Have nothing to do with the [evil] things that people do, things that belong to the darkness. Instead, bring them out to the light... [For] when all things are brought out into the light, then their true nature is clearly revealed...

-Ephesians 5:11-13

Tag Archives: IRS

Social Security Stops Seizing Refund Checks for Decades-Old Debts

Social Security Poster: old man

Social Security Poster: old man (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Mary Grice, a resident of Maryland, was expecting her refund checks of $4,462 from the IRS and the state of Maryland. They never came. Instead she got a letter from the Social Security Administration (SSA) saying that they took them to settle a debt owed by her father – in 1977. When the Washington Post learned that she was filing suit over the matter, things began to happen. She told them: “It was a shock. What incenses me is the way they went about this. They gave me no notice.”

Her attorney, Robert Vogel, amped up the issue, putting the SSA on the defensive. Their explanation was spotty. Apparently

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Fewer IRS Audits again this year

English: Anti-United States Internal Revenue S...

The whining from IRS Commissioner John Koskinen began almost from the day he was sworn in as the latest head of the dreaded agency back in December: not enough funding, not enough agents, not enough audits, too many responsibilities, nobody cares, oh darn.  Last year the IRS audited less than 1 percent of all returns from individuals, the lowest rate since 2005. Whined Koskinen, this year “the numbers will

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Al Sharpton Adroitly Sidesteps Charges he was an FBI Informant, with the Media’s help

“Reverend” Al Sharpton’s denials have just enough ring of truth about them that the media are accepting them at face value. On Monday The Smoking Gun’s three investigative reporters published their nearly 30-page exposé “Al Sharpton’s Secret Work as FBI Informant” based on documents they obtained from the FBI under the Freedom of Information Act. On Tuesday the media began publishing his denials.

USA Today’s lead read:

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Senator Levin Castigates Caterpillar for Using Legal Loopholes

Caterpillar logo

Caterpillar logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Using the power of the bully pulpit as chairman of the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, Michigan Senator Carl Levin attacked Caterpillar on Tuesday for using loopholes in the law to save the company an estimated $2.4 billion in taxes since 2000. Executives from Caterpillar as well as the company’s accounting firm PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PWC) were called on the carpet for

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Why do Tea Party Groups Seek Tax Exempt Status in the First Place?

This article first appeared at The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Friday, February 7, 2014:

Midst the outrage following President Obama’s declaration that there’s “not even a smidgen of corruption” inside the Internal Revenue Service have come some interesting questions: just how far up the chain of command does the corruption go? Does it reach to the top levels of the IRS? Does it reach to the White House? Does it reach to the president himself?

Who cares? Those are the wrong questions.

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At Bottom, Obamacare Is Just Plain Unadulterated Force

This article first appeared at The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Wednesday, January 15th, 2014:

The warm, smiling actors in the Obamacare ads are hiding something. Behind the seductive invitation to buy health insurance because it’s the right thing to do, because your friends are buying it, because it’s “smart,” lies the

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America’s Economic Freedom Slide Continues, says the Heritage Foundation

The latest Index of Economic Freedom released by the Heritage Foundation and the Wall Street Journal shows just how successful the Bush and Obama administrations have been in their seeming attempts to turn the United States into a third world economy. The index shows

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Only One-Quarter of ObamaCare enrollees are young and healthy

With the announcement on Monday that less than one-fourth of the 2.2 million people who have signed up for ObamaCare are young and healthy – between ages 18 and 34 – have come questions about the viability of ObamaCare itself. What if those young and healthy don’t sign up but decide to pay the penalty instead? What happens to the health insurance companies’ “model” – the actuarial assumptions made to estimate premiums? What will happen to premiums in the future?

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Swiss Banks are now Virtual Agents of the IRS

This article first appeared at The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Monday, December 30th, 2013:

Writing from his jail cell, former UBS banker and present whistleblower Brad Birkenfeld took pains to justify himself and his actions:

With the expansion of criminal conduct in the world (including, but not limited to: intelligence agencies, corrupt dictators, drug cartels, arms dealers, corporate malfeasance, individual tax dodgers, etc.) Switzerland was the ideal offshore jurisdiction to

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Swiss banks are now IRS agents

Bloomberg’s note on Monday that Swiss banks were having a hard time complying with the terms of an agreement between the Swiss government and the US Department of Justice hardly caused a ripple of media concern much less outrage. The time for such expressions is long past.

