Speaker Pelosi Has Jumped The Shark

CNS News posted an article today about a bill proposed by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. In an effort to continue to harass the President, Speaker Pelosi has introduced legislation that would require all candidates for president and vice-president to release their tax returns. There would be no requirement for candidates for Congress to release their tax returns.

The article reports:

The provision is part of H.R. 1—the “For the People Act”—which Pelosi introduced Friday.

A summary of the bill says that it includes a section titled “Presidential Tax Transparency.” This section, says the summary: “Requires sitting presidents and vice presidents, as well as candidates for the presidency and vice presidency, to release their tax returns.”

In 2017, when members of Congress were calling on President Donald Trump to release his tax returns, Roll Call asked all 535 members of the House and Senate to release theirs. As Roll Call reported at the time, 6 members did release their tax returns as requested by the publication. Another 6 had already released theirs elsewhere. Another 45 members, Roll Call reported, had previously and partially released their tax returns. But 473 members had not released their tax returns and did not respond to Roll Call’s request that they do so.

Rep. Nancy Pelosi was one of the members, Roll Call reported, who had not released her tax returns.

At an April 2017 press briefing promoting similar legislation that would have required the president—but not members of Congress—to release their tax returns, Pelosi said that president’s do not have a “right to privacy” when it comes to their tax returns.

I don’t mean to be picky here, but if Congress is willing to pass a law that states that candidates for president and vice-president have to release their tax returns, then Congress should have to release theirs.

I have a feeling that for the next two years the House of Representatives is going to spend more time working on laws to make life difficult for President Trump than it is making laws that will be helpful to Americans. That is truly sad.

Only Monitoring The Lawbreakers–Not Arresting Them

CNS News posted an article on Friday about identity theft in America.

The article reports:

The Internal Revenue Service in 2011 through 2016 documented more than 1.3 million cases of identity theft perpetrated by illegal aliens whom the IRS had given Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers (ITIN), which are only given to people who are ineligible to work in the United States or receive Social Security Numbers, according to information published by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA).

However, in response to inquiries from CNSNews.com, the IRS could not say if it had referred even one of these cases for criminal prosecution.

Imagine how you would feel if you were one of the people whose identity had been stolen–would you want the person prosecuted?

The article reminds us that using a fake or stolen Social Security is a felony.

The article includes a picture of the types of identity theft involved:

The article further reports:

A January 2004 TIGTA report said: “The IRS Office of Chief Counsel determined that, ‘the group of persons with United States federal tax obligations who are not eligible to obtain an SSN is limited to non-citizens who either do not reside in the United States or reside here illegally.”

In 1999, TIGTA released a report warning that with its ITIN program the IRS had embraced a policy to “‘legalize’ illegal aliens” that “increases the potential for fraud.”

In a follow-up report in 2004, TIGTA concluded that ITIN holders who filed tax returns using a Social Security Number were in fact illegal aliens.

“Our conclusion is that, generally, the individuals who file a United States (U.S.) Individual Income Tax Return (Form 1040) with an ITIN as the identification number and receive wages that are identified with a Social Security Number (SSN) on the attached Wage and Tax Statements (Form W-2) are unauthorized resident aliens,” said TIGTA.

Then-Deputy IRS Commissioner Mark Matthews responded to this TIGTA report by conceding that ITIN holders who filed tax returns reporting wages earned in the United States were likely to be illegal aliens and that if they used a SSN it was “stolen or fabricated.”

“The Service has concluded that most resident aliens who hold ITINs and who report and pay tax from wage income are not legally employed in the United States,” he told TIGTA in a memo. “This is because such a taxpayer would have a valid SSN if the holder were legally employed in the United States, making procurement of an ITIN unnecessary and duplicative.”

The article explains the process for dealing with identity theft:

When it notifies victims of employment identity theft, the IRS does not tell the victim the name of the person who stole their identity. The notification form it used in its pilot program told the victim: “Federal law prevents us from providing specific details regarding the identity of the individual who used your SSN for employment purposes.”

However, the IRS can refer identity theft cases to the Justice Department for criminal prosecution.

So, how many of the 1,346,485 cases of employment-related identity theft the IRS documented in 2011 through 2016 did it refer to DOJ? How many of the 1,227,579 cases in 2017 where an ITIN holder used an SSN that was fabricated or had not been issued to them did the IRS refer to DOJ?

The IRS’s Criminal Investigation division publishes an annual report stating how many “prosecution recommendations” it makes each fiscal year and the crimes for which it makes them. In the six fiscal years from 2011 through 2016, according to these reports, IRS CI made 20,986 prosecution recommendations and 4,329 of them were for identity theft cases.

If everyone one of these identity theft prosecution recommendations had been for a case of employment identity theft—rather than refund-fraud identity theft—that would have equaled 0.3 percent of the 1,346,485 ITIN-holder cases the IRS documented in those years.

It seems to me that we should prosecute these cases and send those committing the crimes back to their home countries. It sounds as if our government is not at all interested in protecting Americans from identity theft.