Mixed Up World

There is a lot of huffing and puffing going on these days.  The political music is playing loudly but not on key.  The problem, for most of us, is what is the substance behind these hearings, or is there any?

Darrell Issa has moved (temporarily) on from Benghazi and has his teeth firmly into the IRS meat wagon.  Who in Washington knew about the Cincinnati office’s investigation of conservative groups?  Who in Washington instigated these conservative group investigations?  These are the questions Issa is asking and implying these questions are relevant.  He claims answers will likely to lead to Watergate-like revelations.

The amazing part of this subject is that most any reasonable person would question how a Tea Party organization could quality for tax benefits as a 401 (c)(4) social organization?  Was it not the Tea Party that glamorized knit-wits like Sarah Palin and Michelle Bachmann?

Ironically, the fundamental problem will never see the light of day with Issa.  The tax code is too broadly written when it comes to many tax loopholes and exemptions.  Instead of having clear boundaries (it is this and it is not that), the IRS is left to “interpret”.  Along comes groups with clear political intent, who see themselves as fitting under a tax exemption paragraph just like Karl Rove.  Why shouldn’t they be questioned for seeking an exemption?

Issa, of course, doesn’t give a hoot.  His raison d’tre is purely to impugn the Democrat Party.  Otherwise, Representative Issa would be looking for root cause and broad range solutions which would prevent a repeat.

Over the weekend another IRS blooper was made public.  A GAO report said that the IRS had spent about $50 million over the past several years on “management” meetings.

This is another “you have to have been there to understand” issue.  In 2007 when these practices began (probably not true, these are ageless practices), under “W” Administration, the business world was awash in these “productivity improvement” junkets.

There is a gradation for these type of meetings.  At one end are groups with well defined business improvement goals who in addition have chosen the most cost effective manner to pursue these goals.  At the other end are groups which feel these “team building” meetings are “owed” and “necessary” for maintaining moral.  The IRS West Coast trips fit someplace in this spectrum.

Congress will deplore this aspect of IRS life and some will try to blame President Obama.  My guess is that Congress will not demagogue this too much.  Junkets and freebies lie too close to the heart of Congressional life.

 

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2 Comments on “Mixed Up World”

  1. FLPatriot Says:

    ” Was it not the Tea Party that glamorized knit-wits like Sarah Palin and Michelle Bachmann?” Not really, that was just Fox news.

    “Why shouldn’t they be questioned for seeking an exemption?” they should be, just no more than any other group looking for the exemption and their has been reports that many liberal groups got their exemption without having to do all the same paper work as the conservative groups… that is where a crime is committed.

    “would be looking for root cause and broad range solutions which would prevent a repeat” If the people responsible are charged with crimes and are convicted that will prevent future administrations from using useful idiots in government bureaucracy to do their dirty work.

    This kind of non-sense goes on no matter what party has control of Washington at the time, but wouldn’t it be a great deterrent of we start sending politicians to jail? I don’t care if it is a republican or democrat as long we do it now and not wait for the next offender. Yes it happens to be a Democratic administration caught with their hand in the cookie jar, but that does not make it fair play because a Republican has done it in the past. If we have crumbs on their sleeves we need to send them to prison no matter what party it is.


    • FL, sorry for delay in replying… jury duty…

      I think you are as right on this one as anyone… civil servants are purposely insulated to minimize political influence… but in the end, they are Americans and they are likely to have a political affiliation… Further, just like in the private sector, as people age they often take things for granted and sometimes place priorities on their private life and not the job… because we have insulated them, it is difficult to fire… (the best way is to promote poor civil servants high enough that they become political appointees and then fire them…


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