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Rachel Maddow Hypes Trump’s 2005 Tax Return, But There’s No Real News There

Rachel Maddow Trump Tax Return

Rachel Maddow hyped the fact that she had obtained a copy of Trump’s 2005 tax return last night. It turned out to be much ado about nothing.

Republican Budget Hawks Have A Donald Trump Problem


Budget hawks in the GOP face a showdown with Donald Trump’s spending ambitions this year that will likely decide whether we’ll ever get spending under control.

The New Trump Tax


Yet more incoherent economic policy from the Tweeter in Chief. A border tax will mean that Americans will undoubtedly pay for at least part of the Great Wall of Trump™.

House Committee Votes To Censure I.R.S. Commissioner, Impeachment May Soon Follow

IRS Building

The man who was brought in to clean up the I.R.S. after the alleged targeting scandal became public is facing censure and possible impeachment. Proving that there really is such a thing as a thankless job.

Final Spending Bill Sails Through Congress, Giving Speaker Ryan Another Legislative Win

Paul Ryan Speaking (with beard)

The final spending bill for the 2016 Fiscal Year sailed through Congress today, marking the end of a very successful first two months in office for Speaker Paul Ryan

Senate Passes Two-Year Budget Deal


As expected, the Senate easily passed the two-year budget deal early this morning.

House Committee To Consider Impeachment Of I.R.S. Commissioner

IRS Building

The House Committee investigating the IRS targeting scandal will consider impeaching the I.R.S. Commissioner over issues that are, at beast, only tangentially related to the scandal itself.

Department Of Justice Finds No Basis For Criminal Charges In I.R.S. Scrutiny Of Tea Party Groups

IRS Building

The Department of Justice has informed Congress that its investigation has found no basis for criminal charges arising out of the targeting of conservative organizations by IRS officials evaluating applications for tax-exempt status.

Alcohol Tax Weirdness


Taxes on wine, beer, and spirits vary wildly from state-to-state and even within each state.

Why is Harvard Subsidized by the Taxpayer?


A wealthy alumnus has given Harvard $400 million, sparking a heated debate.

N.F.L. To Give Up Its Tax Exempt Status


The N.F.L.’s league office is giving up its tax exempt status, but that means far less than the headline implies.

Iraq And Afghanistan Wars Cost $3 Trillion


The costs of more than a decade of war are far higher than many ever thought, and we’re still paying the price for the fiscal irresponsibility of the Bush Administration while they were being fought.

Federal Court Dismisses Tea Party Groups’ Lawsuits Over IRS Targeting

IRS Building

A Federal Judge has dismissed lawsuits filed by Tea Party groups over the IRS targeting scandal.

Common Sense On The N.F.L.’s Tax Exempt Status


The idea that the N.F.L. “doesn’t pay taxes” is largely false.

Burger King Should Not Be Condemned If It Moves To Canada For Tax Purposes

Burger King

The announcement of a potential merger between Burger King and Tim Horton’s has led to much moral preening from the usual suspects.

Report: IRS Destroyed Hard Drives With Lerner Emails

Destroyed Hard Drives

Yet more adventures in bad records retention policy at the IRS.

No, It’s Not Time For A New War On Booze

Alcohol Bar

A supposed conservative calls for massive increases in taxes on alcohol.

The Midterms And The Economy: Bad News For Democrats?


Republicans are winning with voters on the issues they say they care the most about.

George H.W. Bush Receives ‘Profile In Courage’ Award For Breaking ‘Read My Lips’ Pledge

George HW Bush Convention 1988

An award for breaking a campaign promise.

A Legal Argument That Could Bring ObamaCare Crumbling Down


There’s a potentially fatal legal argument looming out there for the PPACA.

Debt, Default, And International Faith In The American Government

United States Capitol Building, Washington, D.C. Aerial

Would you trust the men and women in this building?

Republicans Ready Their Next Offer On Shutdown, Debt Ceiling

Capitol Building Dusk

The outlines of a possible new GOP proposal are emerging. Can it go anywhere?

All Same-Sex Marriages To Be Recognized For Federal Tax Purposes

Taxes Adding Machine

The IRS will allow all married gay couples to file joint returns, but that still leaves couples in most of the country with more hoops to jump through.

Philadelphia Politicians Investigating Lap Dances

The Philadelphia “Tax Review Board”  is conducting in depth hearings about lap dances: Philadelphia, in its constant search for revenue, wants to draw bucks from a G-string. The city’s Tax Review Board is trying to decide whether a lap dance is an amusement or legitimate theater. Is a performance over a lap a luxury or […]

Two Excellent Summaries Of Recent IRS Developments


Looking for a quick overview of recent developments in the IRS Tea Party Scandal? Here are two links to help.

No, IRS Targeting Was Not “Bipartisan”


Treasury IG: Liberal groups weren’t targeted by IRS like Tea Party: Liberal groups seeking tax-exempt status faced less IRS scrutiny than Tea Party groups, according to the Treasury inspector general. Russell George, Treasury’s inspector general for tax administration, told Rep. Sandy Levin (D-Mich.) in a letter dated Wednesday that the IRS did not use inappropriate […]

IRS “Lookout Lists” Also Included Liberal Groups. So, Was It Bipartisan “Targeting?”

IRS Building

A new round of documents from the IRS, that aren’t really new, doesn’t really change the basic narrative on the IRS “targeting” story.

A New Conspiracy Theory: IRS Tea Party Targeting Helped Win The Election For Obama

IRS Tea Party

A new theory circulating on the right asserts that IRS targeting of Tea Party groups had an impact on the 2012 elections by diminish the Tea Party’s effectiveness. It’s mostly nonsense.

