Maybe I've missed it, but in all the uproar over the IRS's flagging of Tea Party organizations for tax-exempt scrutiny, I haven't seen anybody make the obvious point: The IRS, under Republican attack for decades, is a seriously under-staffed and under-funded agency. Naturally, they look for shortcuts in their work.  The tea party label is an obvious red flag (does anybody really believe that Tea Parties are non-political?), and Tea Parties are less likely to fight the IRS than the much larger 501(c)(4)s, mostly right-wing, whose tax exempt status is really consequential.  Give the IRS what they need to do their job, and they will not only be able to cast a wider, more neutral net in scrutinizing claims for tax exemption; they will also be able to collect more revenues generally, thus reducing the budget deficit.  Of course, increased revenues are just about the last thing Republicans want.    

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