As the details emerge of the IRS practice of targeting conservative and tea party groups for examination as to whether or not the groups were violating the laws against politics, those details become more and more astounding. And in addition to the total inappropriateness of the activities, the scandal becomes more and more of a political and national disaster.
It turns out the practice was flagged 18 months ago, but for some reason unknown to man the practices continued.
|The Treasury and IRS|
Managers in their Native
An inspector general’s report on the investigation of the Internal Revenue Service’s effort to single out conservative groups for special scrutiny blamed ineffective management at the agency for failing to rein in the program for more than 18 months, even after it was flagged as inappropriate.
Gosh, ineffective management. Who would have thought that was a problem here?
Mismanagement at the agency allowed “inappropriate criteria” for identifying conservative groups to be developed and stay in place for more than 18 months beginning in 2010, the report said. That resulted in “substantial delays” for groups applying for tax-exempt status, either as 501(c)(4) or 501(c)(3) organizations, and it allowed unnecessary and intrusive information, like donor lists, to be sought.
Of the 296 total applications that the inspector general reviewed, 108 were approved, 28 were withdrawn by the applicants, and 160 were still open — some of those pending for up to 1,138 days.
The inspector general report concluded, “The I.R.S. should better document the reasons why applications potentially involving campaign intervention are chosen for review and develop and publish guidance.”
And the crackerjack Obama administration, where everyone obviously flunked Management 101 at whatever backwater unaccredited college they must have attended just looks worse and worse.
The White House press secretary, Jay Carney, said on Tuesday that he could not comment about the I.R.S. situation, citing the investigation by the inspector general.
This administration has now accomplished an incredible feat. They have made tax exempt groups that promote candidates and support politics, activities banned by the IRS code as it applies to such groups, immune from any attempt to investigate their practices. For decades to come conservatives will set up tax exempt organization to engage in blatantly political activities with no fear of enforcement. Churches, even more than before will be directly engaged in conservative politics and in support of specific conservative candidates, using their tax exempt funding to the maximum.
The Obama Administraton, and the Treasury Department under Mr. Geithner have done far more for conservatives than the Koch Brothers, Karl Rove, the Wall Street Journal and the National Review put together.