Golf clap, thank you, Tribune!
Can we get on with the prosecution, the ratting out of the higher ups and the jailing, please?
Via Chicago Tribune:
“It’s inexcusable, and Americans are right to be angry about it, and I am angry about it. I will not tolerate this kind of behavior in any agency, but especially in the IRS, given the power that it has and the reach that it has into all of our lives. … I’ll do everything in my power to make sure nothing like this happens again by holding the responsible parties accountable ….”
— President Barack Obama condemning “misconduct” at the Internal Revenue Service, May 15, 2013
All of us understand that IRS misconduct, right? And we know which parties Obama needs to hold accountable. It’s obvious, right? End of story:
We learned at the get-go of this scandal that, during a long run-up to the 2012 presidential election, IRS officials extensively hassled conservative groups that had applied for tax-exempt status. Congressional Republicans pounced on this as an attempt to hijack the election.
But wait. Early last week we read that the agency used keywords such as “progressive” to target left-leaning groups, too, for extra scrutiny. “New IRS chief: Lists targeted more than tea partyers,” said the Chicago Tribune. “Documents Show Liberals in I.R.S. Dragnet,” said The New York Times. Congressional Democrats pounced on the suggestion that the agency had treated conservatives and liberals with equal indignity.
But wait some more. On Wednesday a Treasury Department inspector general undercut the equal-abuse argument: From May 2010 to May 2012, the IRS had flagged for added scrutiny six of the 20 applicant groups with words such as “progressive” in their titles. “In comparison, our audit found that 100 percent of the (292) tax-exempt applications with Tea Party, Patriots or 9/12 in their names were processed as potential political cases” — that is, groups possibly too political to merit tax-exempt status. “While we have multiple sources of information corroborating the use of tea party and other related criteria,” wrote Inspector General J. Russell George, “including employee interviews, emails and other documents, we found no indication in any of these other materials that ‘progressives’ was a term used to refer cases for scrutiny for political-campaign intervention.”