The IRS Admits it Targeted Conservative Groups

From the Associated Press:

The Internal Revenue Service is apologizing for inappropriately flagging conservative political groups for additional reviews during the 2012 election to see if they were violating their tax-exempt status.

Lois Lerner, who heads the IRS unit that oversees tax-exempt groups, said organizations that included the words “tea party” or “patriot” in their applications for tax-exempt status were singled out for additional reviews.

Over at National Review, Kevin Williamson responds in a manner both succinct and just:

Using the IRS to target political opponents is banana-republic stuff, a clear and intolerable violation of the public trust, not to mention relevant criminal statutes. This is not the sort of offense that should get these IRS workers fired from their jobs — it is the sort of offense that should get them five years in prison.

  1. Peter Robinson
    C
    Randy Weivoda: The danger of having a tax code that is tens of thousands of pages long is that everyone is probably guilty of some violation without even realizing it.  That makes it a perfect tool for harassing the enemies of those in power. · in 1 minute

    Exactly so.

  2. Randy Weivoda

    The danger of having a tax code that is tens of thousands of pages long is that everyone is probably guilty of some violation without even realizing it.  That makes it a perfect tool for harassing the enemies of those in power.

  3. David Knights

    Our tax system only works if the vast majority of the citizens voluntarily cooperate with it.  Once citizens begin to believe it has been politicized, compliance may fall.  If even 10 or 20% of the citizens fail to comply, the system will fall apart.  The political hacks in the government are playing with fire and do not realize it.

  4. Pseudodionysius

    So, it was a Vast Revenue Wing Conspiracy. VRWC.

  5. Fricosis Guy

    So does anyone wonder why people use screen names? Why tempt the beast?

  6. Roberto

    This story is just jaw dropping in so many ways:

    A senior official from the Internal Revenue Service conceded Friday afternoon that she is “not good at math” during a conference call on the IRS targeting of conservative groups during the 2012 election

    IRS says targeting of “tea party” label wasn’t political. But can’t point to non-conservative-sounding words that were targeted also.

    Thank goodness it wasn’t political, I am so relieved.

  7. John Peabody

    This is also why government officials, and officeholders, should never even joke about IRS audits.

  8. Cardinal East
    QuickerBrownFox: You forgot the best part:

    Lerner said the practice,initiated by low-level workersin Cincinnati, was wrong and she apologized while speaking at a conference in Washington.

    Ugh, tell me about it, L-squared! Those low-level federal employees are ALWAYS taking the initiative to do more work for which they won’t be recognized.

    Yep. Let’s recall that back in the fall, when the contours of Benghazigate were becoming apparent, the Administration and the ABC Media similarly argued that bad decisions by low-level people in the State Department were to blame for Obama’s denials that the Benghazi facility had been attacked by terrorists (as stated by Biden in the vice-presidential debate on October 11). With a federal government as large as ours, there’s plenty of unnamed lower tier colleagues to blame for one’s incompetence.

  9. Fricosis Guy

    Oh, I hope it doesn’t go down that lamely. Hung by the taxman?

    Maybe something like this will do…

    WhiteHeat.jpg

    Sabrdance: Speak for yourself, Fricosis.  I’d be insulted not to be hanged by these clowns.

  10. Flyondawall

    If they admit to this dirty business ….what else is out there? Seems as if they might be trying to get out in front of something ….

  11. PConn
    Randy Weivoda: The danger of having a tax code that is tens of thousands of pages long is that everyone is probably guilty of some violation without even realizing it.  That makes it a perfect tool for harassing the enemies of those in power. · 2 hours ago

    In  the words of the slimy Dr Floyd Ferris from Atlas shrugged;

    We’re after power and we mean it. You fellows were pikers, but we know the real trick, and you’d better get wise to it. There’s no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren’t enough criminals, one makes them…you create a nation of lawbreakers – and then you cash in on guilt. Now that’s the system, Mr. Rearden.”

    If you arent a “criminal”, just wait. If you stand still they’ll catch up. And in four years when OFA is out raising money from the Buffets and the Hollywood types for Hillary, all of a sudden it wont be a crime anymore.

  12. Percival
    Flyondawall: If they admit to this dirty business ….what else is out there? Seems as if they might be trying to get out in front of something …. · 12 minutes ago

    A modified limited hangout?  Those always work best on a Friday…

  13. Fricosis Guy

    Nothing like Watergate karma.

    Percival

    Flyondawall: If they admit to this dirty business ….what else is out there? Seems as if they might be trying to get out in front of something …. · 12 minutes ago

    A modified limited hangout?  Those always work best on a Friday… · 21 minutes ago

  14. She

    I think this has been a good week for Glenn Beck.

    He’s been saying for months that tea party/patriot types are being targeted by the government (he starts with himself, of course).

    And several months ago he began his love affair with 3D printing by stating that people were going to be able to print plastic guns.  He was widely mocked.

    Then someone did it.  And people said, “Oh, haha, it’s a toy.  Look at it.  It looks like a water pistol.”

    Then someone posted the plans for the gun online.

    And the Feds went guano.

    I hope you’ve all got ‘food insurance.’

  15. Fricosis Guy

    Tonight is Family Game Night at our parish. We are concerned about the IRS because this event is at a non-profit with “Saint” and “Church” in its name. Never know these days…

    Your legal and tax opinions welcome here.

  16. Tobias Vaughn

    Does anyone believe the IRS would be targetting Tea Party groups if Chris Christie were president?

    I mean, anyone else besides me. Imagine: Secretary of the Treasury Mike Castle.

  17. Don Tillman

    This is actually a bit of an opportunity.  

    With the precedent established by the Pigford case, Ricochet and all other conservative organizations, as well as their members, are entitled to an endless supply of enormous monetary settlements.

    (Someone mentioned wanting to increase Ricochet membership?  This will do it.)

  18. Jeff

    The whole point of the Progressive administrative state was to separate administration functions from politics.

    How’s that working out?

  19. flownover

    I haven’t been audited since the mid 80s. 

    Until the other day, when I got the letter that they wanted to audit my business return for 2011. 

    2011 was not a good year for my business . Involved in a very large suit with very fancy K Street lawyers,  who charged me considerably more than my modest shop had earned that year,  my return showed a negative number .

    A jocular IRS agent called me, full of vim and vigor, pleasant and doing his best to keep things in that spirit. I asked him if he intended to increase or decrease my memorable pain of that year . 

    Now I wonder, since being a Ricochetti of record since Aug 2010, if my association with a notorious , though  somewhat less than vast, right wing   conversation could have been the netbot flare that has snagged in the tea party purge of this post’s subject.

    But it could have been the Tea Party rallies I attended with my family, the Gadsden Flag I flew over my river manse, the anti-Obama bumperstickers on my car, or Sarah Palin sweatshirts I dressed my youngest daughter in . (Insert contrary Grouchoism.)

    Class action anyone ?

  20. Dave

    If I’m not mistaken, JFK, LBJ, and Nixon also used the IRS to harass political opponents. Not saying it’s OK, but just that it’s not new.