Representative Elijah Cummings calls out Representative Darrell Issa for dishonesty over IRS Scandal.

                 Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md) threatened to release the full IRS transcripts if House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Ca) refuses to. Cummings said ” I want every syllable of those transcripts released. If he does not release them, I will. Period.” Issa’s response was that he thought releasing them would be reckless. Reckless to the Republican crusade to impeach President Obama?  Staying true to his word Cummings released them.

The transcripts appear to contradict what Issa said. There was zero evidence that the White House ordered the targeting of Tea Party groups, which Issa said was the case. The Huffington Post reports that Republican and Democrat staffers interviewed IRS official John Shafer on June 6 about the agency’s decision to target Tea Party groups applying for 501 (c)(4) tax exempt status. Shafer is a self described Conservative Republican.

Via the Huffington Post.

Throughout most of the interview, Shafer describes the mundane bureacratic challenges of dealing with incoming applications for non-profit status. He said his team the firsr Tea Party application because it appeared to be a high profile case and he wanted to be sure all high profile cases recieved similar attention. “What I am talking about here is that we end up with 4 applications coming into the group that are pretty similar and we assign them to 4 different agents, we don’t want 4 different determinations. It’s just not good business. It’s just not good customer service.”

When asked plainly “Do you have any reason to believe anyone in the White House was involved in ths decision to screen Tea Party cases?” Shafer replied ” I have no reason to believe that.” Asked if he ever communicated with then IRS Commisioner Douglas Shulman about the screening of Tea Party cases. Shafer replied “I have not.”

Interviewers also asked Shafer if he told his screeners to specifically pull team party cases. He replied “Again I was not asking them for those kind of cased. If I would have directed them to pull our Tea Party cases, little Susie’s Tea Party would have been pulked and it wasn’t.”

Rep. Issa and the Republican party are guilty of overeach in their quest to discredit President Obama. Issa was convinced he had the goods to dicredit the Obama administration, when he found out he didn’t, he hid the truth. This narrative is strikingly similar to the Benghazi “scandal”. Where a Republican doctored the emails before passing them on to the press. That’s a no-no. This is why in a previous post I focused on Rep. Issa’s criminal history. It is important because it showed ge was willing to do illegal things to get what he wants. It showed what he was capable of and my reason for publishing it prove true. This is proof of the Republican party’s utter disregard for truth to get their desired outcome.

CBO study shows tax breaks for multi-national corporations and wealthy will cost us $12 trillion over the next decade.

                   A new report from the CBO shows that the top 10 U.S. tax deductions, credits and exclisions ensure that over $12 trillion in tax revenues will be gifted to multi-national corporations and the wealthiest Americans over the next decade. Nearly all of the benefits will be accrued by the wealthiest Americans. The tax loopholes have been written into the tax code by a bought and paid for Congress, that recieves its marching orders from multi-national corporations and wealthy Americans that dominate campaign finance.

The study shows that the top 20% of American income earners will recieve more than half of the $900 billion in benefits from the inexcusable tax code in 2013 alone. Adding insult to injury, 70% of the total benefits go to the top 1% of income earners. The study was requested by House Democrats.

Democrats say the results support President Obama’s approach to tax reform and defecit reduction. Raising revenues by closing tax loopholes and deductions that are being abused by the wealthiest Americans. The National Debt is $16 trillion and we will lose another $12 trillion in tax revenues over the next decade, that equals $28 trillion without adding Government spending. If we close half of those loopholes that will nearly cut the National Debt in half, although it would nevet happen that way. Why are Republicans fighting against Tax Reform like this, when they claim the National Debt is a priority? Is it the Grover Norquist anti-tax pledge or the hate for President Obama?

3 of the top 5 tax breaks, a $2 trillion exvlusion of net pension contributions and earnings over a decade, the $1 trillion deduction for mortgage interest and the $1.1 trillion deduction for State and Local Taxes also disproportionately benefit the top 20% of income earners. The Republican party likes to pretend the middle class is swimming in government aid. These tax breaks that benefit only the wealthiest Americans are blowing up our defecit and those who need it least.

