "T" drive which was mapped to a server on the net. This way, if a user's machine crashed a new one could be provided immediately, be mapped to the appropriate server/directory and be up and running with no lost data right now. Anybody not doing it this way is just stupid. Not out of the question when talking about our benevolent masters.

Freedom ≠ Free Stuff☭
I, for one, welcome our new Cybernetic Overlords /.
Mash Dobbshead® for HTML, bop Hello_Cthlhu for XAMPP

9 posted on 07/13/2014 6:52:41 AM PDT by Mycroft Holmes (The fool is always greater than the proof.)
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To: wintertime

A flat tax will never happen. It would remove the ability of politicians to hand out political favors and punish their enemies.


10 posted on 07/13/2014 6:52:51 AM PDT by Flick Lives ("I can't believe it's not Fascism!")
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To: Mycroft Holmes

when I worked for the government, the T drive was the location that data was stored automatically.
No government office could function,especially one as high up as Lerner’s, if all her hard drive data was lost.
Her office would basically cease to function, and that applies specifically to an email account.
So if her new computer was rebuilt with her old data her email would have been also.
It would have been a matter of standard practice.


11 posted on 07/13/2014 6:59:58 AM PDT by WILLIALAL
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To: Principled
In short, we end the very idea of taxing the process of earning money . It would TREMENDOUSLY boost the US economy, since tax costs are a huge factor in locating a business.
12 posted on 07/13/2014 7:05:46 AM PDT by RayChuang88 (FairTax: America's economic cure)
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To: Flick Lives

Yep!

And...A 50 State tax is even more unlikely.


13 posted on 07/13/2014 7:46:57 AM PDT by wintertime
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To: blueunicorn6

And when they run low on destitute, uneducated, unskilled, diseased people, they just import more to use as a political bludgeon.


14 posted on 07/13/2014 8:00:29 AM PDT by Titus-Maximus (It doesn't matter who votes for whom, it only matters who counts the votes - Joe Stalin)
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To: WILLIALAL

It is a violation of Federal law to keep emails (or any other records) on a hard drive. All federal IT systems run on centralized servers with redundant backup systems. This entire scenario is not only unbelievable, but illegal on its face.


15 posted on 07/13/2014 8:12:42 AM PDT by antidisestablishment (Islam delenda est)
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To: wintertime

I like your 50 state plan.

All Federal expenses are apportioned by population, and the States are responsible for collecting them. 50 little laboratories. Some will opt for a flat tax, some a sales tax, some an oppressively progressive tax.

As you say, the states that do a bad job here will either improve or lose their productive population and businesses.


16 posted on 07/13/2014 8:19:27 AM PDT by Pearls Before Swine
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To: Pearls Before Swine

One of the problems with the Fair Tax is that there is still a federal administration needed to collect the tax although far smaller and less intrusive that what we have now.

Also...As regards to rebates to citizens, that absolutely would become a political juicy plum for politicians to gnaw at.

However....The Fair Tax would be MUCH MUCH MUCH better than the income tax. ( Yeah! I am shouting.) I would definitely support it even if it is less than perfect.


17 posted on 07/13/2014 8:37:23 AM PDT by wintertime
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To: Kaslin

It’s been said that the IRS is the closest thing the US has to the Gestapo. There’s merit in that comparison.


18 posted on 07/13/2014 8:42:10 AM PDT by DPMD
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To: Kaslin

I can(and have)written to my senator/representative demanding something be done on a certain issue. Most likely,they will respond by saying that they are doing what they can,but are not directly involved with the issue or are not on that committee. The real troublemakers are not ones I can easily correspond with;they are not from my state.


19 posted on 07/13/2014 9:00:37 AM PDT by oldtech
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To: wintertime

Can you tell me how you see the prebate being used by pols?

IMO it will be difficult b/c any increase in prebate would necessitate an increase in the overall rate - which would affect everyone. No more negative tax rates paid for by a particular segment or group - the costs of any and all refunds/prebates will be carried by _everyone_.

thanks


20 posted on 07/13/2014 10:19:38 AM PDT by Principled (Obama: Unblemished by success.)
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To: Principled
Can you tell me how you see the prebate being used by pols?
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Well....Some citizens would be more equal than others. Fill in the blank for the reason. (......) OINK!