In accordance with the deal cut back in August 2009 the Department of Justice now has the power to force Swiss banks to

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Contractor behind the Obamacare website is not the only one with problems

Nearly one-quarter of CGI Group’s $1.3 billion in revenues last year came from the United States government which included $90 million to build the Obamacare website, Healthcare.gov. Unfortunately, overruns have taken that number up to $112 million, and could exceed

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Obamacare and Omelets

This article was first published at The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Friday, November 22nd, 2013: 

 

A government bureaucrat who used to work for the Obama administration and now holds down a job at the Kaiser Family Foundation, Karen Pollitz, explained why there is so much pain being inflicted with the imposition of Obamacare onto the backs of the citizenry:

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Obama’s trust and approval ratings drop to the lowest level since his inauguration

Tuesday’s polling results from the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute reflect America’s increasing unhappiness with Obamacare: its rollout, the president’s dissembling, the delays at ObamaCare.gov, and so on. And that unhappiness is consistent across all voters of all ages, including

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The Press Release from the Treasury Department is Pure Propaganda

This article was first published at The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Monday, October 7, 2013:

The so-called “brinkmanship” press release by the Treasury Department reveals far more about the willingness of the media to report and repeat a canard that it does about the “crisis” facing the US if the government defaults.

Here are the title and just the opening paragraphs from the Treasury Department:

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Scary Default Scenarios Based on Faulty Treasury Department Release

Within hours of the “brinkmanship” press release by the U.S. Department of the Treasury, major media began to repeat the highly dubious risks outlined by the department without reading carefully exactly what it contained. The headline and opening paragraph were all that the echo chambers needed:

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Belgian Government Shutdown a Lesson for the US?

This article was first published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Friday, October 4th, 2013:

With all the noise and rhetoric over the awful, catastrophic, world-ending US government shutdown, little has been said about the Clinton shutdown and nothing at all about the 589 days Belgium went without a national government in 2010 and 2011.

There’s no chance that the present US “shutdown” will threaten that record.

Belgium is a quirky little country with just 11 million people. Its government, when it has one, is a combination of

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US Government Shutdown Not Likely to Break Belgium’s Record of 589 Days

With news that the partial US government shutdown won’t be resolved for at least the next two weeks, and will then only likely end when the debt limit crisis forces it, commentators have resurrected the history of the last government shutdown during the Clinton administration. But little if any media attention is being paid to the longest government shutdown,

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The Messy First Day of Obamacare

This article was first published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Wednesday, October 2nd, 2013:

 

The president anticipated glitches when his key legislative centerpiece was rolled out on Tuesday, and he got them:

In the first week, the first month, the first three months, I would suspect that there will be glitches.

This is 50 states, a lot of people signing up for something. And there are going to be problems. And I guarantee you, there will be problems….

Even fawning CNN had to admit there were problems: “We tried in about 20 different states’ [exchanges]. In 12 of them we hit glitches. Sometimes it made it impossible to sign up. There were error messages….”

And then Obama had the chutzpah to compare the Obamacare roll out with the recent Apple roll out of its new operating system:

Consider that just a couple of weeks ago, Apple rolled out a new mobile operating system and within days they found a glitch, so they fixed it.

I don’t remember anybody suggesting [that] Apple should stop selling iPhones or iPads or threatening to shut down the company if they didn’t.

There’s just one tiny problem with this analogy. I don’t remember any government agent holding a gun to my head forcing me to buy an iPhone.

But the Obamacare Kool-Aid has affected others, not just Obama. HHS secretary Kathleen Sebelius called the glitches a great success:

We have had a few slowdowns, a few glitches, but it’s sort of a great problem to have. It’s based on the fact that the volume has been so high.

Unspoken is the assumption that Obamacare hits on exchange websites is so high because Obamacare is so popular. Isn’t that like saying that paying income taxes must be popular because so many people file income tax returns?

The problems were rife, all across the country. The moment New York’s new healthcare website was launched at 8AM, it crashed. Seekers “were greeted with error messages … [and] the links for employers, employees and brokers also experienced periodic problems,” according to CBS News. In California an insurance broker scheduled an appointment with two of his clients to be the first in the state to sign up for Obamacare, but had to cancel the appointment when he discovered that he wasn’t “approved” to sign them up, and he couldn’t tell his clients how much they would have to pay for the insurance anyway – the premium calculation bot wasn’t working. Besides, he learned later that his customers’ applications wouldn’t be received by the insurance companies for at least a month. Aside from that, things went well.

In Washington, DC, people trying to determine if they were eligible either for Medicaid or for subsidies to purchase insurance on its exchange will have to wait. In Vermont, that state’s exchange won’t be able to accept premium payments until sometime in the middle of November. In Oregon, only a few specially selected individuals were allowed to get online as its rollout was only a “beta test” – the real rollout would be taking place later.

The administration admitted that its own website was suffering a delay in its online shopping system for small business owners, along with a delay in its Spanish-speaking site. In Colorado, its exchange, Connect for Colorado, was forced to delay certain computer functions, and applicants had to call a hotline to complete the process. In Iowa there were no certified “navigators” to take those calls. Reuters noted that these glitches showed up in 24 of the state exchanges. Maryland’s exchange was delayed for four hours, and Minnesota said it would be late in the day when it would be able to confirm its connection to the federal data base.

