Thursday, August 07, 2014

IRS targeting, by the numbers

NPR has reported on a tabulation by the House Ways and Means Committee staff of the excess scrutiny given to conservative groups by the IRS.  It's pretty damning.  The report is restricted to the "be on the lookout" identifiers that the IRS used.  Because the IRS had only one BOLO that might identify a liberal group ("progressive") the results might not be fully accurate. Liberal groups that avoided the term "progressive" in their names may or may not have been scrutinized closely, we have no information on that. However, 100% of the "progressive" groups sailed through, and no liberal groups complained.  In contrast, conservative groups were asked three times more questions, and fewer than half were approved.  Fifteen times more conservative groups were identified via the BOLOs than the liberal groups.

This affair has been referred to elsewhere as the "weaponization" of the IRS.  It is not a good development, and it's unfortunate that the IRS is stonewalling the investigation.

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