Any crisis would do as an excuse to start meddling with the prebates. And....Prebates require federal administration that would grow larger and larger every year.

I support the Fair Tax and would be thrilled to see it. The better solution is to get the federal government completely out of the tax collecting business. With the 50 State Tax there would merely be 50 bills sent, one to each governor.

21 posted on 07/13/2014 10:25:45 AM PDT by wintertime
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To: wintertime

But there is no difference between individuals in an excise environment - there is no way to differentiate groups like there is under an income tax. So I don’t know how they will “meddle”?

Notwithstanding my remaining question to you ... i indeed like the 50 state deal.


22 posted on 07/13/2014 10:33:41 AM PDT by Principled (Obama: Unblemished by success.)
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To: Principled
One more thing about prebates and the federal agency needed to service it:

This prebate agency could, if it exited, could easily be usurped for other purposes just as the IRS is now be used to manage health care.

Again...I support the Fair Tax. It would be MUCH better than what we have now.

Better would be to have the federal government completely out of the tax collecting business. The 50 State plan would do that.

23 posted on 07/13/2014 10:35:10 AM PDT by wintertime
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To: Principled
I just thought of another reason.

The liberal Marxo/fascist scream, “It's NOT FAIR!” So? ...What's the problem with the 50 State plan? If the Marxofascist want a highly progressive tax on the rich they can lobby their state governments for it.

In the end, the states with the most reasonable collection practices with thrive and business and people will move to their states. Those states with crappy collection methods will lose big time.

24 posted on 07/13/2014 10:39:45 AM PDT by wintertime
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To: wintertime

Prebates are voluntary. If one prefers not to bother with it, one doesn’t have to.

I don’t know how that is bad or anything like the IRS.

My preference is no prebate swap for 3% lower rate. I do not see at all how it can be used for mischief.


25 posted on 07/13/2014 10:41:50 AM PDT by Principled (Obama: Unblemished by success.)
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To: Principled

The fact that a federal agency exists to collect the tax is cause enough for mischief. Do you see how the IRS is being used now as health care agency.

Would some business, for political reasons, be more likely or less likely to be audited that others?

And...Prebates need to managed. That means federal workers and infrastructure and all the political problems that come with any federal agency.

But...Again I support the Fair Tax and would be thrilled to see it. I just think the 50 State plan would be better.


26 posted on 07/13/2014 10:54:04 AM PDT by wintertime
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To: wintertime
Would some business, for political reasons, be more likely or less likely to be audited that others?

Thanks - now I understand you better. Your posts had me looking at _rate_ mischief. But I understand your point.

Under the nrst excise, states have the choice to promulgate the excise - and they are paid to do it. States may also choose another state to administer in their state. Nothing says feds do it. At a minimum, state sales taxing authorities being controlled by states is better than being controlled by feds. But your point is well taken.

Now that I think about it, the nrst excise has a bit in commmon with what i've read that you posted on a 50 state plan. States admininster and remit... not the feds. And states may choose how they collect it albeit within the federal excise constraints.

interested to hear more about 50 state thing - anything published anywhere?

27 posted on 07/13/2014 11:01:55 AM PDT by Principled (Obama: Unblemished by success.)
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To: wintertime

The left would hate the fifty state plan on its face because it would irrefutably prove what a failure their ideas are.


28 posted on 07/13/2014 11:43:00 AM PDT by MrB (The difference between a Humanist and a Satanist - the latter admits whom he's working for)
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To: Principled

The fifty state plan is so simple that the only writing about it would be to speculate how it would change society. Of course leftists would hate it because it would allow people to escape their grip.


29 posted on 07/13/2014 11:45:32 AM PDT by MrB (The difference between a Humanist and a Satanist - the latter admits whom he's working for)
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To: Principled

Nothing published. It’s my idea, as far as I know and the term “50 State”.

But...I would think someone other than me has given it some serious thought.


30 posted on 07/13/2014 3:08:01 PM PDT by wintertime
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