Round-Up of the IRS’ Rancid Targeting

Revelations about this deeply disturbing nastiness came fast and furious this week so it would have been easy to have missed some items.

Treasury became aware of this targeting as early as June.  Was the upcoming election a factor in their failure to disclose this egregious activity?

To what extent was the IRS carrying out the wishes of Senate Democrats, including Rhode Island’s own Sheldon Whitehouse?

In just one example of the IRS’ complete overreach, the agency asked a group about the content of their prayers and

unlawfully insisted that all board members sign a sworn declaration promising not to picket/protest Planned Parenthood.

Did someone say tolerance?  Oops, as RI Taxpayers’ Executive Director Donna Perry pointed out in Thursday’s GoLocalProv, it appears that

the concept of “tolerance” only works in one direction. As his White House comes under siege from huge dueling scandals involving the IRS and the Department of Justice, (Benghazi is still out there as number 3), it’s becoming more and more clear that the crowd which preaches tolerance has carried out, at the highest levels, a “No Tolerance” policy for all critics.

The Washington Post reports that while it took some conservative groups years (and in many cases, still not yet) to get their tax-exempt status from the IRS, interestingly, a non-profit run by the President’s half brother and named after his father got their status in only thirty four days – AND was given it retroactively two years.

It’s beginning to look like the audit of Rhode Island tea partier Marina Peterson might not have been random.

It turns out that the initial report about this thuggish behavior was the result of a planted question in an attempt by the IRS to get ahead of an about-to-be-released report by the Inspector General critical of the IRS’ activity.  USA Today observes, almost drily, that this strategy seems to have back-fired, not the least because the official who planted the story failed to inform Congress about it in her testimony ten days ago … and, of course, at that hearing, also failed to disclose the awful extent of the targeting.

Though the administration is Democrat, more thoughtful commentators on the left have wisely not defended the IRS.  They see the danger down the road, if this activity is not properly punished, that less thoughtful lefties have missed:  imagine several Karl Roves in charge of these units at the IRS, dragging out the application process; demanding donor names, volunteer lists and back door entry to websites; leaking this information to organizations friendly to the next George Bush/Ronald Reagan/Richard Nixon in the White House; eliciting promises from the applicant not to picket the National Organization for Marriage or Halliburton; and vengefully choosing for audit (sometimes at the suggestion of a stooge at the state level) those individuals or organizations who dared to speak out against either George/Ronald/Richard or, more generally, against their policies at any level of government.

In a gasp-of-horror inducing develpment, we learned later in the week that the IRS official in charge of the tax-exemption unit from 2009 – 2012, Sarah Hall Ingram, has been put in charge of the IRS’ ObamaCare unit.   So now, we cannot help but wonder:  will the administration of healthcare be utilized as a weapon – endless delays, highly intrusive questions – against political enemies just as the tax exempt unit (and almost certainly the audit section) was?  Except that this time, it won’t be tax status at stake but a life-saving or life-improving medical procedure.

The lawsuits over the targeting have begun.  Such a time-consuming recourse would be far less effective, for obvious reasons, if ObamaCare gets run in a similar, highly partisan manner.

In part for that reason, Speaker Boehner was correct to have pointed out Wednesday that the question is not who is going to resign (what, to a cushy, publicly funded retirement lounging on the beach?) over these actions but who is going to jail for them?

[Monique is Editor of the RI Taxpayer Times newsletter.  Her views do not necessarily reflect those of the organization.]

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