Elijah Cummings Releases A Full IRS Interview Transcript To The Public

IRS Building

When last we left the stand off between the Chairman of the House Oversight Committee, Republican Daryl Issa, and the committee’s senior Democratic Member, Elijah Cummings over the release of IRS Interview Transcripts, Issa had largely ignored Cummings request to begin to publicly release the full transcripts of recent interviews with IRS employees. Instead, Issa […]

Will Elijah Cummings Release IRS Transcripts Later Today? (Updated)

IRS Building

Today is the deadline for Darryl Issa to respond to a request from Elijah Cummings to defend a decision not to release IRS interview transcripts. What happens if Issa doesn’t respond?

Why Won’t Chairman Issa Release The Full Transcripts Of Interviews With IRS Employees?


Without full transcripts, the excerpts released by the House Oversight Committee are worthless.

The BOLO List And The Question Of Optics VS Effectiveness

TIGTA IRS Audit Wordle

The TIGTA audit reveals the BOLO “Tea Party” list was right 81% of the time. But does that change anything?

1/3 of Flagged 501(c)(3)&(4) Applications were from Non-Conservative Groups

EO "Potential Political Case" Breakdown

Tax analyst Martin A. Sullivan finds that 1/3rd of “potentially political applications” approved by the IRS were from non-conservative groups.

The IRS Can’t Locate It’s Own Receipts


Last night on CNN, Congressional Correspondent Dana Bash did a report on the IRS’s latest scandal about overspending on conferences and revealed the rather amusing fact that the IRS cannot locate its own receipts:

So Far, Issa’s IRS Transcripts Contain A Whole Lot Of Nothing


Just about all of the substantive information in the excerpts was already revealed in the TIGTA audit.

IRS Spent $50 Million On Conferences For Employees


Another example of government waste: The Internal Revenue Service, already under fire after officials disclosed that the agency targeted conservative groups, faces increased scrutiny because of an inspector general’s report that it spent about $50 million to hold at least 220 conferences for employees between 2010 and 2012. The report by the Treasury Department’s inspector […]

When Presidents Used The IRS For Political Purposes


The Christian Science Monitor details some instances from history when Presidents, or those under them, have used the IRS to target political opponents. I was aware, of course, of Nixon’s use of the IRS during Watergate. I was surprised by some of the other names on the list. Via Facebook  

Douglas Shulman’s 157 Visits To The White House: Less Than Meets The Eye

White Hosue Daytime

Apparently, some people don’t want to let the facts get in the way of a good conspiracy theory.

Open IRS/501(c)4 Discussion: Crime and Damages

TIGTA IRS Audit Wordle

Today on the Rush Limbaugh Show guest host Doug Urbanski asked the following open-ended question about the “IRS Scandal”: “Why has no one been fired or arrested for this clearly criminal activity?” That comment led me to some linked questions that I’m currently working my way through. I thought that OTB readers (in particularly lawyers – […]

The Wetumpka Tea Party and Defining “Potential Political Cases”

TIGTA IRS Audit Wordle

When does politics become the “primary activity” of a 501(c)4?

Diving Deeper into the TIGTA IRS Audit

TIGTA IRS Audit Wordle

Inside the Treasury Department’s Inspector General for Tax Administration investigation into the IRS scandal.

How Apple Avoids Paying Taxes


The US Senate wants to know why Apple and other big technology companies are paying so little into the US Treasury.

Criminal Liability Of IRS Workers In Targeting Scandal Unclear


We’re already hearing politicians talking about putting the IRS employees accused of targeting conservative organizations out of political bias in jail. However, as Aaron Blake notes, it’s unclear whether they actually broke any laws: In short: We don’t know yet. But it’s also quite possible that nobody will ever be convicted of breaking the law […]

501(c)4 vs 501(c)3 vs 527


Almost no one can confidently explain, let alone define, the specifics of the 501(c)4 designation.

IRS Scandal More About Political Bias Than “Incompetence”

IRS Building

What happened at the IRS looks a lot more like deliberate political bias than simple incompetence.

IRS Released Confidential Data Of Conservative Groups


Pro Publica reported last night that the IRS had released to it confidential information consisting of applications for tax-exempt status of several conservative organizations: ProPublica on Monday reported that the same IRS division that targeted conservative groups for special scrutiny during the 2012 election cycle provided the investigative-reporting organization with confidential applications for tax-exempt status. That […]

Obama: IRS Political Targeting “Outrageous”


Not surprisingly, President Obama was asked about the unfolding IRS scandal at his joint press conference with British Prime Minister David Cameron: Washington (CNN) – President Obama vowed Monday to hold the Internal Revenue Service accountable if reports of political targeting are proved true. “If in fact IRS personnel engaged in the kind of practices that […]

The IRS Scandal Expands

IRS Building

Partisan targeting by the IRS should not be permitted to stand.

IRS Apologizes For Inappropriately Targeting Tea Party Groups


For several years, Tea Party and other conservative groups have contended that they were being targeted for investigation by the Internal Revenue Service and it turns out that they were right.

Internet Sales Tax Bill Passes Senate, Faces Rough Road In House


As expected, the Marketplace Fairness Act, which would permit states to require internet-based businesses to collect sales tax even if they don’t have a physical presence in the state, easily passed the Senate yesterday: The Senate approved a long-anticipated Internet sales tax proposal on Monday, moving the legislation one step closer to enactment and paving […]

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