IRS Admits It Targeted Tea Party and Patriot Groups for Extra Scrutiny

Tea-Party-MovementPatriots and Tea Party conservatives: Your suspicions about the IRS were correct.

Washington Post:

The Internal Revenue Service on Friday acknowledged that it flagged political groups with “tea party” or “patriot” in their names for special scrutiny when they applied for tax-exempt status, an admission that is fueling long-held suspicions among conservatives that the agency has been singling them out for unfair treatment.

The IRS official who oversees tax-exempt groups, Lois Lerner, said the actions, although not motivated by partisan concerns, were wrong, and she apologized twice on Friday.

She said that between 2010 and 2012, about 75 of these groups were selected for extra screening as part of a broader review of political advocacy organizations that were seeking tax-exempt status. Front-line IRS employees working in the tax-exempt unit in Cincinnati selected groups with “tea party” or “patriot” in their names, she said, as a shorthand because of the proliferation of these groups in recent years.

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  • echar

    Yes but were they labeled as terrorists, surveilled by the government, and have a whole media conglomerate streaming trumped up stories day and night?

  • VaudeVillain

    So when conservative groups advocating the formation of civilian militias and potential violent overthrow of the Federal government are identified, the IRS checks to make sure their taxes are properly filed? And this makes them feel persecuted?

    I stand by my opinion that Tea Party morans have no idea what it’s like to ACTUALLY be oppressed.

    • kowalityjesus

      In the cold winds of the state, getting frostbitten by oppression and getting frozen solid by oppression is still oppression.

      It bodes ill to see those who dissent from the military-industrial complex be so factious and, frankly, whiny.

      • VaudeVillain

        Until the Tea Partiers start dissenting against the military-industrial complex, I see no need to count them as people who do.

        So far, they’re mostly just pissy that poor and brown people might receive the same handouts they do. Not really the sort of friends I care to make.

        • kowalityjesus

          get ready for the nwo food processor; you will be homogenized.

          • VaudeVillain

            So no assertion that I’m mistaken about TPers, just a warning about the awful NWO just around the bend? Cool.

            See, here’s the thing… if a there really is a New World Order burgeoning, and it really is the horrible dystopia that those running and most benefiting from the current dystopia are warning me about, then I don’t see how a bunch of flabby middle-aged racist cheap skates are going to be a boon in fighting it off.

            So, to reiterate, I’ll start shedding tears for the Tea Party when they stop being the biggest assholes in the room. Until then, I don’t really care. A first step might be watching them get, say, beaten and pepper sprayed by SWAT teams while peacefully demonstrating, like some other mainstream protest groups get to experience. Or maybe they could tell their corporate sponsors to fuck off, it makes it hard for me to take your revolution seriously when it’s underwritten by some of the world’s largest and most politically connected businesses.

          • kowalityjesus

            Honestly I am going to ignore the ad hominem red herring language in your statement designed to elicit an emotional reaction. It is not productive or enlightening, just inaccurately-overgeneralizing and deprecatingly-judgmental and I am sure you are in a position to be judged, right, O thou who professes no allegiance?

            Acolytes of Ron Paul, the foundation of the Tea Party movement, are the most internet-nit-picked group of patriots in the United States if not the world. Endemic ‘hillbilly racists’ and planted ‘cointel agents’ destroy credibility but are acute minorities and get shouted down from without and within. I haven’t been a part of the movement since Paul’s campaign in GOP primaries, but I take it that all the continuing resistance indicates that there is real substance to the movement, and specifically danger to the people who hold massive federal power. People unconstructively slandering the tea party are generally not working for the good of the Republic.

            I am not saying they are politically or personally flawless, but do you see anyone else in the room who is as visible a dissenter to the forces which may or may not intend to create a police state in the United States? I do not, and I would be very interested if I were shown to be wrong.

          • VaudeVillain

            Occupy? Did that not happen where you live?

            Again, I’ve met actual Tea Partiers, and most of them have been quite enthusiastic about the police state insofar as it abuses people of color, the poor, homosexuals, leftists (including people who are not leftists, but do not walk in lockstep with neoconservative corporatist dogma), and the many other things they don’t particularly like.

            The only times they ever seem to express concern are when the police state threatens their right to bear arms (which is fair, but largely hypothetical) or make them pay taxes or do things to make life better for people who aren’t just like them in ways that might slightly inconvenience them.

            I don’t criticize them because I support the status quo, but because I do not, and their brand of “opposition” is largely centered around making sure nothing ever changes. I just don’t see opposition to same-sex marriage or questioning the president’s nationality as meaningful protest against the already well-entrenched police state.

            As to the ad hominem, you’re right, it was uncalled for and unproductive. Of course it still stands to reason that if it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck and looks like a duck…

          • kowalityjesus

            While I would not be so hubristic as to state that the individuals you met were not part and parcel of the party, I would say that the people *I* interacted with were some of the most conscious and discerning politically active citizens that I have EVER met.

            You don’t have to be a conspiracy theorist to notice that Federal power has grown and so has our national debt. What’s the solution? Destroy the dollar, it’s the only answer I have ever gotten out of anyone who realistically assesses our national monetary obligations. Awful solution, but one we will have to face or the laws of economics are incredibly warped.

