Friday, April 25, 2014

IRS Scandal: NYT Blames Republican Budget Cuts

Try to follow the reasoning on this one from  "Continuing Op-Ed Writer" Thomas Edsall:

Scandals Republicans Like
. . .But what if the truth is more pedestrian: that the I.R.S. is simply not adequately funded to do its job and that Republicans are the ones who have kept the agency underfunded?

Republican zeal for reducing the size of government, particularly its tax collecting apparatus, has left the I.R.S. ill-equipped to perform its functions, one of which is to review applications for tax-exempt status from groups claiming to be “social welfare” organizations under section 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code.

Transcripts of hearings and witness interviews with committee staff that are available on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee website show that beginning in 2010, the I.R.S. bureaucracy, faced with a surge of requests for tax-exempt status, was hard pressed to discern potentially suspect applications. Under intense pressure to meet I.R.S. production targets, civil servants — including registered Republicans — adopted the practice of flagging phrases like “tea party” to speed identification of applications requiring careful examination.
So, according to the New York Times, it is a proper role of government, when faced with what they regard as insufficient funds for the job, to spend the money they do have specifically targeting the political groups they hold responsible for their perceived budget issues.

I don't see anything there about the tax exempt group in particular being underfunded, just that they couldn't come up with a valid reason for doing what they obviously wanted to do, and were being screamed at by various democratic politicians; crack down on politically conservative 501(c)(4) groups.

Not to mention, there are other problems with the argument.  The budget cuts at the IRS came in a time when the Democratically controlled Senate under Sen Hairy (Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire) Reid was systematically failing to produce a new budget annually, forcing continuing resolutions, culminating in the "Sequester" Reign of Pain, a plan which originated in the White House.

Time for my "Modest Proposal" to be instituted at the IRS.  Full "affirmative action" (or whatever the current euphemism is for quotas).  Fire half the current IRS employees (largely Democratic hacks and activists), and hire certified Republicans in their place, and let those with opposing politics enforce political fairness.

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