13% of those tax breaks will go to the middle class and 8% to the lowest income bracket. This again shows a disproportionately large gap between the haves and have nots. This will continue the growth of incone inequality in our country. The larger the incone inequality, the more it hurts our economy and our National Debt will continue growing.

These things are in plain sight. A look into recent history shows that the Republican economic theory doesn’t work. They do not seem concerned with the outcome, as long as they and their corporate sponsors aren’t effected. This is a horrible way to run a country. Eventually even the wealthy will be effected by this economic theory. Republicans will cut off their nose to spite their face when it comes to President Obama, their hate for him blinds them.

My Father-in-law says it best. The Republicans only care about the rich and the Democrats take care of the rest of us.

The 16th Amendment of the U.S. Constition.

           The 16th Amendment passed Congress on July 2, 1909, ratified on February 3, 1913. Article 1, section 9 of the Constitution was modified by the 16th Amendment. It goes as follows;
       The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census or enumeration.

                  Basically it says that it is up to Congress to set the amount of taxes and collect them. How the money that is taxed is made does not matter. It will not be split up between the states and the census and amountvof people will have zero effect on how the tax system works.

That sentence holds a small bit of information about an extremely large issue. Tax Reform, how should it be done? As I stated above Congress has the power to set the tax levels. They are responsible for the revenue that keeps our country running. There is no mention of lobbyist or outside groups in the 16th Amendment. Nor is there a mention of outside groups helping to set the tax levels. I also didnt see any mention that Congress had the right to take an anti-tax pledge with a lobbyist. So Grover Norquist anti-tax pledge means nothing.

We have established that the Republican trickle down economy doesn’t work. In fact ot has horrible economic consequences, look at the state we were in 2008. We were hemorrhaging jobs, the housing market crashed, Stock market was trashed and banks were going belly up at an alarming rate. We can also agree that austerity doesn’t work. Look at Europe and look at how the Sequester slowed job growth. Obviously you cannot cut your way to prosperity.

If there are any millionaires out there who made their millions solely by cutting spending please speak up. What us needed is a balanced aporoach. Yes we should make cuts, but a least dollar for dollar with tax increases. Right now it us about 6 dollard spending cut to 1 dollar in tax increase. That will not get us where we need to be. Unfortunately Republicans will cut off their nose to spite their face. They cannot see logic because of their vile hatred for President Obama.

Apple recently was in the news for Tax Avoidance. That was $6-$9 billion in taxes that wasn’t collected. In 2010 GE did not pay a single dollar in taxes, I paid more that GE. How many more companies are doing this? How many billions of dollars in tax revenue are not collected because Republicans do not wantva fairer tax code? The extreme Republicans, Tea party members want to abolish the IRS and pay little or nothing in taxes. Our founding fathers knew taxes were essential, why don’t Republicans?

President Obama’s agenda is working. We are digging out of the recession despite Republican obstruction. The stock market and housing market are both recovering. Our debt ceiling crisis has been pushed back by several months by his measures. Imagine where we would be with Republican help. Unfortunately all they have to offer is vitriol.

The overhyping of Welfare numbers while hiding corporate welfare numbers.

                Republicans like to harp on Welfare, there are to many people on it, it costs to much and people come to rely on the government instead of themselves. While saying this they hand out money to multibillion dollar corporations and reward companies who send jobs overseas. Apple alone avoided paying $9 billion in taxes last year, by using U.S. tax code loopholes.

Last year Welfare cost the country $80 billion. That seems like a hefty number, until you consider a few things. The Bush Tax Cuts have cost us approxamately $1.5 trillion since their inception. That is about $115 billion a year. These tax cuts were supposed to create jobs, where are they? Bush will go down in history as one of our worst job creating Presidents, amongst other worsts that he owns. These tax breaks if they were to go away would do quite a bit to pay our National Debt.

Corporate Welfare is worse than both Welfare and the Bush Tax Cuts. Corporate Welfare is subsidies given to wealthy corporations. For instance Oil Companies recieved about $15 billion from our government last year. Corporate Welfare cost us $200 billion last year. 2 and 1/2 times that of Domestic Welfare. What is more important, our People or our corporations? Why do corporations that are being government subsidized not hiring?

