Only the IRS could unite right and left like this
Both sides are condemning the agency's targeting of Tea Party groups. The president says he won't tolerate it.
Speaking on Fox News Sunday, Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Mich., said, "I don't care if you're a conservative, a liberal, a Democrat or a Republican, this should send a chill up your spine." At left-wing Mother Jones, writer Kevin Drum argues that the scandal is being overblown but adds that "conservatives are right to be outraged and right to demand a full investigation. They suspect there might be more to it, and so would I if the shoe were on the other foot."
Speaking Monday to reporters, President Barack Obama also said he wants to get to the bottom of the issue. He added that he won't tolerate the IRS' acting politically, calling such activity outrageous.
The IRS seems to have been caught flat-footed by the surging popularity of the Tea Party.
According to The New York Times, applications for 501 (c) (4) tax-exempt status nearly doubled to more than 2,400 between 2010 and 2012. Workers at the IRS field office in Cincinnati, where such applications are processed, set 300 applications aside for further scrutiny. First, they targeted groups with the name "Tea Party" or "patriot" in their names.
Then, as the Washington Post noted, they took the effort a step further, scrutinizing groups that were critical of the government or that sought to educate people about the U.S. Constitution.
Lois Lerner, the IRS official in charge of the division that overseas nonprofit organizations, has portrayed this situation as a bureaucratic mix-up and has apologized. She has added that the agency has taken steps to ensure that a similar situation does not occur again.
Lerner's assurances obviously aren't going be good enough for members of Congress, who will want to hold hearings on the issue, particularly since former IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman testified last year that this type of targeting wasn't occurring. The White House also needs to zero in on this matter to make sure that the IRS doesn't have a political agenda and that taxpayers believe it.
What may get lost in the bigger picture, however, is that nonprofit organizations with partisan agendas are growing, especially in the wake of the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision, which did away with most restrictions on campaign contributions. The IRS can do little about this problem, because laws are too weak.
According to the Daily Beast, so-called C4 organizations have roughly a 0.1% chance of being audited. Workers in the Cincinnati field office were trying to remedy this situation but unfortunately went about it the wrong way.
Follow Jonathan Berr on Twitter @jdberr.
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Gee, I wonder why they are being condemed now instead of a year ago, or even 7-8 months ago.
I guess we didn't want to find out during an election that there might be a possiblity that people up top are targeting opponents through IRS now. That might have caused a certain someone their election, but didn't want that to tarnish his lousy record even further....
The IRS must be forcibly as blind as justice!
It's funny. The President knew this was going on. He had to know. It was all over the news a year ago. Everyone knew. It wasn't a secret.
Now ... only now ... does he find it "outrageous". It wasn't outrageous then, not when the IRS was badgering his political adversaries in an election year.
But ... then again ... this is the man heading up the same government that called conservatives a threat to homeland security while basically ignoring the real cause of 99% of the terrorism in the world.
The president was just fine with "tolerating it" until they were caught.
How many overpaid government employees have been fired?
Looks like he is still tolerating it to me.
Article 2 sub section 1 of Richar Nixon's Articles of Impeachment:
This is an impeachable offense. What is Congress waiting for?
The least tolerant, the most judgmental, the ability to justify the frivolity of the constitution ......... but only when it fits their twisted personal agenda!
Lib scum is coming down on the side of the tea party? Wow. I would think they would be sending the IRS letters of encouragement. Lib scum only believes in the bill of rights for themselves. They don't' feel conservative should have any rights at all, including the right to live.
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