            Thanks for reminding me about OWS, I almost forgot (what a shame). I don’t like to conjure a false dichotomy between those two groups, but they will historically be lumped together I am sure. The hands that write the texts will place them in linearly opposed political camps (pun intended) whereas if they were to add ANY dimension to the equation, the founding principles would be the most nationally visible positions opposed to statism in its modern, crony-capitalist manifestations. I know this is weak response, but I would like to thank you for your very clear and concise response to which I answer.

          • VaudeVillain

            I can’t rule out the possibility that the Tea Party in my area and the ones I’ve dealt with online have been particularly endemic. YMMV.

            As far as federal power growing… yeah, somewhat. I’m honestly more concerned with the growing power of non-state actors, in particular corporate interests, and the extent to which they have co-opted state powers and coerced government authorities into doing their bidding.

            The national debt is something that gets a lot of press from time to time, but doesn’t really mean as much as people think. The real problem isn’t that it is growing during an economic downturn (that’s precisely what it is supposed to do), but that it grew so much during the last upturn. The austerity measures currently being demanded by the populist right are frankly pro-cyclical and economically suicidal: literally the opposite of what should be happening.

            If the debt keeps growing once the recovery fully catches and we start to see real growth again (this is already happening by the way, despite the naysayers), then I’ll agree it’s a problem that needs to be addressed. Of course, by that point I suspect that the drive to reduce it will be gone because people just LOVE running up the debt when things are looking good.

          • kowalityjesus

            I have heard this POV before that the national debt is not as big a deal as people make it out to be, but I can’t buy it. I don’t like to link articles as a form of argument because its intellectually lazy, but oh well. http://www.latimes.com/business/money/la-fi-mo-imf-20130420,0,1742915.story http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2011/01/17/dwight-eisenhowers-farewell-address-why-it-matters-more-than-jfks-inaugural.html

            as for the tea party, the concept is as exploited by sleazy fools as can be expected, but it was founded with constructive, enlightened principles and is still more good than bad, if not simply something for newsmedia to talk about.

          • VaudeVillain

            It’s not exactly accurate to say that the national debt isn’t a big deal, more that it isn’t a big deal that it is growing at this moment.

            During the 90s and the aughts, with a brief gap in the middle following the dotcom burst, when we (supposedly) had a strong economy and tax receipts were (or, rather, should have been) up, we should have been bringing the debt down to around 0. Instead, we ran up the bills. THAT is a problem.

            It’s also a problem what that debt was used to purchase, and what we continue going into debt for. Specifically, we have wasted enormous amounts of money on unnecessary military adventure and weapons procurement. I would gladly spend half as much on the military, twice as much on education or transportation or scientific research and put the rest toward paying down the debt. This is the main area where I disagree with most TP rhetoric: I have no interest in cutting down on areas where we spend millions on potentially spurious things while ignoring areas where we spend billions on clearly spurious ones.

            I love the Ike article you linked, by the way. He’s probably one of my favorite presidents of the modern era, and it distresses me how far from his policies of balance, thoughtful discourse, cooperation, compromise and domestic investment our body politic, and especially his own party, has drifted. I truly believe that his was the best application of Keynesian spending policy to grow the economy, improve the standard of living and equitably distribute the proceeds of economic activity, in large part because it was done with a relatively soft-touch approach.

          • kowalityjesus

            I agree and value your opinion. Even though I support Ron Paul and Austrian economics, I don’t necessarily think that Keynsianism has to be bad. At a certain point wealth redistribution is the only economics that makes sense if we can’t depend on the rich to be truly burdened by their wealth and make a point of getting rid of it to save their souls.

            Ron Paul who, as I stated, is the godfather of the Tea Party is, of course, RADICALLY anti-MIBC. There is a video captured from an open-mic on C-SPAN before a “Defense Strategic Review” by Obama where an anonymous attendee says “see this room? 2/3rds of us laid off when Ron Paul is president.” This is in January 2012, before the rebellion had been quelled and RP was still actually posing a threat to the establishment. Remember, Ron Paul actually won Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Colorado, Nevada, Oregon, Maine, Massachussets, and Alaska in the GOP primaries. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yxeH3Cad1MQ

            I honestly think if every lilliputin on the internet who didn’t have an ego issue with some facet of RP’s policy or history actually stood behind or beside him instead of in front of him, we could have witnessed the CIA et al. assassinate him and make a real patriot martyr to water the tree of liberty. Instead we just had more of the same, overt oppression of his campaign by GOP and MSM. http://lewrockwell.com/orig13/glenn-j1.1.1.html

            Its all over now, though. But we will be hearing about Paul for decades I predict, if not because of his die-hard iron-willed fans then because of his prophetic declarations of common sense.

  • Andrew

    You mean a tax collection agency paid special attention to tax protest groups?

    Wow. Just wow.

  • emperorreagan

    The government murdered Fred Hampton in his sleep.

    IRS scrutiny? Stop being fucking cry babies.

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