Go after the idiots at the IRS


by David Safier

If the initial stories about the IRS targeting tea party-related groups with audits and onerous application forms are true, the scoundrels who participated should be thrown out, and if they did something illegal, they should be punished for their actions. If the tax laws for nonprofits are being abused for political ends, politically related groups of all stripes should be investigated similarly. No one should be targeted for investigation or be made to jump through more hoops than anyone else.

I would certainly be saying this if the IRS were targeting Democratic-leaning groups, or Naderites, or election integrity groups or anyone else during a Republican administration. It sounds like the same kind of thing happened during a Democratic administration.

If this turns out to be much ado about nothing, fine, let's find out the truth and put the accusations to rest. But if it turns out to be something — and it certainly looks like something at this point — it's important to root it out, and to know how high up the food chain it went. I hate to give the conspiracy theorists on the right any validation, but if there was an IRS conspiracy against them, progressives should support getting it out in the open and letting sunlight act as a necessary disinfectant.


  1. The devil is always in the details. Subsequent reports show that the IRS lower level employees who looked into the Tea Party groups did so because there was legitimate concern about the origin and funding of these groups. When the supervisors found out about it they immediately told the lower level employees to stop. And the head of the department at the time was a Bush appointee. No story, just lazy jounalism and a successful attempt by Tea Party groups to raise money based on playing victim.