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UPDATE: Who Directed Abuses of Power at IRS?

Posted by Larry Doyle on May 17, 2013 11:20 AM |

Is there any doubt that the IRS engaged in an abuse of power in the manner in which it handled the applications of selected groups for tax-exempt status?

In Congressional testimony this morning, the outgoing acting commissioner Steven Miller has done his best to parry — some would say stonewall — Republican committee members. The simple fact is America learned what it needed to from this hearing in the opening testimony provided by the Inspector General J. Russell George.

Let’s watch, listen, and learn:

With this knowledge now confirmed, the follow up questions that must be answered are:

1. Who directed the activity?
2. Who at Treasury was made aware of it?
3. Was knowledge of this activity and information gleaned by the IRS shared with others? If so, who and when?

UPDATE: we learned later in the hearing of the following as highlighted by The New York Times:

The Treasury Department’s inspector general told senior Treasury officials in June 2012 he was auditing the Internal Revenue Service’s screening of politically active organizations seeking tax exemptions, disclosing for the first time on Friday that Obama administration officials were aware of the matter during the presidential campaign year.

At the first Congressional hearing into the I.R.S. scandal, J. Russell George, the Treasury inspector general for tax administration, told members of the House Ways and Means Committee that he informed the Treasury’s general counsel of his audit on June 4 (2012), and Deputy Treasury Secretary Neal Wolin “shortly thereafter.”

If Treasury’s general counsel and Deputy Treasury Secretary knew in mid-2012 of these abuses of power, are we supposed to believe that Treasury Secretary Geithner was not aware? Stop it.

How might we gain the necessary transparency and the ultimate truth?

I feel strongly there is a need to appoint an independent counsel with the power of subpoena to find and review any and all necessary information. First things first. Take out all the shredders from the appropriate offices.

Those on the Democratic side of the aisle are wont to make the case that this activity within the IRS stems from the Citizens United case addressing campaign finance. I would maintain that that topic should be addressed AFTER we learn what transpired at the IRS.

Truth, transparency, and integrity continue to be virtues that take a battering in and around Washington. America continues to suffer as a result. Let’s continue to fight for our country.

Larry Doyle

Isn’t  it time or overtime to subscribe to all my work via e-mail, an RSS feed, on Twitter or Facebook.

I have no business interest with any entity referenced in this commentary. The opinions expressed are my own. I am a proponent of real transparency within our markets so that investor confidence and investor protection can be achieved.

  • ed pefferman

    Are you “running out” of Obama haters?……………
    …..your post on “Who Directed Abuse of Power at the IRS
    has been up for four hours….and no takers?

    Also, …FYI…..T. Rowe Price supports Jamie Dimon not
    the shareholders……on the brighter side, the U of M
    Consumer Confidence Index hit and all time high.

    Have a good weekend Larry,

  • LD


    Are you more concerned with the truth or a politician?

    All time high? You may want to look a little closer unless you define “all time” as going back to 2007. I was born a few years prior to that and recall many a month when the index you reference was a LOT higher than the most recent reading. Sorry about that.

    Thanks for your input and concern for my blog. Don’t worry too much though. I would like to think that I am not taken to self-promotion but the blog recently had its 1 millionth reader/visitor with the average visit lasting multiple minutes so I think the blog is amazingly healthy. Sorry if that might bother you.

    I hope you have a good weekend as well.

  • James

    Miller was incredibly “ARROGANT” in his remarks and delivery today. Does not matter if you are a Dem or a Rep, he was hardly a credible witness today. Lots of “I do not have that name or I do not know.”

  • LD

    Who is Neal Wolin? From an ABC report in 2009,

    ABC News’ Matthew Jaffe reports: Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner now has more help at his short-staffed department after Neal Wolin was confirmed by the Senate late Monday to become his deputy secretary.

    Wolin, who worked at Treasury from 1995 until 2001, becomes the fourth top official, including Geithner, to be approved by Congress in the first few months of the Obama administration.

    He is also the third key official confirmed in recent weeks, following Assistant Secretary for Economic Policy and Chief Economist Alan Krueger on May 6 and Assistant Secretary of Terrorist Financing David Cohen on May 1.

    Another top aide, Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Stuart Levey, has remained at the department as a holdover from the Bush administration.

    “I am thrilled to have Neal return to the department,” Geithner said in a statement Tuesday morning. “Neal brings a deep knowledge of the Treasury Department and strong managerial experience in both the private and public sectors and I look forward to working closely with Neal at this critical moment in our nation’s history.”

    I look forward to working closely with Neal at this critical moment in our nation’s history.

    So do you think Geithner knew?

  • Ed Pefferman

    Larry, oh Larry
    Mea Coupa, Mea Coupa, Mea Maxima Coupa
    I do appologize, you are correct, the U of M Consumer
    Confidence Index waS ONLY a six year high.
    You know what I think pisses you off……your political
    opinion colors your view of all the world.
    Get a reality check…..or meds

    • LD

      Feel free to spare me your gratuitous verbal diarrhea.

