The Washington Post editorialized in November that it was time to regulate how much sugar Americans consume. Sugar causes obesity, which leads to heart disease and diabetes. Government has to pick up much of the tab for treatment, which justifies the feds putting themselves between consumers and the sugar bowl.
But how to actually regulate sugar? Try to fix some limit on serving sizes? Require soda-makers to de-sweeten pop? Such command and control options would no doubt be hamfisted. And so the Post suggested the all-purpose solution: new taxes. (Never mind that Washington already dramatically inflates sugar costs through a tangled program of price supports and import controls.Read more
On October 27, the House of Representatives moved to impeach the commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service, John Koskinen. It may seem odd that Koskinen is being punished since he wasn’t commissioner when the IRS scandal broke two years ago. But make no mistake, Koskinen is a worthy candidate for impeachment.Read more
It has long been good sport to make fun of the government. Ronald Reagan did it with a fine, almost deft touch. “The nine most terrifying words in the English language,” he would tell an audience, “are I’m from the government, and I’m here to help.”
Just about everyone, at one time or another, has used the phrase “Good enough for government work,” and we all know what it means: that something conforms to the high customer service standards one enjoys when shopping for stamps in the post office.Read more
The only word to describe Friday’s job report is ugly. The private sector created only 118,000 new jobs in September, early estimates of job creation in July and August were lowered, average hourly earnings dropped a tiny bit, the labor force participation rate dropped to its lowest level since October 1977. Nothing here to justify the Federal Reserve Board’s policy gurus in raising interest rates, and much to make them happy that they withstood pressure to raise rates in the past.Read more
The Washington Times reports:
IRS lawyer Geoffrey J. Klimas told the court that as the agency was putting together a set of documents to turn over to Judicial Watch, it realized Ms. Lerner had used yet another email account, in addition to her official one and another personal one already known to the agency.Read more
In an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal this morning, Representatives Ron DeSantis, R-Fla., and Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, call for the impeachment of IRS head Jim Koskinen. The congressmen accuse Koskinen of a host of serious transgressions including destruction of evidence, hiding the fact that evidence had been destroyed from Congress, and lying to Congress:Read more
This morning on America's Newsroom with Bill Hemmer on FOX News Channel, California Republican congressman Darrell Issa alleged that the IRS hasn't changed its procedures and is still targeting conservative groups.
HEMMER: "Can you say today whether or not the targeting is still happening?"
ISSA: "The targeting is still happening. It is clearly, still a procedure..."
Watch part of the exchange below:Read more
June, for conservatives, has been of late the “cruelest month” at the Supreme Court, as the decisions finally roll forth. Many expect—with a combination of apprehension and resignation—that in the critical case of Obergefell v. Hodges, Justice Anthony Kennedy will furnish the fifth vote for installing same-sex marriage as a constitutional right.Read more
The Obama administration is funding a provision of the Affordable Care Act unconstitutionally and against the decision of Congress, a Republican House member says. Peter Roskam of Illinois joined Fox News's Greta van Susteren Thursday to talk about the details of his findings in an oversight investigation by the House Ways and Means committee.Read more
Obama Admin: Religious Organizations Could Lose Tax-Exempt Status If Supreme Court Creates Constitutional Right to Same-Sex Marriage
When arguing before the Supreme Court, a lawyer normally takes pains to convince the Justices that ruling in his or her favor in that particular case would not have dramatic consequences elsewhere. In Hobby Lobby, for example, Paul Clement urged that exempting his clients from part of HHS's contraceptive mandate would not open the doors to a flood of other exemptions. Or in DC v.Read more
If you tried to contact the IRS with a question about your taxes this year, chances are you didn't get a response. The IRS estimated that it would only answer 17 million of the 49 million calls received this filing season. Taxpayers lucky enough to have the IRS answer their calls waited an average of 34.4 minutes for assistance--nearly double the wait time last year (18.7 minutes).Read more
UPDATE: Several readers have accurately pointed out that a page of the IRS website posted on March 25 clearly states that “If you are not required to file a tax return and don’t want to file a return, you do not need to file a return solely to claim this exemption.”Read more
On March 10, Senator Ted Cruz said the following: “On tax -reform, we, right now, have more words in the IRS code than there are in the Bible—not a one of them as good.” It’s no surprise that Republicans in Congress tend to hate taxes and love the Bible, and as Republican rhetoric goes, this is about as anodyne as it gets. The Scrapbook never thought that such a straightforward sentiment would engender controversy, but never underestimate the -media’s desire to willfully misrepresent and dispute the words of politicians they don’t like.Read more
Big ideas sometimes play a role in political campaigns, but not in this year’s midterm elections. Republican candidates concentrate on linking their opponents to President Obama and his policies. That’s it. Democrats are understandably wary of defending Obama. They go after Republicans on minor or trumped-up issues, often in unscrupulous TV ads.Read more
An Ohio-based trade association, the International Association of Information Technology Asset Managers (IAITAM), wants to know why the IRS’s IT Asset Managers have apparently “disappeared at a key juncture.”
IAITAM administers internationally accepted certifications for information technology professionals, and according to their records “at least three IT Asset Managers…were working at the IRS prior to the 13 May 2013 Inspector General Report [that detailed the IRS abuse of conservative political groups].”Read more
Were Lois Lerner’s allegedly lost emails actually destroyed? An Ohio-based trade association, the International Association of Information Technology Asset Managers (IAITAM), isn’t so sure, and they don’t find IRS commissioner Koskinen’s explanation of their loss very plausible.Read more
The WEEKLY STANDARD podcast with senior writer Stephen F. Hayes on the latest news on the IRS scandal.Read more
The IRS comissioner insists his agency did not break the law or relevant statutes. But under questioning by Rep. Trey Gowdy, the IRS commissioner also admitted that he doesn't know the law or the relevant statutes:
"You have already said, multiple times today, that there was no evidence that you found of any criminal wrongdoing," Gowdy said. "I want you to tell me: What criminal statutes you have evaluated?"
"I have not looked at any," the IRS commissioner admitted.Read more
Republican congressman Jim Jordan of Ohio excoriated the Internal Revenue Service commissioner Monday night in a House hearing looking into the agency's malfeasance regarding conservative non-profit groups. Jordan focused his questioning to when IRS comissioner John Koskinen knew about the loss of critical emails from former official Lois Lerner. Koskinen testified that he discovered a computer hard drive crash lost the Lerner emails in April but did not report this publicly until presenting Congress with a report earlier this month.
Watch the exchange below:Read more
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