Breaking: Acting IRS Head Commits Seppuku…

Nob Akimoto

Nob Akimoto is a policy analyst and part-time dungeon master. When not talking endlessly about matters of public policy, he is a dungeon master on the NWN World of Avlis

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111 Responses

  1. zic says:

    Nob, did you see this?Report

    • zic in reply to zic says:

      Okay, it’s really bugging me that nobody seems to have followed the link.

      It adds context. The investigation was released includes three timelines, in each case, one thing was redacted; with a date of Feb. 25, 2010.

      So what happened to change IRS policy on Feb. 25? One Joseph Stack flew a plane into an IRS building.Report

      • trumwill mobile in reply to zic says:

        I followed it. It’s interesting (I mean that, thanks for sharing), but I’m not sure how it is supposed to be instructive. Doing what they did isn’t really made better by it being in response to Stack, if it was.Report

        • Kazzy in reply to trumwill mobile says:

          I dunno… We did make a whole bunch of rules about Muslims and Middle-Easterners after some of them flew a plane into a building.Report

        • zic in reply to trumwill mobile says:

          Actions are often reactions.

          You’re damned if you do, and damned if you don’t. You make the best judgment call you can; and hope it’s the right call.

          But context does matter.Report

          • zic in reply to zic says:

            And I should add that stuff doesn’t get redacted unless it’s 1) classified or 2) pertinent to an ongoing investigation.Report

          • Will Truman in reply to zic says:

            The connection between “Some guy who was not actually affiliated with the Tea Party flew a plane into an IRS center” and “therefore we should more closely scrutinize applications for new 501(c)4 groups with the words ‘Tea Party’ in them for possible tax fraud” does not seem justified – or clear – to me. Maybe a knee-jerk animosity towards the people saying some of the same things that that terrorist guy said may be more understandable on a psychological level, but we’re still pretty far removed from remotely justified policy.Report

            • zic in reply to Will Truman says:

              The connection between “Some guy who was not actually affiliated with the Tea Party flew a plane into an IRS center”

              That was not known at the time.

              Were I reporting on this now, I’d ask what protocols throughout the government, including the IRS, were triggered by the event, which also coincides with Senate votes on updating/renewing the Patriot Act. Because that environment — the patriot act and homeland security requirements — would also dictate what actions should be taken.

              Again, I agree with you in retrospect. But this was not retrospect, it was a suicide attack on an IRS facility that resulted in several deaths, and that triggers a whole bunch of stuff, including heightened sensitivity about the work being done by the agency attacked.Report

              • Wardsmith in reply to zic says:

                Not known at the time? Like no one at the time bothered to read his suicide note? The suicide note ended with:[32]
                “ I saw it written once that the definition of insanity is repeating the same process over and over and expecting the outcome to suddenly be different. I am finally ready to stop this insanity. Well, Mr. Big Brother IRS man, let’s try something different; take my pound of flesh and sleep well.
                The communist creed: From each according to his ability, to each according to his need.
                The capitalist creed: From each according to his gullibility, to each according to his greed.
                –Joe Stack (1956-2010), 02/18/2010

              • Kimsie in reply to zic says:

                At minimum the FBI triggered an investigation.
                [just what you want to hear: “umm, if that’s the FBI calling, pass the phone to me.”]Report

      • Kimsie in reply to zic says:

        that would be a phenomenally stupid thing for the IRS to do.
        Stack’s problems bear more resemblance to spoony’s than the average Tea Partier.
        (not that I’m implying they were in the same line of work, you understand…)Report

    • Nob Akimoto in reply to zic says:

      Yeah, I’ve looked at it. I’m not sure how it might have impacted how the IRS agents in particular operated.

      All I recall from that event really was seeing the smoke coming from down the street and wondering what the hell was going on.Report

  2. greginak says:

    Shouldn’t they be forced to rehire the guy who was director when this happened so they can fire him?Report

  3. Morat20 says:

    Well, if I understand the timeline correctly, the actual head of the IRS during the events in question was a Bush appointee and his term ended sometime after.

    Which means this is a more symbolic head than normal, since this guy’s apparent fault was not being able to time travel.

    Really, Citizens United opened up this entire can of worms and nobody has really seen fit to define anything in any rigorous way. The FEC is absolutely hamstrung, the IRS has nothing but internal direction based on vague statutes and Supreme Court cases and guesswork.

    I mean, it’s their job, isn’t it? Making sure no-one is skipping out on taxes by fraudulently filing as a charity or non-profit or LLC or whatever when they’re not?