      • Ed Pefferman

        Now stop being petty, Larry


    • Matt

      It’s Mea Culpa (not Coupa)!
      Including the “All Time High” comment, that TWO things you got wrong. Wanna try for three?

      • ed pefferman

        There are people who will admit to their mistakes,
        and their are delusional people that won’t


  • Russ

    Here’s my guess. Someone high up in the White House.

    Obama knew but since it was not him directly, he has cover.

    He can SAY he didn’t know.

  • Eddie

    Larry, you are like my bartender, i can always tell you how i feel and what i think.

    Yes whatever the right vehicle is to tear down the nightmare to freedom called the irs is necessary and it’s probably a committee as you suggest.

    Personally i feel government always grows, especially during times of failure their own or anyone elses.

    I’ve learned they are not the solution to anything other than a justice system and the ability to raise taxes to support that and only that.

    It’s obviously gone lightyears in the opposite direction. Bottom line to me is there is no surprise that politicians and or agencies of the u.s government pander to special interest groups, it’s common place and in this case it’s clear the behavior is to help your friends and hurt your enemy and use your governmental power to do it.

    Dems and reps would likely not mind penalizing the tea party, it’s something they can both agree on for sure.

    Well i don’t vote for any of them or the tea party but i do vote against the dems, reps and any of them that want to perpetuate the business of crony capitalism and political pandering as usual.

    Freedom, liberty and peace!

  • fred


    It’ one scandal after another, all swept under the rug for the greater good? When will people understand that an abuse of any taxpayer’s/citizen’s rights, regardless of political affiliation, is a threat to us all.

    Now the Dems, under the backroom leadership of Potus, are trying to turn this into an opportunity for tax reform, aka raise taxes on the rich. The unmitigated gall, they must think we’re all stupid.

    Bring back the lie detector test, maybe it’s not admissible in a court of law, but is it enforceable as a condition of government employment?

  • Randee

    I think the only slightly veiled racism on this blog is inexcusable. President Obama, by nearly all accounts, in on track to go down in history as one of the greatest presidents ever, certainly in a league with Lincoln, Roosevelt, Clinton and Washington. Yet all I see on here is criticism. So, considering the tremendous accomplishments of the past 4 1/2 years, and the roiling stock market, improving job market and improved healthc are, exactly what is it you do not like about the man other than the color of his skin?

    • LD


      I hesitated to respond to you and actually dignify your allegation of “slightly veiled racism” on my blog.

      To compare, if not equate, constructive detailed criticism of the policies of the current administration with charges of racism demeans and denigrates not only those involved in the constructive dialogue but also those who are victims of real racism.

      I do not know how long you have been reading my blog. I have provided support for the current administration’s policies where and when I saw fit. I expressed a cautious optimism along with hope and support for President Obama’s time in office at the time of his initial inauguration.

      I have been willing to call him and his colleagues out when I find them stifling what I would believe to be the truth. Please see today’s commentary.

      You are entitled to your opinion. I respect that. I differ with your opinion. I can assure you I would not and have not allowed remarks that would be deemed to be racist on my blog.

      In response to your question. The color of our President’s skin has NOTHING to do with my feelings. I am all for espousing and promoting MLK’s reminder that we judge people not by the color of their skin but the content of their

      I feel that our President believes the ends justify the means. I believe he is an ideologue to a fault. I believe he lacks basic understanding of free market principles and has few people on his staff who would also understand these principles. Measure of trust in government, media, and finance have plummeted during his administration. I do not think he has any real interest in transparency.

      The markets are up because of the Fed. The job market has not markedly improved. The unemployment rate is down largely because people have left the workforce as reflected in the labor participation rate. Improved healthcare? That train wreck is coming right around the bend.

      Do not demean the victims of real racism by confusing constructive criticism with veiled or unveiled acts or statements impugning people based on the color of their skin.

      Have you ever read the writings of Walter Williams or Thomas Sowell or Ben Carson? I recommend you do so and then please let us know what you think of their work. I am a BIG fan of all these men and their work.

      I welcome continuing the dialogue.

      • Randee

        Tom Sowell and I are acquaintances. You know, Larry – all black people know each other.

        The Fed does NOT get credit for the markets. The buck stops with the president. If the economy were tanking you would blame the president. History will record this as Obama’s market and economy, win or lose. And so far, it’s a huge W.

    • Always Learning


      This blog racist? You echo a familiar cry of many Obama loyalists who call the race card when anyone dare criticize him. Obama and his campaign, during the 2008 election, kicked off this trend when they accused the Clintons of being racist. Anyone who opposes Obama must be racist. Such a desperate response, and intentionally divisive. Are all journalists –including progressive, left leaning media — racist because they are coming out in full force to criticize Obama and his AG Eric Holder for the overreach against Fox News reporter James Rosen? Or are you selective in who you deem as using “veiled racism”?

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