New Leak Of Taxpayer Info Is (More) Evidence Of IRS Corruption

Source: ZeroHedge.

AIER and others take issue with the ProPublica story shared recently at Tidewater Forum.

First is the technical detail that ProPublica’s “true tax rate” is a make-believe and irrelevant number because no one in the U.S. is taxed on their wealth. To illustrate the error, imagine you have a stock portfolio that went up in value over the last several years. You would be wealthier, but the increase doesn’t count as income.

Second, is the scandal that the IRS released the confidential information ProPublica used for its story. This shouldn’t have happened. How would you like it if 15 years of your tax returns were made public by the IRS?

The story and the IRS leak appear to be part of a conspiracy to create propaganda in support of the administration.

38 thoughts on “New Leak Of Taxpayer Info Is (More) Evidence Of IRS Corruption

  1. Leaving aside being published by a totally unreliable site, any article that aspires to be taken seriously would NOT start by regurgitating the phony story that President Obama somehow used the IRS to abuse “conservatives.”

    Second the IRS did not release ANY information. That was done by some individual on their own initiative.

    Third, a “conspiracy” requires that people meet to discuss and coordinate their actions. There is ZERO evidence of any such event.

    Fourth, the actual facts reported in Pro Publica piece have not been disputed. The actual federal income tax paid by these billionaires is a fact and it is a pittance.

    Fifth, much is made of the fact that an increase in wealth is not income as if that was not made perfectly clear in the Pro Publica story. In fact, they explained very clearly how these people live fabulously luxurious lives spending millions every year with no taxable income – they simply borrow against that monumental wealth and never actually pay back what they borrow.

    Finally, nobody accused anybody of doing anything illegal. That was the whole point. What they do IS legal and THAT is the scandal.

    Liked by 2 people

          1. RE: “If THAT was THE POINT of this article, it was very well hidden.”

            It wasn’t the point of the article. Your error was to defend ProPublica’s credibiliity when it wasn’t an issue.

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          2. LOL!

            First you say I missed the point.
            I said – What point did I miss?
            You said – The point that no one attacked ProPublica’s credibility.
            I said – If that’s the point it is well hidden.
            Now you say – that’s not the point.

            So now you are shucking and jiving again.
            You say that I was in error to defend Pro Publica’s credibility because it was not attacked.

            Uh, I said NOTHING about Pro Publica’s credibility.
            I responded to points made by you and by the authors of this piece.

            Bottom line – instead of rebutting or refuting the points I made, you accused me of missing the point. And now, here we are. Again. Wasting effort because you do not think before you post.

            Liked by 1 person

          3. “Pro Publica’s staff very credibly violated the law in receiving protected private material.”

            Made up laws are almost as useful for you as made up facts. Which law did Pro Publica break?

            https://www.freedomforuminstitute.org/first-amendment-center/primers/leaks-and-the-media/

            As a matter of interest here is what Pro Publica has to say. Note that it is only an assumption that the information was from an IRS employee. Pro Publica does not know who it is from and they acknowledge it could even be from the same people who fed stolen materials to the media on behalf of the Trump campaign – actions that failed to set your hair on fire because, you know, you are a hypocrite.

            https://www.propublica.org/article/why-we-are-publishing-the-tax-secrets-of-the-001

            Liked by 1 person

          4. RE: “What point did I miss?”

            To be specific, you wrote: “Fifth, much is made of the fact that an increase in wealth is not income as if that was not made perfectly clear in the Pro Publica story.”

            Of course ProPublica made it clear how they computed their “true tax rate.” That’s how we know, substantively, that ProPublica’s analysis is bogus.

            You argue that because ProPublica showed its work, its work must be taken seriously. But the fact is that because ProPublica showed its work, its analysis can be rejected.

            You tried to defend ProPublica as credible, but missed ProPublica’s analytical mistake. Their mistake became yours.

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          5. RE: “What point did I miss?”

