RUSH: You know, folks, on this IRS business, I think the 2010 midterms really shocked the Democrats. I think they might have expected to maybe lose some seats, although, actually, my memory — no, no, no, no, no, my memory is that they thought with the overwhelming popularity of Obama it might be the first time that a sitting president’s party increased seats. Well, it wouldn’t be the first time. I think Bush did it. But they were clearly hoping for at least a draw. In the 2010 midterms they got shellacked. It’s one of the reasons I got the 2012 presidential race so wrong. I was expecting a similar kind of turnout that we got in 2010. I goofed up. Midterms are not presidential turnout years. And I admit I was hoping.
I was hoping the turnout in 2012 would duplicate 2010, but there were a lot of factors that mitigated against that. We now know what they are. Among them, the Republican candidate just wasn’t that thrilling to the Republican base. Be that as it may, the 2010 midterms, this IRS targeting of Tea Party groups predated the midterms, but I think the midterms really intensified it, and I think it was at that point that the Democrats and the IRS began to seriously harass Tea Party groups who were applying for tax-exempt status.
Now, we know also that they weren’t just targeting Tea Party groups for tax-exempt status. “On Jan. 15, 2012 the [IRS] decided to target ‘political action type organizations involved in limiting/expanding Government, educating on the Constitution and Bill of Rights, social economic reform movement.,'” any of those things that a group said it was about red flagged the IRS and they started harassing. So if you’re a Tea Party group and you’re applying for tax-exempt status, you want to be 501(c)(3) and you say that you want to educate people on the Constitution and Bill of Rights, that was a red flag. And the IRS started targeting you because to them that meant you were conservative.
If you said that you were an organization that was interested in a limited government, that red flagged your group to the IRS. It was a really insidious thing. So it wasn’t just certain terms like “Tea Party” that would get you flagged by the IRS, but any and all criticism of government. It also turns out the IRS scrutiny had been going on since at least 2010. And you remember how a bunch of conservative groups were mocked as paranoid by the media and the administration for claiming this was going on at the time? I had all kinds of things flowing back to me from my memory when this story broke.
A Republican congressmen even wrote to the head of the IRS tax exempt organization division, Lois Lerner, to raise questions about this. But no one in the media ever bothered to investigate any of it. Think about how this kind of news and Benghazi could have changed the elections just last November. Just like the full disclosure of Benghazi might have changed the elections. But in both cases the one-party media didn’t want to investigate anything that might hurt Obama’s reelection.
So, meanwhile, we’re supposed to believe Lois Lerner, who said that she just found out about what was going on this week, even though it’s now clear that she knew about this at least as early as July of 2011. But the scandal dates back to 2010. Lois Lerner is also claiming no one outside of the IRS ordered this scrutiny. She said it was done by low-level workers in Cincinnati in the IRS office there, even though complaints had been registered by at least 27 conservative groups from all over the country. If it weren’t for the persistence of those groups and legal foundations that were assisting them, continually writing the inspector general’s office of the IRS asking them to look into this, because this was beyond the pale. And finally they did, and the story broke, and the dam broke, actually, on Friday, and now everybody’s in CYA mode.
The question is how long is this gonna last, what kind of legs is it gonna have? My theory, as I told you, Friday night, the most often asked question I got at a party was, “Why now, why all of a sudden is the media on this IRS story? Why is media giving Obama trouble on the IRS?” And I told you what I thought in the last hour. The IRS is crucial to ’em. They cannot afford the IRS to be damaged. If something like this happens they gotta get in there, get it, fix it quick, and get out, because the IRS is the tax collection agency, the money collection agency of big government, of socialism, of Obamacare, 16,000 brand-new IRS agents for Obamacare alone.
They’ve got to do what they can to make it appear that that agency’s being brought to heel. So a lot of this I think is for show, and it’s gonna be real interesting. Obama got a question about it in his press conference. He said (imitating Obama) “Well, you know, this is outrageous. I’m gonna look into it. We can’t accept this.” The media will probably accept that answer and move on. We’ll see if it has any legs.
RUSH: To the phones. People been waiting patiently as always. Up first, John in Philadelphia. Hello, sir. Thank you for the call.
