OK, yes, if the IRS was only targeting right-leaning organizations applying for tax-exempt status, that would clearly be very, very wrong.
However, I just read this:
IRS Sent Same Letter to Democrats That Fed Tea Party RowHmmm...ok, so they went after left-leaning organizations as well. But...perhaps they gave all the Democratic-leaning groups a pass, while denying the Tea Party groups?
The Internal Revenue Service, under pressure after admitting it targeted anti-tax Tea Party groups for scrutiny in recent years, also had its eye on at least three Democratic-leaning organizations seeking nonprofit status.
One of those groups, Emerge America, saw its tax-exempt status denied, forcing it to disclose its donors and pay some taxes. None of the Republican groups have said their applications were rejected.Hm. OK, apparently not. In fact, they blocked one of the left-leaning groups but approved all of the right-leaning ones. Plus, again, this was all done under the command of a Republican Bush appointee.
Progress Texas, another of the organizations, faced the same lines of questioning as the Tea Party groups from the same IRS office that issued letters to the Republican-friendly applicants. A third group, Clean Elections Texas, which supports public funding of campaigns, also received IRS inquiries.
So, that pretty much leaves only one other controversy: The fact that the division of the IRS specifically devoted to reviewing organizations applying for tax-exempt status to make sure that they're qualified for tax-exempt status...did exactly that.
Unless I'm missing something, they did their jobs pretty much exactly the way they were supposed to.
OK, I guess the point is that the IRS isn't supposed to be targeting ANY political groups...but isn't that the entire point of this division? Shouldn't they be reviewing/investigating every organization that applies for tax-exempt status? Or are they supposed to do so randomly, picking every 10th organization or something like that? Even if that was the case, I'd be willing to bet that the vast majority of organizations applying were political in some fashion.
Could someone PLEASE explain what the f*ck the problem is here?
Update: Thanks to Johnny Wurster below for answering my question in a simple, easy to follow way:
The IRS didn't target left groups, they selected them using the objective criteria that should've been applied to all groups.To which I responded:
Ah, I see. So, basically, you have 100 organizations applying, and one of the objective criteria would be, "any group that has been in existence for less than 3 months", for example, which would filter it down to, say, 20 groups.It sounds lik the list of organizations that bore scrutiny ended up identical to what it would have been if they hadn't used specific key words anyway...they just generated the same list faster this way. Again, it was wrong, but more along the lines of "using a butterknife from the drawer as a screwdriver instead of bothering to go down the basement to get an actual screwdriver" than a major fuck-up.
And of those 20 groups, let's say that 17 of them happened to also be Tea Party-related, that would be OK.
However, the IRS agents instead (or in addition) ran a search for "any group that has the words "tea party" in their title", which filtered it down to, say, 15 groups, and ran "less than 3 months" which would bring up the other 5 as well.
Then they reviewed all 20, approved the 17 Tea Party groups, denied 1 of the 3 left-leaning groups, and called it a day?
OK, yes, that sounds like they screwed up...but it still sounds like a fairly minor issue to me.