    So what’s the real complaint? It’s “when you did your job with insufficient resources and no real direction from Congress, you chose the wrong ways to prioritize”. Heck, like that’s new. The IRS cheerfully goes after small-fry tax fraud and mistakes for audits, because it’s more successful and cheaper than going after the big fish (who have lawyers and happily drag it out for years, even when ridiculously guilty). They’re notoriously understaffed (I’ve read, in more than one place, that IRS auditors more than pay for themselves).

    So it seems politically aimed. *shrug*. Imagine, for a moment, that nobody thought about politics. It was all numbers by a machine. In the wake of Citizens United, in 2010 — the vast bulk of new formations under this paradigm were right-wing groups. It was a big year for them. They did darn well in the elections, had lots of excitement. Mathematically, most of them SHOULD have been conservative groups.

    So our smart, apolitical, machine choices would have been to focus on all the new groups, under the new and barely understood laws, that were coming out of what was an ideological and political wave.

    Which is what our non-machine IRS did, under a Bush appointee, and apparently entirely locally. Which is bad, because you know…partisan.

    And I get that. I really do. It’s like they teach in every single one of those bloody ethics classes my work does — it’s not enough to avoid impropriety — you have to avoid even the appearance of it. And the IRS didn’t, although apparently not at the nefarious bidding of Darth Obama.

    Then again — can the IRS and the FEC, given limited resources, actually ever really avoid such an appearance? Should they go with the media method, and for every group they investigate based on math models or intensity or gut feelings or suspicious emails or whistleblowers, investigate one on the other side of the partisan divide — just to keep it even? To keep up appearances?

    And what’s it say about this scandal that some pundits and reporters cheerfully whipped out identical, apparently far more top-down, versions from Bush that weren’t scandals? (Same with the AP thing, too). Maybe Presidencies have to be bipartisan too, and it’s just not fair if they don’t all take it in the chops — and if they can’t take it for what they actually deserve, well, take it wherever you can.

    Gotta keep up those appearances.

    And hey, maybe this will turn out to be the smoking gun. Maybe Obama did order a Tea Party hit. Pretty sad that his best turned out to be a bit of extra paperwork, but you know — nobody said he was good at it.Report

  4. Kolohe says:

    both gregniak and Morat20 would have decent points if Steven Miller was just some joker off the street, and not, say, the IRS Deputy Commissioner for Services and Enforcement when all this stuff went down.Report

    • greginak in reply to Kolohe says:

      I’m unclear. Jack Lew the current IRS head is stepping down, but he wasn’t the head dude when this happened.I certainly haven’t followed all the details of this. What am i missing?Report

      • greginak in reply to greginak says:

        doh….i see Jack Lew is the Treasury head and he is stepping down while the Miller guy was a high ranking dude at the time this happened. Proceed to nevermind.Report

    • Nob Akimoto in reply to Kolohe says:

      Interestingly, he wouldn’t have been fired if he were the Deputy Commissioner for Services and Enforcement, because that being a permanent professional appointee, the President can’t just sack them.Report

      • Kolohe in reply to Nob Akimoto says:

        I also imagine as a practical matter, the fact he was Acting Commish made it easier to ask for his resignation, as he was never going to pass a Senate confirmation hearing now.Report

        • Nob Akimoto in reply to Kolohe says:

          Either way, it was a symbolic measure, since the President doesn’t have the authority to just up and fire a bunch of civil servants, for better or for worse.Report

          • Patrick in reply to Nob Akimoto says:

            Symbolic gestures are important, don’t discount ’em.

            I’m a big believer in people – somebody, anyway – falling on a metaphorical sword when stuff like this happens.Report

    • Morat20 in reply to Kolohe says:

      I was just posting that — I hadn’t known at the time. I can certainly see why having him resign (as opposed to pulling his nomination and sending him right back to the troublesome division) made sense.

      OTOH, from the IG’s report — he wasn’t involved in the first place. I suspect if he’d not been holding the acting position, he’d have been laterally transferred as a semi-scalp.Report

  5. Jaybird says:

    But really, is this enough responsibility and head rolling?

    Would this question have been able to be asked if two people in the IRS office in Ohio got suspended with pay for two months and had a letter added to each of their permanent files?

    I suspect that the answer to your question depends on what an inquiry would find.

