Category Archives: Taxes

News Roundup – The Players, Department of Justice, Michael Sam

Rickie Fowler hits a close at TPC Sawgrass – the Players Championship. Martin Kaymer is tied for the lead with Jordan Spieth.

Did the Department of Justice abuse their classification to delay the presentation of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev? “As a number of outlets are reporting, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s lawyers have submitted a long anticipated motion to suppress the statements he made during the weekend the FBI interviewed him while he kept asking — 10 times — for a lawyer. The motion also provides detail on something that bmaz and I found to be just as important — DOJ’s delay in presentment, basically delaying the time before he got a lawyer. It describes how the Public Defenders Office tried to inform Dzhokhar they could represent him, twice trying to give the FBI lawyers letters to do so. The FBI refused the letters each time.”

Michael Sam was chosen by the St. Louis Rams. Michael Sam is the first openly gay football player to be chosen in the NFL. He’s a long shot to make the team. Continue reading News Roundup – The Players, Department of Justice, Michael Sam

News Roundup: Severe Flooding, Snowden, Jobs, IRS

For the last four or five days we’ve had torrential rains with severe flooding which has been unrelenting. We are in a flash flood watch through Sunday evening.

It appears that both Venezuela and Nicaragua are interested in granting Edward Snowden asylum. I know that there have been some Americans who believe that Edward Snowden has done a great thing. They believe that Snowden has become the conversation over safety versus personal liberties. I would suggest, though, that there has been no conversation. Instead, we’ve had pundits yelling at each other without any real discussion over this topic.

The new jobs report is out. The economy picked up 195,000 jobs.  We desperately need more. The economy has gained over a fifth of the jobs lost in the great recession. We’ve got a long way to go. Continue reading News Roundup: Severe Flooding, Snowden, Jobs, IRS

The Nerve of the IRS

The craziness of the IRS “scandal” cannot be underlined or emphasized enough. The fact that the IRS decided to scrutinize a group of Americans who basically state that they hate paying taxes and would go to any means to avoid paying taxes should not be a surprise to anyone. In my mind, scrutinizing tea party groups is a little like asking Willie Sutton why he robs banks. (His famous answer, “because that’s where the money is,” may be an urban myth but I like it nonetheless.) Since the disastrous, thoughtless Citizens United decision, the number of 501(c) 4 organizations has skyrocketed from a little over 1700 to well over 3300. The majority of these 501(c) 4 groups were, wait for it… conservative, tea party groups.

More from Vanity Fair:

Unfortunately, given the way this I.R.S. scandal slid so easily into ideological definitions, I fear that few non-politicos are recognizing the real disgrace here: that the federal government—Congress, the White House, the tax agency, and the Supreme Court—has created a situation where blatantly political organizations are able to legally break the law by pretending they’re something that they’re not.

The key to this obscene state of affairs is an entity known as a 501(c)(4), named for the section of the tax code that created it. Supposedly, these are civic associations or organizations devoted to social welfare, which can operate tax-free, but whose donors aren’t allowed to deduct their contributions. Fair enough. Continue reading The Nerve of the IRS