” If reports of political targeting of conservatives by the Internal Revenue Service shocked the nation, they didn’t seem that surprising to many other groups who experienced problems with the tax agency in the past.
Liberal groups such as Greenpeace and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals say they were targeted, too, by past administrations. The conservative group Judicial Watch says it was singled out for tax scrutiny during the Clinton administration because it supported impeachment.
Charges of politically motivated targeting by the IRS are notoriously difficult to prove or disprove. The older cases differ from the current scandal and the evidence of political attacks is circumstantial. But in interviews with McClatchy, leaders of these well-known activist groups assert they were targeted during Bush and Clinton administrations.
“We have been targeted,” said Jeff Kerr, chief counsel for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. “
” Many audits are triggered by anonymous or direct information about a group or citizen, a so-called “information item.” The IRS also offers rewards to tipsters equal to about 10 percent of taxes owed.”
The entire concept of anonymous tips that is utilized throughout the law enforcement community is merely an open invitation to corruption , retaliation , spite and greed . It needs to be ended . It harkens back to the old Soviet Union control method of pitting neighbor against neighbor and , just as in the USSR is destroying civil society .
“The process of obtaining an exemption is a privilege. Not everyone in the United States is exempt from taxation . . . you have to meet highly specific criteria, that Congress decided, not the IRS . . . and jump through hoops and answer questions,” he said, adding that he never witnessed political motivation but worked in Washington during the Nixon revelations and was shocked. “I knew a lot of people and nobody I know has ever had that experience.”
The concept of exemptions is another idea that does nothing but foster the culture of abuse of power . Who is to decide who gets “special” treatment ? What ever happened to the founding notion of “equal protection before the law” ?
Further reading on the history of IRS abuse .
RealClearPolitics – History of IRS Abuse
Cato Institute Highlights History of IRS Abuse
Factbox: IRS’s rich history of scandals, political abuse
IRS Has a Long History of Political Abuse – Hit & Run : Reason.com
History of IRS Abuse:A real eyeopener
IRS Scandal Echoes a Long History of Political Harassment