    Should we have such an inquiry, even merely for appearance’s sake?Report

    • Nob Akimoto in reply to Jaybird says:

      The Inspector general’s office at the IRS did conduct an inquiry, so yes, even if it was for appearance’s sake, it was done.Report

      • Jaybird in reply to Nob Akimoto says:

        Well, if these guys are innocent and the people in Ohio did nothing wrong (indeed, if they were doing what anybody with a shred of decency would do when some teabaggers were pretending to be tax exempt), I’d say that too many heads have rolled.Report

        • Morat20 in reply to Jaybird says:

          This is politics. Head have to roll even if nothing went wrong.

          Appearance of impropriety is the phrase. Even if proper, giving the appearance means you have to appear to punish. Which requires really punishing.

          Apparently it’s harder to look like you’re punishing someone when you’re not, than appear improper when you aren’t.Report

          • Jaybird in reply to Morat20 says:

            So we might find ourselves in a position where not enough punishment has been doled out.

            At what point will we be able to say that the appearance of impropriety has been not only rectified but a proverbial fence has been placed around the proverbial Torah?Report

            • Nob Akimoto in reply to Jaybird says:

              Isn’t that what critics like you are supposed to clarify?Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Nob Akimoto says:

                Well, if I bring up that it’s truly unfortunate that Obama make jokes about using the IRS to target his enemies and perhaps impeachment proceedings should be held, would that be a good signal to the next two or three presidents that, seriously, THIS SHIT IS SERIOUS?

                Or, seriously, did those people in Ohio do what anyone would have done and we’re just playing bullshit political games until the Republicans control the White House again?Report

              • Nob Akimoto in reply to Jaybird says:

                I’m curious how you think impeachment proceedings might do anything to help this. Where are the grounds for impeachment? What is this other than political theater? There’s not a shred of evidence that the White House was involved (and the Inspector General’s report has recommendations that DOJ investigate, which is precisely what the Administration is doing).

                It seems to me the actual requirements for correction here are:
                1. Simplification/streamlining of non-profit conduct rules, while also increasing enforcement.
                2. More staffing to keep up with the backlog of filings and an independent IG attached to make sure that there’s a firewall between any of these departments and cabinet appointees.
                3. ????
                4. PROFIT!Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Nob Akimoto says:

                “to help this”

                What is “this” in your sentence, there?

                If you think that “this” isn’t a big deal, I’m sure that you think that “this” has already been more than over-reacted to already.

                Hell, if you think that “this” is something that anybody with two brain cells to rub together would do, then we’re in crazytown and Fox is just stirring up shit and, for some reason, the IRS is helping them by apologizing for shit that nobody with a brain in their head should apologize for.Report

              • Nob Akimoto in reply to Jaybird says:

                “This” being any politicization of the Internal Revenue Service from agents.

                I’m not sure what your definition of “this” is. I’ve yet to see any credible evidence that this was orchestrated in any way from political operatives either in the White House or the Democratic Party as a whole.

                So again, how the hell would an impeachment hearing actually lead to changes in how the IRS regulates the behavior of its own agents or Congress actually laying down more concrete distinctions in the 501C(4) classification?Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Jaybird says:

                Fair enough. That’s what “this” is for me too. (Well, drop off the “from agents” part.)

                I am pretty sure that this wasn’t orchestrated in any way from the White House… but, for me, part of the scandal is the undercurrent of “they don’t need to be told to do such things”. Hell, there’s still a large chunk of people out there who argue that the IRS did nothing wrong. There are even people out there who argue that the fact that the IRS apologized doesn’t mean that the IRS did anything wrong.

                Now, I like to think that the people who argue such things are only doing it because they would cheer TEAM BLUE if Obama started killing American citizens with drones but part of me worries that there is a chunk of people out there who, seriously, see nothing wrong with this. I suppose I might take some small comfort from knowing that they’d scream if Bush did something like that but…

                The politicization of the IRS is one of those things that undermines the system as a whole.

                If I were trying to restore faith in the system as a whole, I would probably respond the way that Jon Stewart responded in his Daily Show piece. Anger, swearing, and pointing out that doing this sort of thing helps the Tea Party a couple of orders of magnitude more than 75 non-profits would.

                If I were trying to get people to hold the IRS in even more contempt? I’d probably shrug and say that everybody knows that the IRS is like that and there’s no surprise with what happened. Hell, we all know that there’s no conspiracy. Government workers don’t *NEED* to be told to investigate conservative groups. Any government worker would know that those bastards deserve extra scrutiny.

