The Taxman Cometh (For Tea Partiers)
On Friday, senior IRS official Lois Lerner offered an apology of sorts after non-profit organizations which were applying for tax-exempt status were targeted for IRS audit if the groups’ names included “Tea Party” or “patriots.” Lerner said she had learned of this activity only last year.
Few places seem less likely to find humor than a New York Times article about rogue IRS agents, but this line from Friday’s article was laugh-out-loud funny: “[Lerner] insisted that the move was not driven by politics.” Nearly as ridiculous was Lerner’s assertion that the behavior was little more than the activity of overzealous low-level employees and that more senior IRS officials were unaware of the “absolutely inappropriate” behavior.
Lerner did herself no further favors during a subsequent conference call with reporters in which she couldn’t calculate one quarter of 300, saying “I’m not good at math.” Then she and her staff complained about “repetitive” questions, prompting liberal Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter David Cay Johnston to say, according to a Washington Post report (entitled “The IRS’ public relations disaster”), that “it was because they weren’t answering the questions.”
One wonders whether anybody, even New York Times readers believed that the actions were only those of low-level IRS employees in Cincinnati. If so, they couldn’t believe it for long: Barely 24 hours later, the Associated Press revealed that a draft of an IRS inspector general’s report shows, contrary to lying Lerner’s assertions that the Tea Party-targeting was confined to 2012, that senior IRS officials including Lerner learned of the targeting no later than June 29, 2011.
Please read the entirety of my article for the American Spectator:
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