Anyone who has read a paper or turned on a news channel in recent weeks knows about the so-called “scandal” of the IRS targeting conservative groups that used words such as “tea party” or “patriot” to describe themselves.
1) The groups being targeted are seeking tax-exemption: This is a status that is bestowed upon groups that promote social welfare; nonprofits and charities that do good to help people. After the Citizens United ruling, there now exists a loophole for political groups to create what are now known as “Dark Money” groups. These groups that got scrutinized are partisan, political groups; pure and simple. We should be praising the IRS for attempting to crack down on this disgusting abuse of a loophole. For example, what business does a tax-exempt group in Texas have in the Wisconsin recall efforts?! The two states aren’t even neighbors!
2) The IRS targeted liberal-leaning groups too: Sure, it was only three organizations in comparison to the many more conservative ones. However, there are also more conservative groups seeking such status than progressive groups. Not only are there more conservative groups but they outspend progressives in a HUGE way. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, of the 21 organizations that received rulings from the IRS after January 1, 2010, and filed FEC reports in 2010 or 2012, 13 were conservative. To say that they “targeted conservatives” clearly is misleading when you take the overall amount of those seeking tax-exempt status from each side into account.
3) This is no Watergate: God knows, if Michelle Bachmann says something, there is an extremely high probability that it is not true on any level whatsoever. In fact, Carl Bernstein (one of the investigative journalists that did most of the reporting on the Watergate scandal) himself has come out deriding such comments. Comparing the two stories, Bernstein has stated, “In the Nixon White House, we heard the president of the United States on tape saying ‘Use the IRS to get back on our enemies. We know a lot about President Obama, and I think the idea that he would want the IRS used for retribution — we have no evidence of any such thing.” There is no link to the IRS affair and President Obama! The attempts to do so is misleading and unfounded. To drive the point home, the President has not only come out saying he knew nothing of the incident until it was reported in the news, but has called the whole situation “outrageous.” In a quote: “If, in fact, IRS personnel…were intentionally targeting conservative groups, then that is outrageous, and there is no place for it, and they have to be held fully accountable…people have to have confidence that they are applying the laws in a non-partisan way. You should feel that way regardless of party.”
4) Congress could have prevented it: John Boehner wants to know “Who is going to jail?” over this incident. How about Congressional leaders? How many calls for campaign finance reform and closing tax loopholes do we have to have before something is finally done? Congress holds the power to hold these groups accountable and call them what they are. They are NOT ‘social welfare’ nonprofits. They are political organizations that participate in partisan politics in order to sway elections. These groups should not have tax-exempt status and should be held accountable as the purely political entity that they are (regardless of which side of politics they fall on).
Here’s the bottom line: Much like Benghazi, this issue is a NON-issue that the majority of Americans simply are not going to care about by election time. While the GOP will continue to bang their drums and yell their battle cries, by election season the American people are going to be concerned about real issues and the solutions to our nation’s problems. The questions will once again come, “Does the GOP’s platform represent my views?” “Does the GOP have solutions to the problems we are facing?” The answer will resoundingly once again be, “No!” So national Republicans can keep up their political parlor games and feeding the media circus, but at the same time they continue doing what they do best and that is….absolutely nothing. No solutions. No goals for America. No path forward. To that, I say “No, thank you!”