                Besides, didn’t Bush do the same thing?Report

              • Nob Akimoto in reply to Jaybird says:

                I think the President struck the right tone last night in his presser. And the sacking of Steven Miller, while mostly symbolic also does turn a rhetorical leaf. He’s also made it clear he’s going to follow the IG’s recommendations, and having Holder-DOJ go after them while perhaps also something of a distraction from the AP stuff, is also a good way to demand accoutnability. Nothing like interagency rivalry to set up more compliance.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Jaybird says:

                Well, keep in mind that this has repercussions for the PPACA as well. Will some organizations be more heavily scrutinized than others when it comes to statements about who does and/or who does not have health insurance and thus is liable for a penalty?

                This is one of those things where it not coming from Obama is even worse than if it had.

                If it came from Obama, hey, people were just following orders.

                If it didn’t, then that means that there is an institutional pathology in the IRS that no longer has a Civil Servant Mindset when it comes to how citizens ought to be treated.

                You treat the former in one way. The latter? You need to neuter that in order to fix it.Report

              • Nob Akimoto in reply to Jaybird says:

                Gee, you think villifying a group of civil servants and calling for them to be shot and resisted violently might make them dislike your political movement? Who would’ve guessed?

                Institutional pathologies exist everywhere, unless we start replacing people with androids, and even then I’m not sure if they’d have a bias against contractions or people who use Apple products.

                Just look at some of the attitudes held by the military for example.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Jaybird says:

                Kolohe! We need you! Calling Kolohe!Report

              • Nob Akimoto in reply to Jaybird says:

                Seriously, do you think the generational attitudes toward political parties among say, senior military officials and retired flag officers is a coincidence? That they’re predominantly Republican from an era when the Democrats were considered to have been part of the anti-Vietnam left? Because if you think that’s just coincidental, I’ve got a bridge in Brooklyn you might want to look into.Report

              • Mr. Blue in reply to Jaybird says:

                Trust the government, trust the bureaucrats, for they are to be trusted.

                But do not make them angry. For they are human, and you will surely get what you deserve and deserve what you get.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Jaybird says:

                I’m from Colorado Springs, so I’ll use the Air Force for my examples:


                The average age of the officer force is 34.7
                The average age of the enlisted force is 28.8

                We’re not talking about people who don’t remember Vietnam at this point. We’re talking about people who don’t remember movies about Vietnam.Report

              • Mr. Blue in reply to Jaybird says:

                It’s not so much about their being Democrats. It’s about the fact that they’re Democrats shouldn’t affect how they do their jobs. It’s doing their critics job for them to say that it’s completely understandable that they would let their personal views influence how they do their jobs.Report

              • Kolohe in reply to Jaybird says:

                Military people skew Republican because they skew towards (for complex reasons) white guys from the South.

                But I would proffer a parallel to the sexual assault pandemic. It sure is a problem, it sure does require some wholesale culture change, and maybe taking sexual assault out of the current UCMJ procedures is a good idea. (I’m not convinced that singling out a type of crime for unique procedures is a good idea, but it looks like mostly a fait accompli at this point).

                In any event, what’s not particularly useful is the press (and I’m looking at you MSNBC, which I’ve had on in the background most of the last two days) making a national story every time a SAPR (Sexual Assault Prevention & Response) staff person does anything stupid or just has their own personal problems. Like the story today of the guy in Ft Campbell – he did get in trouble, but the nature of the trouble (a domestic dispute) is not really linked to the big picture (that is, sexual assault in the military)Report

  6. aaron david says:

    “But really, is this enough responsibility and head rolling?”

    No, not even close.

    If the IRS agent/clerk did not know how to deal with the new applications, they needed to move all of them up to the supervisor level. If nothing else, they are incompetent.

    Every person involved should be terminated. If a supervisor knew about it, then if nothing else incompetence. It does not matter how high that goes.

    The left talks about how great gov’t is, well, show, don’t tell.Report

    • Mike Schilling in reply to Jaybird says:

      Yeah, the Daily Show is liberally biased sucking up, all the time.Report

      • Jaybird in reply to Mike Schilling says:

        Dude, he came out and said that he would *LOVE* to suck up to a liberal government.

        He was screaming that this government was illiberal.Report

        • Nob Akimoto in reply to Jaybird says:

          Except there’s literally zero evidence that this was conducted by the Administration. Nada. Zip. Nothing. Stewart, like every other media blowhard has this tendency to attach an omniscience to the presidency that doesn’t exist.

