In the wake of the IRS’s admission and canned apology about their agents targeting groups with “tea party” or “patriots” in their names, more information has surfaced that those weren’t the only groups that were given special scrutiny. Pretty much any group that sought to educate people about the Constitution and Bill of Rights were at risk of being singled out by the government’s legalized plunder department. The Washington Post reported:
“[O]n June 29, 2011, IRS staffers held a briefing with senior agency official Lois G. Lerner in which they described giving special attention to instances where ‘statements in the case file criticize how the country is being run.’ Lerner, who oversees tax-exempt groups for the agency, raised objections and the agency revised its criteria a week later. But six months later, the IRS applied a new political test to groups that applied for tax-exempt status as “social welfare” groups, the document says. On Jan. 15, 2012 the agency decided to target ‘political action type organizations involved in limiting/expanding Government, educating on the Constitution and Bill of Rights, social economic reform movement,’ according to the appendix in the IG report, which was requested by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee and has yet to be released.”
As it’s already been reported, these actions by the IRS are nothing new, going back all the way to FDR. And currently, if IRS agents abuse their authority by singling out certain groups because of their political beliefs, the penalty is termination of employment—if they’re caught and exposed.
For this reason, Representative Mike Turner, a Republican from Ohio, has introduced a bill that imposes criminal penalties on these types of IRS agents:
“Turner’s bill would explicitly prohibit discriminating against any group on the basis of political speech or beliefs. The bill would drastically increase the punishment for any IRS official who violates this — with up to a $5,000 fine and/or five years in prison.”
It would certainly be nice to see a bunch of IRS agents jailed, and to have senior officials forced to resign. But we know that they would all be replaced by equally corrupt and unscrupulous individuals. So if we could get a lawmaker to introduce a bill that eliminates the IRS altogether, now that would be something to get behind.