            Ah, a DIFFERENT point that I missed. LOL!

            There is no bogus analysis – just an explanation and a clear one – of how these people live extravagant lives spending hundreds of millions of dollars a year in the process and yet do not pay much tax.

            You do not like the metric of the “true tax rate” that they calculate. Okay. Fine. Your not liking it does not make it bogus. Those huge but unrealized increases in value are available to them to spend through the mechanisms described so that “true tax rate” is worth consideration in thinking about whether we have a problem or not.

            Liked by 1 person

  2. The information Pro Publica published is private by Federal Law.

    There is no legal way for them to have received it. So, whoever in the IRS provided it, and whoever knowingly received the stolen information should be prosecuted.

    Leaking private information has become a standard tool of the bureaucracy to influence the policies under which they operate. If the individuals who released the private information cannot be found, the supervisors of the departments responsible should be fired without pension.

    Lobbying by leak cannot be tolerated

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-partisan-bureaucracy-11623362896?mod=opinion_lead_pos8

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    1. I am sure that you are quite correct. Whoever leaked this information has committed a crime. Just as, say, Edward Snowden did. If they can be identified they should suffer the legal consequences of their action.

      With that said, your suggestion that, failing such an identification, others be severely punished is a very bad idea in too many ways to list.

      What we see here is a standard kill the messenger response when information uncomfortable for vested interests comes out. Whether legally obtained or not, the information is highly relevant to the formulation of public policy and therefore should be public in some form where individual identities are concealed.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. “Whether legally obtained or not” As expected, the Constitutional rights of citizens are of little importance to you when they stand in the way of your agenda,

        No doubt the leaking bureaucrat looks at it the same way. The Rule of Law is only valid when it suits you.

        Whoever the supervisor of the leaker is, and the source should be pretty easily determined, access to files is tracked, is responsible for failing to keep order in his department.

        Perhaps someone here with military experience can tell us what happens to the captain of a ship if his sailors commit war crimes under his commend.

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        1. “As expected, the Constitutional rights of citizens are of little importance to you when they stand in the way of your agenda . . .”

          As expected, your attempt at an insult is pitifully lame. The source of valid information does not bear on its importance or accuracy. I did not advocate abrogating anyone’s “Constitutional rights.” Nor did I advocate punishing people for crimes they did not commit. Now THAT would be a clear violation of the Constitutional rights of citizens to advance YOUR agenda of coddling billionaires..

          My agenda in this is that nobody enjoying millions of dollars in income should pay negligible income taxes through accounting legerdemain. If it is legal, then the law needs changing. Pretty radical, huh?

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Your cause of generating support for increased taxation of the rich is irrelevant to the issue. But it’s pretty much Marxist 101 to suppose that the ends justify the means.

            Our tax system relies on individuals truthfully self reporting their financial affairs to the IRS. That is done on the condition of privacy, as provided by law.

            Violating that privacy, whatever the motivation, is a crime against the government AND the individual taxpayer.

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          2. RE: “My agenda in this is that nobody enjoying millions of dollars in income should pay negligible income taxes through accounting legerdemain.”

            There is no legerdemain. The burden is on you to show that there is.

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      1. So?

        Ellsberg at least did not violate the Constitutional rights of dozens if US citizens.

        This is not a crime against the bureaucracy or the government, but against individual citizens who divulged their financial details under a guarantee of privacy.

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          1. Really? Read the 4th Amendment.

            Congress gave the IRS the power to demand information that would otherwise be protected conditioned on that information remaining private and being used only for the computation of tax liability.

            So, yes, violating the law providing for that disclosure is a violation of the Constitutional rights of the individual.

            Like

          2. Uh, read the 16th Amendment.
            Between the two their is absolutely no Constitutional protection that would prevent the government from publicly itemizing the sources of the tax revenue collected. That it does not do so is a matter of the law.

            Liked by 1 person

          1. Here the “so what” question would be: So what if citizens’ private tax returns were made public?

            Would you want that if it was your tax returns?