So much for the triumphant start. As Joel Ario, a health care consultant who used to work at the Department of Health and Human Services, said: “Nobody is going to say we’re not starting on October 1st. But in some situations you have seen a redefinition of what ‘start’ means.”

Sarah Kliff, a writer for the Washington Post who has been tracking the Obamacare launch for months, said that yesterday wasn’t really “the big day” after all – it was just the beginning of a “soft launch”:

Instead, it’s January 1st, the day that the individual mandate takes effect and any plans purchased on the [exchanges] actually kick in.

The space between October and December is viewed … as a soft launch: the time to make the new web sites live, sort out the kinks and get the sites in prime condition for the beginning of 2014.

Enrollment started on Tuesday but any insurance purchased won’t become effective until January 1. And for those who delay, they have until March 15th to make their purchases or else be faced with paying a fine – oops, a tax, not a fee.

There are some other problems, too. According to the Kaiser Foundation, more than three quarters of those without insurance didn’t even know that the launch date was October 1st. And how about this for a marketing problem: the insurance companies will have to persuade healthy young people to buy insurance they don’t want in order to offset the costs of unhealthy people pouring into the system. Here’s how the Associated Press explained it:

One of the biggest challenges to the law’s success is the ability of insurers to persuade relatively young and healthy people to buy insurance as a way to balance the costs for the sicker people who are likely to get their coverage as quickly as possible.

Previous such rollouts have hardly been successful. When Massachusetts opened its version of Obamacare in late 2006, it took a total of 18 separate interactions – web visits, emails, or phone calls – before an individual could get coverage. After 9/11, the FBI tried – for 12 years – to upgrade its computer system. It began with its Virtual Case File system which was given up for lost in 2005 after $600 million of taxpayers’ money, in favor of its Sentinel system, which finally went live last year.

The task with Obamacare is equally daunting: hooking up the national databases at the Department of the Treasury (the IRS) and the Department of Homeland Security with each of the states’ exchanges. As James Pethokoukis, a writer for the American Enterprise Institute, asked: “What could possible go wrong?”

All of these glitches may be considered in another light: they build the case for a national single-payer health care system that would do away with insurance companies and those messy and confusing state exchanges. Harry Reid, bless his statist heart, was interviewed on Las Vegas’ PBS program “Nevada Week in Review” last month, and was asked “where do we go from here?” Reid, for once, was crystal clear:

What we’ve done with Obamacare is [take] a step in the right direction, but we’re far from having something that’s going to work forever.

When pressed by one of the panelists about whether that meant that Obamacare was just one more step towards a single-payer, insurance- and exchange-free health care system run entirely by the government, Reid said: “Yes, yes. Absolutely, yes.”

For totalitarians like Reid, Obama, Sebelius, and others, those glitches truly signify success after all.

————————–

Sources:

The Washington Post: Reports of problems precede launch of Obamacare

Associated Press: Under fire, ‘Obamacare’ going live — with glitches

The National Review Online: Obamacare: Wrong in Practice, Wrong in Theory

Reason.com: Eight Things That Could Go Wrong With Obamacare

The Washington Post: The White House says Obamacare begins on Oct. 1. Not really.

The Las Vegas Sun: Reid says Obamacare just a step toward eventual single-payer system

Politico: President Obama: Expect months of ‘glitches’

Reuters: Obamacare launch hits early hitch as web traffic snarls up sites

Associated Press: ‘Obamacare’ exchanges start up as gov’t shuts down

Politico: Obamacare D-Day becomes a soft launch

The Wall Street Journal: FBI Files Go Digital, After Years of Delays

Natural News: Obamacare exchanges hit with over 50 percent fail rate; feds claim the worse the glitches, the bigger the success!

Glitches, as Anticipated, Plague First Day of Obamacare

California insurance broker Jason Andrew planned to help a couple of his clients sign up for Obamacare on Tuesday, the first day of the federal health care roll out, but couldn’t, for two reasons: first, he hadn’t yet been certified by the state to do so, and secondly, he couldn’t get accurate quotes from the state exchange’s computer. Andrew just laughed it off:

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Why Does Obama Want to Start a War?

This article was first published at The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Friday, August 30th, 2013:

 

With President Obama isolated in his quest to justify his pending attacks on Syria, why would he press on? Why would he incur the wrath not only of an increasing percentage of the American people, but his supporters as well?

Everywhere one looks, people are running away from Obama. In Canada,

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Many of the articles on Light from the Right first appeared on either The New American or the McAlvany Intelligence Advisor.

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