May 10, 2013

SO WHEN HE WAS NEW IN OFFICE, BARACK OBAMA JOKED ABOUT TAX AUDITS FOR PEOPLE WHO DISPLEASED HIM. Now the IRS has admitted that it targeted conservative and Tea Party groups in 2012.

This won’t exactly be news to InstaPundit readers, but now the story has broken open.

My take: The employees involved should be fired and prosecuted. The affected groups should be compensated for the additional costs they incurred in responding to this illegal harassment, and Congress should take the money out of the IRS’s travel-and-entertainment budget.

More here: “Using the IRS to target political opponents is banana-republic stuff, a clear and intolerable violation of the public trust, not to mention relevant criminal statutes. This is not the sort of offense that should get these IRS workers fired from their jobs — it is the sort of offense that should get them five years in prison.”

Also: Do you think ObamaCare will be administered with any more fairness?

And some history.

UPDATE: They’re from the IRS and they’re here to apologize. An apology is not sufficient.

We need Congressional hearings, and the individuals involved need to explain what happened under oath.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Rick Hasen: “Wow, this is not the way for the IRS to maintain credibility in a very politically sensitive area.”

Also:

Some conservative and libertarian groups have long suspected that the Internal Revenue Service has targeted right-leaning non-profits for extra scrutiny, but such allegations were always difficult to prove (and often sounded a bit conspiratorial). Now, however, the head of the IRS division that oversees tax-exempt organizations has admitted her division targeted “tea party” and “patriot” groups — and apologized for it. In addition, the IRS apparently asked some groups for donor lists, even though such requests are usually contrary to IRS policy. (Hat tip: Rick Hasen, whose first comment was ”Wow.”) As they say, just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean people aren’t out to get you.

Indeed. We do need hearings. Plus: “With IRS apology/disclosure, will Boehner/Issa know how to react to actual scandal?” Well, Benghazi is a real scandal. But the IRS scandal is a straightforward abuse of power that any voter can understand.

MORE: “If you were looking to establish a pattern, the McConnell bugger’s WH visit, Benghazi emails, & IRS targeting conservatives might be a start.”