Posts Tagged ‘tea party’

TheTaxVox 2013 Lump of Coal Award: Wait ‘Til Next Year Edition

Tax Vox proudly announces its seventh annual Lump of Coal Award for the worst tax and fiscal policies of 2013. The year was a curious mix of really bad ideas and dithering. After all, Congress’s finest moment may have been its December budget mini-deal—a decision that effectively ignored every one of the great fiscal questions facing […]

Obama Will Try to Clarify the Role of Tax-Exempt Groups in Politics

The Obama Administration is trying to untangle the controversy over the growing role of 501(c)(4) social welfare organizations in politics by creating a new category of banned candidate-related activity. I wish it all the luck in the world. Treasury and the IRS will propose regulations that aim to clarify what these groups may and may […]

Get IRS Out of the Business of Regulating Political Speech

A final thought, I hope, on the IRS/tea party scandal: Why do we want the IRS  regulating political speech?  It seems crazy on its face, yet that is exactly the system we have created. True, the agency bungled its scrutiny of conservative political groups seeking tax-exemptions. But should it even be deciding which political organizations should get favored […]

The IRS and the Tea Party: Treasury Report Finds Big Bungling but Small Scandal

The IRS’s botched processing of requests for tax-exempt status by political groups isn’t the new Watergate. In fact, as scandals go, it is barely the Days Inn–based on what we’ve learned from a much-anticipated report by the Treasury Department’s Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA). That any report by TIGTA is much anticipated says something about […]

IRS and the Targeting of the Tea Party and Other Groups

To help clarify  whether IRS incorrectly, unfairly, or illegally targeted the Tea Party and other conservative groups, here are the  answers to a few basic questions. Is it improper for IRS to target specific groups?  Almost every contact the IRS makes with select taxpayers derives from targeting. Because  its  resources are constrained, the IRS conducts […]

The IRS Was Wrong to Single Out Tea Parties, But Many Political Groups Should Not be Tax-Exempt

Let’s start with the obvious. Those IRS employees who singled out conservative groups for scrutiny over their tax-exempt status were wrong, wrong, wrong.  Any whiff of politics at the agency is unacceptable, and this is far more than a whiff. In time, we shall see how far up the agency food chain the scandal goes. […]

TaxVox’s 2012 Lump of Coal Awards

TaxVox proudly presents its 2012 Lump of Coal awards, Thelma and Louise edition, for the worst fiscal policy ideas of the year. The winners are: 10. California. The Golden State probably deserves a lifetime achievement Lump of Coal Award for its inability to balance its budgets, its government-by-initiative, and its endless bouts of fiscal wishful […]

Debt Limit Madness

Let me see if I have this right: Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has effectively embraced the debt limit plan first offered months ago by President Obama. Under the McConnell/Obama scenario, Congress would extend the government’s borrowing authority through next year without agreeing to a dime’s worth of spending reductions or tax increases. As […]