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          2. I could care less/ Because I have nothing to hide. You want to see my meager $80,000+ income, with all small dividends and bank interest included? Sure. Have at it.

            Because it is proof that this retired Senior Chief Petty Officer pays what he owes when he is supposed to and doesn’t look for loopholes or changing the status of my income to capital gains.

            And my Navy retirement, paid by the federal government, has federal withholding, which has always had me scratching my head. Same was true when I was on active duty.

            Liked by 1 person

          1. Haven’t read it yet.

            That said, there are a number of Congressmen who should be in prison for leaking protected information,

            Is that the to[ic?

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    2. A Kim Strassel opinion, loaded with innuendoes and false assumptions, does not take away the blame for Trump’s leaks.

      Recall the “open” discussion with Pelosi, et.al. Pelosi heavily suggested that the talks should be private. But Trump insisted on publicity and took a big hit when Pelosi took him down.

      Trump wanted publicity, good or bad, just not be ignored.
      That is part of his playbook and he “wrote” about it in “Art of the Deal”.

      Leaks come from a president’s inner circle which should be appointees by the president and his hand picked staff.

      Leaks and confidential sources are your ONLY protections for what is going on in your government. Otherwise you are just dependent on what the administration tells you.

      Trump played both sides. Whine about leaks, but create them, the confuse the issue by saying the reporting was “fake news”.

      Just like he said he did to Leslie Stahl.

      Yes, career bureaucrats are often roadblocks, but so are appointees like Bush the Younger’s EPA chief who was instructed not to enforce the law.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. The IRS isn’t corrupt. Some people working there are failing to uphold the high standards we’ve come to expect. Same thing happened at the White House from 01/17 to 01/21.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Yes, I commented on the earlier thread that even a baboon knows increases in value of capital assets are not taxed until sold. The original poster, Paul, even in light of his vast “superior education” (cough), seems to not understand that very basic concept under his “tax the rich” crusade. The story cited makes a phony left wing argument out of nothing but illegal release of taxpayer information.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Bob, you can try to hide your lack of comprehension behind a smoke screen of blather and insults all you want. But the fact is that you obviously do not understand the import and purpose of the Pro Forma piece. Its purpose was the shed light on how the richest people in the country LEGALLY avoid paying taxes that you and I cannot avoid. This is information that the public and policy makers should have. Is it really a “phony left wing argument” that the rich should pay taxes at rates like working people do? If so, about 75% of the country is “left wing.”

      As for your mockey of my education, rest assured that my life-long career in corporate accounting and finance including my last gig as the CFO of a publicly traded company has equipped me very well to understand how capital gains – realized and unrealized – are handled in the tax code. So find some other smoke to blow.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. You just don’t seem to understand the word “avoid” do you. They are NOT avoiding squat. Do you pay taxes on the increase in value of your house?

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        1. Bob, of course they are “avoiding” paying their fair share of taxes. Why else would they finance their lavish lifestyles with borrowed money that they do not need to borrow. To “avoid” paying taxes. And, in case you still do not understand, the problem is that this “avoiding” is done legally and it is rational. It should not be either.

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          1. LOL, too much there Paul. So Paul the CEO of a publically traded company, cough, contacted the IRS, wrote his Congressman and went to board meetings regularly complaining his stock options weren’t being taxed as regular income as they increased,in value? In addition, Paul regularly sold his stock options to pay taxes instead of borrowing for his expenses? Col. Potter says horse feathers.

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          2. I was the CFO and not the CEO. I mentioned it to rebut your sniggering claims of my ignorance on this subject. I made no claims whatsoever with respect to my personal finances. I will share this, though. I am actually not a multibillionaire – the 25 people we are talking about. And, I will add that – ALL of my living expenses were/are paid for out of taxed income – fully taxed.

            I assume that your “cough” is your way of calling me a liar. I am not.

            Like

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