What's Next in IRS Inquiry?

Friday, May 24, 2013

IRS Headquarters in Washington, DC (Flickr user Cliff)

In Washington, the attention of lawmakers remains focused on a scandal stemming from the I.R.S. and the scrutiny it applied to Tea Party groups seeking tax-exempt status.

Earlier this week, Lois Lerner, who runs the I.R.S.’s division on tax-exempt organizations, told Congress she had broken no laws and committed no wrongdoing.  She also said she would not testify.

That of course was not enough of an answer for some G.O.P. lawmakers. California Republican Congressman Darrell Issa, chairman of the  House Oversight and Government Reform Committee has been insisting Lerner be called once again to testify.

What direction might this story be going next?

Josh Green, senior national correspondent for Bloomberg Businessweek shares his analysis.


Joshua Green

Produced by:

Mythili Rao

Comments [4]


I can't believe what I'm hearing on your show today. Really? "One wants to believe the President can fire anyone he wants to"???? Seriously? On a whim the President can just fire someone just because?

The protections built into firing a civil servant exist exactly for such a case - to prevent someone from being fired for purely political reasons who are the victim of a witch hunt.

Lois Lerner has not been shown to have done anything wrong. Due process and all that.

God forbid the IRS should try and do its job - determine if an organization has a right to be 'tax exempt' and formulate ways of trying to figure that out. The horror! Ironically the only organization that was denied tax exempt status was a liberal leaning one, and all the Tea Party ones actually do engage in political activity, and should have been denied. Are you screeching to have anyone fired for that error?

May. 24 2013 03:27 PM
robinsoncrrll from Winter Park Fl

Was listening to your program on the ubiquitous IRS scandal, which has taken on the life of a reality serial on radio as well as TV, and am suprised that NPR has gone along with the story for pulbic consumption that misses the point entirely. My understanding was that the IRS was looking into 501 C (I think) non profits and the story behind the story to those is that it is the law of the land that those--and it maybe non profits in general--are exclusively for the purpose of charity alone and having nothing to do with politics.. In 1959, the IRS i think misinterpretted the law so that the non profits could be primarily concerned with charity, and thus started the long road to non profits today for politica purposes. What has been under discuttion in Washington lately is the return of these non profits to the letter of the law---so to ask someone their politcal affilation and to ask if it that is related to a political party is really relavant to the actual legal definition of the formation of the non profits, which the show i was listening to characterized as going to far, which is a moot point, the real one being that these non profits have been operating on a misinterpretation of the actual law and should not be existing at all.
Somehow this has escaped being widely reported and this whole discussion has somehow been lost to the reality serial disussion continuing on the TV and radio and the 12 noon show i was listening to. Besides that, the people i run into care very little because most have written off our government as being corrupt, making government benefit themselves monetarily and otherwise, and using our tax dime to appeal to their bases to get reelected and whether or not the IRS was targeting tea paryers for using charities that should have been illegal save for the IRS itself condoning the illegal use of them , has no real connection to the everyday problems of a country paying taxes for no representation.

May. 24 2013 01:29 PM
chris from portland, oregon

really JHockenberry? you are joining the manufactured outrage over this minor-league bureaucratic screw-up? Do we see anything remotely close to this fury over the HUGE and LONGSTANDING problem of unpunished sexual assault in the military? Do we see Republicans grandstanding on the outrageous mis-handling of thousands of reported assaults, which has ruined lives? -- no we do not. Do we see demands for the entire hierarchy to resign or face prosecution for failing to protect service members who have been harmed? no we do not. The narrow-vision and hypocrisy over this IRS issue -- something that arose from the questionable wisdom of creating 501c4's in the first place -- it's ridiculous and disgusting.

May. 24 2013 01:27 PM

"Beyond comprehension.."
Beyond comprehension of whom? The media?
Has anybody been listening to the tone of this administration and it's zealous supporters for five years and the political actions they have taken?
This was voter suppression in the lead up to a Presidential election and they felt entitled to do it with the media acting as a cheering section. After the election has been won suddenly the politicians and press are "shocked, shocked that gambling is going on.."

May. 24 2013 09:22 AM

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