May 13, 2013

IRS SCANDAL UPDATE: Rep. Issa: IRS apology to Tea Party groups ‘not an honest one.’

On Friday, the IRS apologized for targeting the groups, saying it was a decision made by career employees in an Ohio office in an effort to streamline the review process. The disclosure has led to heated criticism from Republicans, who are vowing investigations into the matter. The White House was also critical, as Press Secretary Jay Carney called the actions “inappropriate.”

A report on the matter from the Treasury watchdog overseeing the IRS is set to be made public this week.

But a leaked draft report was obtained by the Associated Press Saturday. The AP said the report found that senior IRS officials were aware of the targeting as early as 2011.

“They used key words to go after conservatives,” said Issa. “This is something where you have to institute changes to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

“There’s got to be accountability,” he added.

Prosecutions and firings would be a good start. Also, zeroing out the IRS’s conference budget. Hit ‘em where it hurts . . . .

UPDATE: Report: IRS Also Targeting Debt Critics.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Prof. Stephen Clark writes: “The overt politicization of IRS audits would seem to argue for simplifying the tax collection process. Cue Steve Forbes: If the code were so simple that tax forms were the size of postcards, there would be far less need for the services of people prone to abuse the audit process.” Indeed.