Saturday, May 11, 2013

IRS Targets Tea Party Groups — Top Officials in the Know

At the Hill, "Report: Top IRS officials knew of Tea Party targeting two years ago." (At Memeorandum.)

Plus, Katie Pavlich on Twitter:

And a great editorial at the Wall Street Journal, "The IRS Targets Conservatives":
Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean the IRS isn't out to get you. We only wish that were a joke. On Friday, an Internal Revenue Service official disclosed for the first time, and by way of apologizing, that the agency that wields the taxing power of the federal government had targeted conservative groups for special scrutiny during the 2012 election season. Apology or not, that can't be the end of the matter.

The stunning admission didn't emerge in an official statement by a senior official at the Treasury Department, which supervises the IRS. Instead, IRS Director of Exempt Organizations Lois Lerner disclosed it on Friday in response to a question from the audience at a meeting of American Bar Association tax lawyers in Washington, D.C.

Ms. Lerner acknowledged that the agency had flagged groups with the words "tea party" or "patriot" to have their tax returns inspected, presumably with an eye on the legality of their tax exemption. Ms. Lerner called this "inappropriate," which it certainly was, and she said it wasn't done "out of any political bias," which is hard to believe. If there was no political bias, why were only conservative groups targeted? White House spokesman Jay Carney also called the IRS actions "inappropriate" on Friday, which makes that the word of the day.

Ms. Lerner added the tax inspections were carried out entirely by low-level workers in Cincinnati without any direction from Washington. Forgive us if we also don't take that claim as gospel.

Simply Nixonian. We've got a lot of scandals boiling up and it's not partisan politics to seek answers. Real answers. It's about preserving the democracy. And about restoring basic decency in government, which went out with the election of the African Interloper in 2008.