          This is bureaucratic pathologies at work not terrible conspiracy theories.Report

          • Jaybird in reply to Nob Akimoto says:

            Does Obama joking about doing this sort of thing count as evidence?Report

            • Nob Akimoto in reply to Jaybird says:

              Evidence that he has a sense of humor? Sure.

              Evidence of him being involved in this actual problem? Not unless you’re Alex Jones.Report

              • Jim Heffman in reply to Nob Akimoto says:

                “Evidence of him being involved in this actual problem? ”

                Remember when Hurricane Katrina happened and everyone said it was George W. Bush’s personal fault and he needed to take personal responsibility for FEMA’s failure?Report

              • There are two politically appointed positions at the IRS. Neither of them has a single damned thing to do with the scandal here.

                FEMA director however, is a political appointment.

                If you seriously can’t tell the difference, you’re a fucking moron or a troll, or both.Report

              • Art Deco in reply to Nob Akimoto says:

                You mean Michael D. Brown controls the weather?

                To see how meaningless the career-vs.-political distinction can be at the IRS, consider the case of Mark Ernst. He was H&R Block’s CEO as recently as 2007, but when Obama took office in January 2009, Ernst joined the IRS as a deputy commissioner and helped craft new regulations governing tax preparers — H&R Block and its competitors. How did this not violate Obama’s revolving-door rules? “Mark Ernst is a civil servant at the IRS,” an IRS spokesman explained to me. “He is not a political appointee.”

                ‘Civil servant’ can be a term of art.


                (While we are at it, I would not be too emphatic about who had to do with what at this point).Report

              • Kimsie in reply to Art Deco says:

                When your political appointees are so BAD that you get scientists running insurrections to get rid of them, yeah, ya got problems in terms of who you’re appointing.
                [NOAA.Florida. Googleit.]Report

        • Mike Schilling in reply to Jaybird says:

          Yeah, that wasn’t a rhetorical stance to express how much this stuff bothers him. He was, like, totally serious the whole time.Report

          • Jaybird in reply to Mike Schilling says:

            I can never tell when his clown nose is off or on.Report

            • Nob Akimoto in reply to Jaybird says:

              That’s because all non-white people look the same to you, racist!Report

            • Mike Schilling in reply to Jaybird says:

              Hint: when he says A immediately followed by a clip that demonstrates not-A, he knew the clip was coming. It isn’t his staff messing with him (if only because he could fire their asses.)Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Mike Schilling says:

                I would say that his clip was about exactly how bad Obama screwed up.

                When it comes to gun control, the discussion was over how the people who say that gun registration will lead to gun confiscation are people who are paranoid.

                The right wingers who oppose the government being large enough to do what people like Jon Stewart would like it to do are paranoid people, right?

                Well, it turns out that the IRS was targeting right-wingers. Oh, and getting the records from the AP.

                We can have a discussion about whether or not Stewart was j/k when he gave his little speech about the government doing good for people. I think he was very much in earnest… but then he realized that petty egos messing with people who were doing nothing more than exercising their rights had undercut many of the goals he supported because, it turns out, the government had not demonstrated itself trustworthy with the power he earnestly would argue that he thinks it ought to have.

                Then again, perhaps he’s a secret Libertarian. We’re all over.Report

              • Nob Akimoto in reply to Jaybird says:

                Well, it turns out that the IRS was targeting right-wingers. Oh, and getting the records from the AP.

                It’s not a problem limited to Stewart himself, but there’s a tendency to oversimplify things here.

                Look, if the IRS were a tyrannical and terrible organization there would have been no IG’s report, the government wouldn’t have probed it, they’d have found a way to keep it silent, and then there’d be no Department of Justice criminal probe into the conduct of the people involved.

                The records, again, not to repeat myself over and over, weren’t obtained FROM the AP.
                They were obtained from the telephone companies the AP does business with. Which is legal. A well established legal precedent with statutory backing of nearly fifty years. To see who and how they obtained information that was a national security matter in an ongoing investigation.

                I don’t like how easy it is to subpoena trap/trace records, but this isn’t some new, unprecedented abuse of power like the AP’s trying to make it sound. It just isn’t. And the fact that Stewart fell for that hyperbole is more his willingness to continually try to seem the “reasonable” guy in the middle working from broad surface impressions than one where he’s examining the details.

