IRS Scandal Revisited

IRS Building

IRS Building (Photo credit: afagen)

Since I last wrote about the IRS’s improper targeting of Tea Party groups for scrutiny of their tax-exemption applications, it appears the situation is less nefarious than originally thought. The culprit appears to be incompetence, lack of guidance, and an absence of clear guidelines as opposed to outright partisan targeting of political opponents.

What we have learned since May 14:

To play Devil’s advocate, one can make an argument that the IRS was doing their job. Groups that have the words “anti-government” and “anti-tax” in their names or in their mission statements could be red flags for abusing/ignoring IRS tax-exemption rules, so they were profiled. This is similar to law enforcement profiling of Muslims (FBI and CIA searching for terrorists) and other minority groups (New York City’s Stop-and-Frisk program), which many conservatives support. Still, progressives would be outraged if IRS officials were targeting liberal groups, so they must be just as concerned when it is done to conservative groups.


The bigger issue is that while there are real social welfare groups, some political groups are without doubt hiding behind the 501(c)(4) designation so that they can raise money without being subject to disclosure. That needs to change. If they want to be involved in politics, they should organize as a 527, where they will still receive tax-exempt status but have to reveal their contributors.

Republicans in Congress continue to search for a connection between the IRS and the White House in this scandal. We’ll see how it all transpires… Our leaders still need to be focusing on jobs, but sadly, that seems to be much less of a priority for them at the moment. Scandals are so much more fun.

Cross-posted at The Feisty Liberal

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One thought on “IRS Scandal Revisited

  1. Pingback: Darrell Issa’s Folly | Everblog

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