Remember back (a few short weeks ago) when the Democrats were arguing that Obamacare was the law of the land, that it hadn’t been struck down by the Supreme Court (as if avoiding that ignominious fate by a razor-slim 5-4 vote were a selling point), and that Republicans—and the American people—just needed to get over it and accept Obamacare as settled law forevermore? Well, it now appears what they meant was that, while the American people are powerless to change (or repeal) the law that the Democrats passed, the Democratic president can do so at his whim. Apparently, the federal lawmaking authority has now moved to the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue.
The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) reported last week that in 2011, the IRS paid out $3.6 billion in fraudulent refunds on tax returns filed by identity thieves. Even that amount was an improvement over the previous year when the total fraud was $5.2 billion. However, on Tuesday, TIGTA released a new report that found that though the IRS is making some progress against fraud, it is not using all available tools to prevent erroneous refunds and improper tax credits.
“Detroit civil rights lawyer Shanta Driver made a last-minute decision to argue in a high-profile Supreme Court affirmative action case on Oct. 15 in part, she said, because so few African-Americans appear before the justices.”
It looks like labor unions might be getting tax relief from Obamacare, according to a report from kaiserhealthnews.org.
"Weeks after denying labor’s request to give union members access to health-law subsidies, the Obama administration is signaling it intends to exempt some union plans from one of the law’s substantial taxes," reads the report.
Beginning with a speech last Thursday, President Obama is seeking to rejuvenate his administration's push to alter immigration laws and perhaps draw some attention away from the Obamacare launch debacle that has been dominating the headlines for much of October.
Eugene Robinson makes the case for Obamacare by writing, essentially, that it is a done deal. Time to get over it and move on. This is a corollary of the "law of the land" argument, which asserts that the thing has been written in stone and those who are still opposed and favor repeal should quit and acknowledge their defeat in its utter finality.
Yesterday, President Obama signed a number of supposedly uncontroversial bills into law.
One new law contains a provision that has been controversial in the past.
The law, S. 256, gives the government of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) authority over submerged lands surrounding its coastlines, gives the President authority to establish naval defensive sea areas there, and also delays scheduled increases in the minimum wage for the remote island.
Despite a law passed 15 years ago, some Internal Revenue Service employees continue to use the designation "Illegal Tax Protester" and other similar designations in their case narratives, according to an audit just released by TIGTA (Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration). While the IRS has not reintroduced an actual code for such designations, the audit found out of 257 million records, there were:
The latest sequester victim: lawyers. As of September 1, court-appointed panel attorneys for the federal defender program will be hit with a $15/hour reduction in compensation. The following announcement appeared Monday on the United States Courts website:
We're way past overload on Trayvon Martin-George Zimmerman commentary, but there is a tiny tributary of the story that has been largely overlooked. And it's worth a moment because it points to a larger problem regarding both the state and the public.
Asiana Airlines released a statement this morning saying it in fact will not sue TV station KTVU for falling for a prank and announcing the wrong names of captains of plane that crashed in San Francisco. The airline had previously said it intended to sue.
"We decided not to proceed with the suit to concentrate all our efforts on dealing with the aftermath of the accident," says Asiana in a statement.