CALLER: Oh. Thank you very much. You know, I think this is a very important issue. This isn’t the first time that the Obama administration has abused the IRS’ powers. In 2010, at the same time they were going after the Tea Party, Austan Goolsbee — the chairman of the president’s council of economic advisers — was using the IRS to go after the Koch brothers, probably somebody that they hated as much as the Tea Party. There was a press briefing where Goolsbee told the press how much money the Koch brothers have been paying in taxes. You know, at first they said that the information was “publicly available,” and when that turned out not to be the case, the administration said, “Well, you know, he simply accidentally guessed the exact amount that they pay.”
RUSH: You know, that’s exactly right. I’d forgotten that, but you’re exactly right. Austan Goolsbee did tell the press how little the Koch brothers were paying in taxes — in his perspective, how little — and there was no way he coulda known that.
RUSH: Unless somebody at the IRS had shared the data with him.
CALLER: Right. This is cover-up by the Obama administration. The inspector general for the IRS was supposed to release a report on Goolsbee, and after the furor died down they kept on delaying it.
CALLER: Eventually they just never released the report on Goolsbee. So this is one thing. If you want to go and show that this is a pattern — you know, and Goolsbee’s not just some low-level staff person. He was chairman of the Council of Economic Advisors. And the Obama administration should finally be forced to release the inspector general report on what Goolsbee knew and how he released that information.
RUSH: Well, technically it’s not how he released it; how he got it. There’s only one way he could know it, and that is if he was able to pick up the phone, call the IRS, and say, “Give me the numbers on the tax return for the Koch brothers and for Koch Industries,” and if the IRS gave him the information, bammo! Major, major violation. And, you’re right. They’ve tried to let the passage of time cause everybody to forget about it, because there have been events take place in subsequent days which have taken precedence.
Those events have caused everybody to forget about it. You didn’t. You’re exactly right. I’ll tell you something, folks. If you want to know — and this a wild guess. Everybody has their theories — and I, of course, El Rushbo have mine. But I think this intense IRS focus on Tea Party groups… Now, we know that it started in 2010, and you could say that it might have some relationship in time to the passage of Obamacare, which was signed into law on March 21st of 2010.
But do you remember when the Citizens United case was handed down by the Supreme Court, you remember how that decision just celebrity them into conniption fits? It upset them so much that Obama called out the Supreme Court while justices were sitting in the front row at one of his State of the Union addresses. He challenged them on that ruling. He told them they were wrong. Remember Samuel Alito sitting there shaking his head, “No, no, no,” because Obama was totally mischaracterizing the decision?
Now, what was that decision? Citizens United was a group led by Dave Bossie. Essentially the court said that corporations are people, too, and can make political donations. That sent them through the roof, because up ’til then, corporations — which are, among other things, large repositories-of-money — were prevented from entering the political process by way of contributions and donations to issues, causes, and candidates.
The Supreme Court said that was unconstitutional because money is speech.
When you are donating to a cause, you’re speaking about a cause, you’re advocating for a cause. It’s the same as free speech. That ruling sent them up the wall. “Corporations aren’t people,” they say, and they thought that that decision was the worst. That may have been the thing at the time that angered them and frightened them the most, and so that decision could also have a heck of a lot to do with the IRS.
Folks, this “low-level staffer” business?
I don’t buy it for a second.
I don’t buy this notion that you’ve got some rogue players at IRS — young, low-level ideologues — taking it upon themselves to do this kind of thing. I know and you know that leftists are all activists. None of them are passive, particularly those in government, in any bureaucracy. They were not passive. They are there for activist reasons, and they are there to sabotage the right wing and Republicans and conservatives every which way they can.
It is why they want to be in these bureaucracies.
It is why they want to populate them.
It’s what they’re trained to do, by the way, when they come out of the various schools they graduate from, particularly in the Ivy League — and, by the way, this is not just in politics. It’s in my business, too. I don’t want to go into detail, but we’ve got the same problem.
I’ll tell you a little story. Let me just illustrate it this way. This is the best analogy I could give you off the top of my head. Fox News hits the air in 1996. It takes a while, but eventually Fox News becomes number one. It has more viewers in the target demographic than any other cable news network. And they were still not being purchased by media buyers in the basements of advertising agencies. The media buyers, the people buying bodies, there are a whole bunch of different kinds of advertising. And the kind of advertising I’m talking about is what’s called CPM, cost-per-thousand, where you buy advertising, your message is gonna be seen by the largest number of bodies, as opposed to results oriented where you run a commercial with a phone number or something that is used to measure immediate result.