In order to recieve Food Stamps, a family of 4 making $26, 000 would get $165 a month in Food Stamps. A person working 40 hours a week at $12.50 an hour would recieve that much. In order to get Welfare, you have to make lesd than $400 a month. Then you would get cash assistance, medical, dental and Section 8 housing. Section 8 housing I believe comes in at a higher number. Are these the people the government should stop helping?

Each dollar spent on Food Assistance returns $1.86 to the economy. So again Republicans are mistaken in their attacks. Democrats want to give more to people and cut the corporations off. President Obama wants to help the people and Republicans hate him for it. The people vote for the party that helps them. Remember the Republucans thought the Sequester was a good idea.

Apple avoids taxes, yet asks Congress to lower the Corporate Tax Rate.

                  Apple CEO Tim Cook argued for Corporate Tax Reform on Capitol Hill. The irony of that is a recent report claiming the company is avoiding paying taxes on billions of dollars in profits. The U.S. based software giant is hiding $102 billion in tax havens overseas. This allows the company to pay near zero global tax rate on that money, according to a report from the left leaning, Citizens for Tax Justice.

                     Cook was to testify on behalf of Apple as part of a Senate Committee hearing targeting companies that move money overseas in an effort to lower their tax bills. Cook told th Washington Post that he plans to ask Congress to lower the corporate tax rate on overseas profits companies bring back home. Large U.S. based multinational companies currently have $1.9 trillion stashed offshore.

Apple wanted to tell the Senate it doesn’t use gimmicks to avoid paying taxes. Like moving intellectual property to tax havens. Apple’s 10K filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission shows that Apple would pay a U.S. tax rate of 34.5% if it brought its offshore profits back to the U.S. Because the U.S. tax code gives companies credit for paying taxes abroad. This 34.5% figure is proof that Apple is not paying very much in taxes to other countries, according to the CTJ.

Cook defended Apples use of tax havens , saying that Apple pays all of the taxes they owe and not only do they comply with tax laws, but comply also with the spirit of the laws. Senator Carl Levin said that Apple wants people to focus on the U.S. taxes the company paid, not on the issue of the billions they have not paid. He also said Appke employs offshore tax strategies whose purpose is tax avoidance. He also said that Apple used loopholes to avoid paying $9 billion in U.S. taxes in 2012.

The hearing was called to air accusations that Apple has created a web of offshore entities to avoid paying U.S. taxes. Other large companies do so as well but Apple was the focus og the Senate probe. Apple denied any wrongdoing and said the company was one of the U.S. highest tax payers, paying $6 billion last year. Cook wants to simplify the U.S. corporate tax code so it would allow capital to flow back to the U.S., knowing full well Apple may pay more in taxes.

Senator John Mccain said that Apple avoided paying taxes on $44 billion in income, saying they are one of tge biggest tax avoiders in tge U.S. Senator Rand Paul said that Apple was dealing with an awful tax code. President Obama has long argued that the tax code is tilted against companies that want to create jobs in America, while rewarding companies for shipping jobs and profits overseas. There seems to be a fracture in the Republican party, which has been showing more recently. While Democrats lauded praise upon Senator Levin for his statements. Get thectax avoiders and we begin closing Our national deficit. If not nothing will change and the gridlock will become bankruptcy.

Conservative tax exempt groups outspent liberal ones 34 to 1, maybe they should be investigated.

                Conservative non-profits that received tax exempt status since the beginning of 2010 and also filed election spending reports with the Federal Election Commission overwhelmed liberal groups in terms of money spent on politics, an analysis of IRS and FEC records shows. Of the 21 organizations that received rulings from the IRS after January 1,2010 and filed FEC reports in 2010 and 2012, 13 were conservative. They outspent Liberal groups 34 to 1, the Center for Responsive Politics analysis reports.

             The largest driver of the disparity was American Action Network, who spent $30.6 million in 2010 and 2012, also made up 94% of the conservative group total, according to the FEC. Even without American Action Network, conservative groups outspent liberal groups receiving tax exempt status in the same period nearly 4 to 1. It seems as if the IRS should be investigating Republican groups.

