LA Times Hack Lauds IRS Targeting of Tea Party Groups
The scandal involving the IRS's targeting of Tea Party groups over their political leanings has been slammed as "intolerable and inexcusable" by Barack Obama himself, but the witch hunt has at least one vehement supporter - the LA Times' Michael Hiltzik.
In an article entitled The real IRS scandal, Hiltzik sardonically downplays how "everyone is screaming about the "scandal" of the Internal Revenue Service scrutinizing conservative nonprofits before granting them tax-exempt status."
For Hiltzik, the fact that "political organizations are being allowed to masquerade as charities" is the real scandal. "It’s about time the IRS subjected all of these outfits to scrutiny," he urges.
He goes on to whitewash the IRS's deliberate targeting of groups based on their political backgrounds, dismissing the entire issue as a routine act of regulation on the part of the federal agency.
"[O]nce again, now that the agency has tried to regulate, the regulated parties have blown its efforts up into a “scandal,” he writes, scoffing at claims that the IRS's actions were “chilling” or “un-American.”
Let's remind ourselves of exactly what criteria the IRS followed in targeting political groups and individuals for audits and withholding of tax exempt status.
The Inspector General’s report lists the following terms as criteria for extra scrutiny;
-- Whether "Tea Party," "Patriots"
or "9/12 Project" was referenced in the case file.
-- Whether the issues outlined in the application included government spending, government debt or taxes.
-- Whether there was advocating or lobbying to "make America a better place to live."
-- Whether a statement in the case file criticized how the country is being run.
-- Whether it advocated education about the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.
According to Hiltzik, the fact that the IRS is punishing people with financial audits if they criticize the government or speak about the Constitution is not "chilling" at all, and neither is the fact that while liberal groups had their tax exempt applications approved swiftly, Tea Party groups had to wait 27 months, with many of them giving up altogether.
"Memo to Hiltzik: the IRS itself has apologized and said that their targeting of conservatives was inappropriate. How much of a hack do you have to be to defend them after they admitted what they did was wrong?" writes the Patterico blog.
This again underscores how liberals will scream bloody murder about government malfeasance only when a Republican is in the White House. Imagine if leftist political organizations had been hit with audits and delayed applications as a form of ideological punishment under the Bush administration - would Hiltzik have characterized that as a regulatory necessity?
Both Republicans and Democrats will continue to ignore and even run defense for the corruption of the political class so long as their puppet is behind the teleprompter, which is one of the primary reasons why Americans of every political persuasion continue to see their rights eroded no matter which brand of front man occupies the White House.