One Way To Fight Voter Fraud

On Friday, One America News reported that some election battleground states are taking steps to avoid voter fraud in next year’s election. Obviously there are a number of types of voter fraud. Some states have passed laws requiring a photo identification to prove that voters are who they say they are. The current efforts are to combat electronic fraud.

The article reports:

A leg of the Department of Homeland Security recently announced its soon to be partnership with election officials and non-profit VotingWorks that would audit votes in 2020. Ballot box officers say the purpose is to prevent possible hacks and watch for faulty voting machines.

Battleground states, such as Pennsylvania and Ohio, have already embraced a voter monitoring tool known as Arlo. Four other states have reportedly adopted the tool as well. The VotingWorks sponsored tool is free for state and local election leaders, and would double-check all votes cast.

Arlo is a web-based app that uses a security method called “risk-limiting audit.” During this process, a small percentage of the paper ballots are taken at random to check if they match what the machines recorded. Although the method is simple, many places don’t use them reportedly because many states use direct electronic voting machines, which eradicates all paper trails.

This is a really good idea. We need to make sure our elections are honest. Voter fraud is a problem. Various voter integrity groups have found multiple examples of illegal registrations in various states in recent years. Voter identity requirements and spot audits are ways to assure Americans that their votes count and are not being cancelled out by illegal votes or electronic shenanigans.

Some Things To Consider As We Await The Inspector General’s Report

Real Clear Politics posted an article today by Victor Davis Hansen that reminds us of the recent history of Inspectors General. The article is titled, “The Silencing of the Inspectors General.”

The article reminds us:

For nearly eight years, the Obama administration sought to cover up serial wrongdoing by waging a veritable war against the watchdog inspectors general of various federal agencies.

In 2014, 47 of the nation’s 73 inspectors general signed a letter alleging that Obama had stonewalled their “ability to conduct our work thoroughly, independently, and in a timely manner.”

The frustrated nonpartisan auditors cited systematic Obama administration refusals to turn over incriminating documents that were central to their investigations.

The administration had purportedly tried to sidetrack an IG investigation into possible misconduct by then-Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson. In addition, the Obama administration reportedly thwarted IG investigations of Amtrak, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Troubled Asset Relief Program and the Office of Management and Budget.

Despite the campaign against these independent federal auditors, a number of inspectors general still managed to issue damning indictments of unethical behavior.

In 2012, Horowitz recommended that 14 Justice Department and ATF officials be disciplined for their conduct in the “Fast and Furious” gun-walking scandal.

A 2013 IG audit found that the IRS had targeted conservative groups for special scrutiny prior to the 2012 Obama re-election effort.

The article cites the 2014 audit that revealed that the CIA had hacked Senate Intelligence Committee’s computers. In 2016, it was revealed that Hillary Clinton had never sought approval for her private email server. Obviously the Inspectors General were not successful in holding people in government accountable for their actions in these various scandals. The Inspectors General do not have the power the criminally prosecute, but they can refer people for criminal prosecution. Obviously, there are a number of cases where this needs to be done.

The article concludes:

Soon, various inspector general reports may appear concerning FISA court abuse and improper behavior at the Department of Justice, FBI, CIA and National Security Council during the 2016 campaign cycle. The investigators are, for the most part, Obama appointees, not Trump appointees.

At some point, the idea of toothless inspectors general needs to be revisited. Something is terribly wrong when dozens of IGs found wrongdoing, only to object that their efforts were being thwarted by an Obama administration that had appointed most of them — and claimed to be scandal-free.

Finding government abuse and doing nothing about it is worse than not finding any at all.

Remember The IRS Scandal? It Just Got Worse

Yesterday The Washington Free Beacon posted an article about the IRS Scandal of targeting tea party groups and their members.

The article reports:

The Internal Revenue Service has located 6,924 documents potentially related to the targeting of Tea Party conservatives, two years after the group Judicial Watch filed a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit for them.

The watchdog group intended to find records regarding how the IRS selected individuals and organizations for audits that were requesting nonprofit tax status.

The agency will not say when it will make the documents available to the public.

“At this time, the Service is unable to provide an estimate regarding when it will complete its review of the potentially responsive documents,” the agency said. “The Service will begin producing any non-exempt, responsive documents by March 10, 2017, and, if necessary, continue to produce non-responsive records on a bi-weekly basis.”