The kind of advertising I’m talking about, they’re not measuring immediate result. They’re just being told by the agency that’s making the buy that your commercial is gonna be seen by X numbers of millions of people. Fox was not on those buys because the activist liberal people in the basements of these agencies doing the cost-per-thousand buys were purposely sending money to CNN to prop them up when they had no audience. This is the same thing, same kind of people, same basement activists doing whatever they can to promote what they believe and harm their opponents, same exact kind of thing. What Obama and the regime want you to believe is that these were some out of control people that were acting without orders, who are out of control, and we’re gonna find ’em, and we’re gonna punish ’em and we’re gonna make sure it doesn’t happen again. When in fact it happened by design. That’s the dirty little secret, to use an overused phrase.
RUSH: About Citizens United, we know Obama and his campaign were obsessed trying to find out who the donors to conservative groups were. And that was at the center of Citizens United. And what we now know, the IRS was asking Tea Party groups about their donors. Obama and his people were obsessed trying to find out who the donors to conservative groups were. That was the center of Citizens United. And now we know that that’s what the IRS was asking Tea Party groups about, was who were their donors.
Do you remember the name Hickenlooper? Does the name Hickenlooper mean anything to you? How about Frank VanderSloot? Does that name mean anything to you? “Just months after being slimed by President Barack ObamaÂ’s re-election campaign, Mitt Romney supporter and businessman Frank VanderSloot was informed that he was going to be audited not only by the Internal Revenue Service, but by the Labor Department as well.
“VanderSlootÂ’s saga was told by columnist Kimberley Strassel in the Wall Street Journal last July. In April 2012, VanderSloot, who served as the national co-chair of Mitt RomneyÂ’s presidential finance committee, was one of eight Romney backers to be defamed as ‘wealthy individuals with less-than-reputable records’ in a post on the Obama campaignÂ’s website. The post, entitled ‘Behind the curtain: a brief history of RomneyÂ’s donors,’ singled out VanderSloot for being a ‘litigious, combative and a bitter foe of the gay rights movement.’
“Two months later, the IRS informed VanderSloot he and his wife were going to be audited, Strassel reported. Two weeks after that, VanderSloot was notified by the Labor Department that it was going to ‘audit workers he employs on his Idaho-based cattle ranch under the federal visa program for temporary agriculture workers,’ reported Strassel. … In her column, Strassel raised the specter that the IRS targeted VanderSloot for his political activism.”
Did the White House use Romney’s tax returns against him? Was Harry Reid getting his crazy allegations about Romney’s taxes from the IRS? Remember when Harry Reid said, “Mitt Romney hasn’t paid taxes.”
“How do you know?”
“Well, good friends have told me.”
“I’m not gonna tell you who’s told me.” But it is clear, Austan Goolsbee demonstrates, you could pick up the phone, call the IRS, and they’d tell you what you wanted to know. Somebody at the IRS, it had to be the IRS, told Goolsbee about the Kochs’ tax returns. How did Harry Reid find out about Mitt Romney’s taxes? And we know that all of these Romney donors were targeted for audits by the IRS. We know that what’s-her-face, Janet Napolitano, in a memo to the Department of Homeland Security, warned law enforcement officials to be on the lookout for right-wing extremist grouped who were concerned about illegal immigration, abortion, increasing federal power and restrictions on firearms.
Folks, the fact of the matter is, this administration has targeted right-wing groups from practically every bureaucracy in the government. The idea that it’s something new and uncommon from the IRS is ludicrous. Clinton did it. Clinton had targeted audits of conservative groups. It isn’t anything new. But for some reason the media has joined the chorus of criticism on this one. And I’m convinced it’s because they have to save the IRS, and so it’s a little bit of damage control, among other things.
RUSH: Under Clinton the IRS went after the NRA, the Heritage Foundation, the National Review, the American Spectator, Freedom Alliance, American Policy Center, Citizens for Honest Government, the Progress and Freedom Foundation, Concerned Women for America, and on and on and on. But just remember, folks, what Elijah Cummings said during the whistleblower hearings on Benghazi. There is death in life, and that’s all you need to know about Benghazi. Next question on the IRS so we can dispatch that.