             The IRS had done little or nothing to check the rise of overtly political groups that claim a special tax exempt status in order to funnel secret money into election-related advertising. Then when they do something about it, they do it horribly wrong. They give the Republicans ammunition to attack President Obama and take the focus off of more important issues. They sent detailed questionnaires to several Tea Party organizations and other groups who did not complain, to determine if they are truly promoting social welfare.

                Should any group claiming 501(c)4 have its designation denied or revoked, tax experts said the consequences could be severe, including fines of 35% or more if the money they raised in secret. The groups may also have to make donors names public. Even loose talk about donor secrecy no longer being guaranteed could put a screaming halt to the extraordinary flow of money into these groups from deep-pocketed people and corporations that want to buy political ads without leaving fingerprints.

                 The tax code requires 501(c)4 groups to be operated exclusively for social welfare purposes, which does not include intervention in political campaigns. The IRS has allowed the groups to engage in political activity as long as it was not their primary purpose. But for many of these groups, it is hard to see what other purpose they could possibly have.

               Republicans outrage over the issue is because of the amount of campaign donations they recieve from groups like this. Hyper-partisanship has run amok in our elections, it is time for campaign finance reform. As well as time to overhaul the tax code and make 501(c)4 groups have zero political affiliation. The end result is when the IRS finally did their job, they did it wrong. But make no mistake, any social welfare group contributing to political campaigns should have their stairs revoked and pay fines and all the tax money they saved.

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Republicans deliberately misquote Benghazi emails to manufacture a smoking gun.

                     Last weeks leaks that misquoted the Benghazi emails came directly from Republicans. Republicans had seen copies if these emails 2 months ago and did nothing with them. Obvious to most was that the emails showed interagency haggling. Someone in the Republican party, really trying to cash in on the Benghazi tragedy, got the bright idea of leaking 2 isolated tidbits and mischaracterizing them in an effort to make the State Department, more importantly Hillary Clinton, look bad.

               But Republicans went a little to far, causing the White House, much to Republicans surprise , to release the entire email chain. It made it abundantly clear that the press had been duped and now reporters are letting the world know who was behind it. The Republican party has never been good at determining when enough was enough. When it became obvious that Benghazi wasn’t the Watergate they wanted, they desperately tried to invent something.

                On the IRS scandal, their problem is that Democrats are just as angry and are looking for answers. This has forced Republicans to dig deeper and look for more accusations in order to draw a contrast between them and Democrats. On the AP phone records, they have to dance around the fact that they not only approve of such subpoenas but voted down a bill to prevent them. The sane part of the Republican party, or the not so insane part, cannot seem to reel in the extremist parts of the party. Just listen to resident nut job Michele Bachman suggesting that its time to start impeachment precedings.

              CNN originally introduced the contradiction betweened what was revealed in the White House Benghazi email version versus what was reported in media outlets. Mother Jones noted that the Republican interim report included the correct version of the emails, signalling that more malice and less incompetence may have been at play with the alleged alterations. Simply put, Republicans did this on purpose, not by mistake.

          GOP version of Rhodes comment “We must make sure that the talking points reflect all agency equities, including those of the State Department and we don’t want to undermine the FBI investigation.”
           The actual White House email “We need to resolve this in a way that respects all the relevant equities, particularly the investigation.” Quite a bit different.
            The GOP version “The penultimate point is a paragraph talking about the previous warnings provided by the agency (CIA) about Al Qeada’s presence and activities of Al Qaeda. ”
             The actual White House email “The penultimate point could very abuses by members to beat the State Department for not paying attention to Agency (CIA) warnings.” Another one quite different, apparently the original emails didn’t serve the Republican purpose.

              My concern is that the media us not reporting this. Chuck Todd took about 10 minutes yesterday to run President Obama over the coals, yet did not mention this once. My fear is that Republicans will stop at nothing to harm Democrats, President Obama, and Hillary Clinton no matter the cost. Republicans need to face the fact, the majority if people aren’t biting your brand of crazy. Despite shining it up, putting new names on it and having different people delivering, your message is the same bucket of hate. You have been left behind, instead of attacking our voting rights and gerrymandering, work with the people and make the 2 party system relevant again.

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