Friday, May 10, 2013

An Apology is not Enough - IRS Harassment of tea party Groups

The IRS finally acknowledged what conservative groups have known since early 2012, they were targeted for special scrutiny by the IRS when applying for tax exempt status.  The WSJ is reporting:
A congressional aide familiar with the findings of the inspector general's report said it concludes that tea-party groups were delayed in the application process, and were asked unnecessary questions.
The power of the IRS to ruin the life of the average citizen is well known.  Besides being a clear abuse of power, IRS harassment is a powerful tool to stifle dissent.  Nixon is alleged to have used the IRS to harass those on his "enemies list," to great and well deserved outrage.  Leftists who are the most vocal about Nixon are saying nothing or even saying that the tea party groups deserved the scrutiny because of collective guilt for being front organizations for business interests.  I won't link the Daily Kos articles that so state.

I am not alleging that this effort was directed by the Obama administration.  It matters not why the harassment took place, when it is targeted based on belief it is unconscionable.  The IRS has too much power over our lives.  The complexity of the tax code makes average citizens potential criminals.  The ACA has put an even larger burden the IRS, and at the same time made it more likely that an individual tax return will be out of compliance and subject to audit.

There will be a lot of hoopla about ensuring there is an investigation.  Much will be made of imposing new rules that ensure "fairness."  What is really needed is tax code simplification, across the board, not just in the area of tax exempt organizations.

What You Should Be Reading

DooDooEcon examines this IRS story and other Friday dumping by the administration that tends to escape notice.  

Byron York summarizes how heightened border security proposals are getting killed in Senate committee on 10 Democrats plus Graham and Flake. Lack of adequate border security will kill the usefulness of this bill.  We need to contact our House members.

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