                He’s not an investigative reporter. He’s a satirist.Report

    • Will Truman in reply to Jaybird says:

      Stewart touched on one of my big reactions. Which is that prior to this, I had a tendency to dismiss offhand theories from certain elements of the political discourse. I’d heard complaints about conservative groups being targeted, but reflexively assumed that it was a load of bunk (most likely incompetent filers who were filling out the forms wrong). The only real exception here is Banghazi, where my way-off-in-right-field views were come to independently of the echo chamber.


      Well, I still haven’t seen any evidence of this having come from the White House, and don’t really believe it did. But what happened, happened, and a number of his supporters appear to believe it was justified, and in a couple cases would have done the same if they worked for the IRS. And now when I read about pro-life groups, for instance, I have no uncertainty whatsoever that the allegations are false. A few months ago I did.

      The saving grace is that Obama himself has been pretty upright on the issue, either because he is upset about it or recognizes that it was in fact wrong. But that doesn’t mean that those people weren’t right. As Dan Drezner said, it wasn’t a good week for people who dislike conspiracy theories.Report

  7. Art Deco says:

    …conservative media now outraged Obama threw the director “under the bus”.

    How ’bout amused.

  8. Damon says:

    I’m sure the attempt is to end the uproar. The little people always take it in the shorts, but let’s be real about this. EVERYONE does it.

    • Kimsie in reply to Damon says:

      yeah, at least this president isn’t going after pacifists for interfering with the war effort.Report

      • Damon in reply to Kimsie says:


        What about that 80 year old nun that’s being prosecuted? She entered a nuclear factility and did some vandalism.Report

        • Kimsie in reply to Damon says:

          If so, they’re prosecuting the wrong fucking person.
          Which is typical for the fucking government…

          If I had my way, that security company (privatized, ya know)
          would be getting criminal charges, for willful negligence (among other things).

          [I was referencing the Mennonites, who weren’t actually doing anything wrong.]Report

  9. Tod Kelly says:

    Everyone in the entire chain of command should be terminated, all the way up to the top? Someone employed by the IRS donated money to Obama once? Planes flying into buildings? “It’s their job, what’s the big deal?” Jon Stewart and Alex Jones? Those people didn’t like civil servants so its ok? Vietnam?


    I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a legitimate news story go this far off the rails this quickly by most everybody on all sides ’round here before.Report

  10. Jaybird says:

    More revelations from The Daily Mail.

    Which is a conservative tabloid. I was going to start talking about Rupert Murdoch for a while but, sadly, he doesn’t own this paper.

    Oh, and it looks like this may have been a problem in more than just Cincinnati.Report

  11. Teague Pasco says:

    I’m a tax lawyer and do a lot of nonprofit stuff. This is shocking and clearly wrong. However – the whole IRS approval process is broken. I think it started several years back when congress decided to revoke c3 exempt status for nonfiling of returns 3 years in a row, and made filing mandatory for all c3s other than churches, which don’t have to get that status anyway. In my opinion, this plus cuts in staff and funding led to a sort of beaurocratic culture or belief that exempt status should be very strictly enforced. An emphasis on denial, stemming from an amorphous but institutional policy that fewer nonprofits was the goal. Result: processing is a year or more out from filing the application. Also, since the IRS heavily emphasizes closing files as part of the employee review process, the overburdened staff doing the processing will “reset” the closing clock by sending information requests. I now routinely get demands for information provided at the time of application. Pretty sure it’s because they couldn’t get to it when required, and this gives the employee more time to work the file.Report

    • Jaybird in reply to Teague Pasco says:

      Teague, let me make sure that I’m reading you correctly:

      This is not an example of discrimination against Tea Party Kinda Groups but against Non Profit Kinda Groups and, as a matter of coincidence, the biggest chunk of new Non Profit Groups (ONLY THROUGH HAPPENSTANCE) is the Tea Parties that arose following Obama’s electoral victories (and, as such, in the alternate universe where McCain/Palin won their 2nd election, the Coffee Parties are suffering similar investigation for little more than the exact same reasons)?Report

      • Michael Drew in reply to Jaybird says:

        Haveta imagineer a universe where there’s a similar burgeoning of Coffee groups, not just the other candidates winning.

        And no, it doesn’t look to me like that is necessarily what Teague is saying, although I think something like that being the case is a possibility.Report

  12. Damon says:

    So no one else, besides me, is willing to acknowledge that this problem with the IRS goes back decades and is simply a tool for those currently in power to harrrass their opponents?

    You’re all outraged by this single instance but nary a word on the history of this happening all the time?Report