The IRS needs to be cleaned up from top to bottom. I am sure there are good people doing their job at the IRS, but it has become obvious that the agency has become politicized in recent years. The best solution would be to abolish the IRS and go to a use tax that did not require monitoring by the IRS.

This May Be One Of Many Reasons ObamaCare Is So Expensive

On Tuesday, The Washington Free Beacon posted an article about an Inspector General audit of the Department of Health and Human Services. The purpose of the audit was to determine if the ObamaCare healthcare sign-up sites were monitoring the people who were signing up to see if they were eligible for ObamaCare.

The article reports:

The IG found that the internal controls did not always correctly verify Social Security numbers, citizenship status, annual household income, and family size information to determine eligibility.

One applicant understated her income by $7,000. According to the IG, the marketplace should have compared this income data to available electronic data sources and realized that the applicant’s income was more than 10 percent below the income listed on these data sources. Then, the marketplace should have asked the applicant for additional evidence of income.

Instead, this applicant was not only verified, but was approved to receive the advance premium tax credit.

Another example of weak internal controls was found in efforts to verify citizenship status. The marketplace did not always verify this information through the Social Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security, as was required.

The IG found that not only were there problems with internal controls, but once discrepancies were found, they were not handled properly.

…This report comes on the heels of a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report that found Healthcare.gov approved coverage for fake accounts. GAO performed undercover tests and fabricated personal data of fake applicants for coverage under Obamacare. In 11 of 12 of these fake applications, the online marketplace approved coverage and granted each account $30,000 in premium tax credits.

Sounds like a typical government program to me.

 

The Internal Revenue Service Audit Rate For Tea Party Donors

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Audit Rate for Tea Party donors is something I take personally–my husband and I were audited for the first time in 43 years after making a donation to the Tea Party. Nothing in our tax return had changed, and after a year of being told that the IRS needed more time, nothing was found.

Yesterday the Washington Times reported that after checking the donor lists the IRS collected from the Tea Party, 10 percent of those donors were audited. Kiplinger posted a story in March 2013 stating:

The IRS audits only slightly more than 1% of all individual tax returns annually.

…2012 IRS statistics show that people with incomes of $200,000 or higher had an audit rate of 3.70%, or one out of every 27 returns. Report $1 million or more of income? There’s a one-in-eight chance your return will be audited. The audit rate drops significantly for filers making less than $200,000: Less than 1% (0.94%) of such returns was audited during 2012, and the vast majority of these exams were conducted by mail.

I think there is a problem here. Until we find out who ordered the audits, I think we need to ask the ‘public servants‘ involved why they were not serving the public.

The article at the Washington Times reminds us:

Ms. Lerner ran the division overseeing nonprofit groups. She has since retired from the IRS but has refused to testify to Congress about her role in the targeting, citing her Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.

The House voted Wednesday to hold her in contempt of Congress for refusing to talk.

The Washington Times also mentions another recent problem with the IRS:

On another matter, the commissioner told the panel that he is taking steps to be able to deny agency bonuses to IRS employees who hadn’t paid their taxes. The agency’s inspector general last month reported that more than 1,000 employees received bonuses within a year of having tax problems.

Mr. Koskinen said he is working with the IRS union to rewrite their agreement so that those employees can’t be paid bonuses.

“Going forward, if someone has been disciplined for failure to comply with the tax code, they will be ineligible for a performance award,” he said.

He also said the agency would try to fire employees who cheat on their taxes.

Doesn’t all of the above fall under the category of basic common sense?

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Where Is The Accountability To Taxpayers ?

Breitbart.com is reporting today on where some of the stimulus money went.

The article reports:

A portion of an $11 million grant to help 400 low-income Detroit citizens purchase “business attire” for job interviews helped exactly two people, a city audit reveals.

The audit revealed that the clothing program was supposed to help 400 people. Instead, two people were helped. The people asking for the clothing were required to have a job interview scheduled. Part of the audit included an investigation into the purchase of $182,000 worth of high-end furniture for a department office. In 2009, the department received more than $11 million in stimulus funding and created a service center. 

The article reports:

The center, at 1970 Larned, included the Customer Choice Pantry, the New Beginnings Clothing Boutique and a call center that had the capacity to service 60,000 families in need. The boutique was to provide business attire for low-income residents for job interviews. 

This is sad. The money could have been used to help people out of poverty. Instead it is used to build government infrastructure. Until we have a poverty program that has incentives for government bureaucrats to get people out of poverty instead of building their own facilities and job security, we will never end the poverty cycle.

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