Sniff...sniff...ah smell Bigotry......The IRS Was Dead Right To Scrutinize Tea Party
Like any institution, the agency has limited resources at its disposal. The notion that everyone ought to be treated the same, with auditing powers sprayed around like a lawn sprinkler, is ridiculous. Cops concentrate patrols in high-crime areas. And while we properly decry racial profiling and odious tactics like New York City's Stop and Frisk campaign -- through which people are subject to police pat-downs for no other reason than their being black and male -- no one would criticize the police for keeping an eye on people who are openly encouraging criminal behavior.
Which gets us back to the Tea Party. Here is a group that has made no effort to hide its contempt for the very institution of taxation. This is what it says on the website of the Cincinnati Tea Party: "Individuals need to have a direct connection between their efforts and the fruits of their labor. This is the magical spark that has led the United States from a loosely conglomerated political experiment into the most exceptional, strongest and most powerful nation on earth. Too many taxes and regulations ultimately serve to snuff out that spark."
The blog section of that site includes links to a host of propaganda from anti-government groups, including this link to a video produced by an outfit called "Government Gone Wild," which highlights the expansion of taxpayer-financed safety net programs such as food stamps, unemployment and Medicaid.
"You are being enslaved," declares a fear-mongering narrator, engaging in an all-too-typical depiction of poor people as freeloaders living fat on the public dime. "More and more people are becoming dependent on government to take care of them, and politicians don't like it one bit: They love it."
In short, being poor is depicted as just a con aimed at gorging on a luxurious buffet, stocked by taxpayer-financed programs like food stamps. Other than fear of enforcement, why would anyone with such beliefs bother to pay their taxes in full?
This sort of thinking is pervasive among those inclined to caricature government as inherently demonic, which is to say, the sorts of people attracted to the Tea Party. Search for "Tea Party" and "tax evasion" on the Internet and you can find a blog called Government Against the People, and a post titled "Tax Resistance Is As American As Apple Pie."
This scandal does not stem from the IRS actually levying action that contravenes the law. It's simply about whom the IRS decided to scrutinize. And the IRS had abundant reason to look carefully at the applications for tax exempt status sent in by people who are prone to portray taxes as something as base as slavery.
ANY 501c-4 should be carefully looked at...not JUST some.