IRS targeting controversy and public records

When political stalwarts have no other recourse, you can definitely expect them to go after the tax records of their opponents. Tax law is so convoluted and irredeemably confusing that it can be interpreted in virtually any way that anyone wants. This means that the people who control the guns behind the tax laws basically have a blank check to destroy the political careers of their opponents.

Because tax records are fully on the public record for anyone to see, any organization that comes into the ire of the Internal Revenue Service will be subjected to an added level of scrutiny if tax records become a hot button issue. Not only will this organization have to deal with the financial burden of having to pay taxes to the IRS, but they will also deal with the embarrassment that somehow still comes from even the accusation that you owe money to the government.

Because the Democratic Party runs the executive branch of the government, they also control the onus of the Internal Revenue Service. The Obama administration can theoretically point the financial guns of the IRS at virtually anyone, and the most recent accusation against the Obama administration is that they did just that. Detractors of executive branch policy say that the IRS was used as an attack dog against political enemies of the Democratic Party, namely institutions that are affiliated with the Tea Party.

Tea Party organizations are known for being conservative in nature and highly opposed to many of the policies that are going on in the current White House. The accusations against the Obama administration and the IRS were brought to a head when IRS officials were found to be at fault in targeting certain organizations that were not even eligible to pay taxes. There is also a great deal of evidence noting the number of conservative agencies that were pulled up in IRS audits versus liberal organizations.

The evidence all points to the IRS having a separate policy for the handling of organizations that claimed to be a part of or affiliated with the Tea Party movement or any other conservative group. The IRS admitted that it had a policy of using far more scrutiny when it came to conservative organizations that were applying for tax-exempt status. The question was whether or not this policy was ordered by someone in the Obama administration or if it was conducted by the IRS on its own.

The answer to that question was thought to be contained in IRS emails. All IRS emails are government public records and should be archived and stored. Unfortunately, the head of the IRS, Lois Lerner, apparently lost all her emails. She claimed this was an accident, but it definitely seemed like they were lost intentionally. Once Congress started its probe into the IRS, a lawyer admitted that Lois Lerner intentionally destroyed her BlackBerry. It seems clear she was hiding something in her emails and her BlackBerry.

Nixon once joked that he wished he could use the IRS to intimidate his political opponents. Just imagine how scared people would be if they knew the IRS would audit them if they donated to any conservative group. Unfortunately, it seems like that scary thought has actually happened.

There will certainly be a backlash if the Republicans begin to take control of Capitol Hill in 2016. Republicans have already taken back the House of Representatives and Senate, and they have a good chance of taking the White House as well depending on who they run for the office of President of the United States in the current election cycle.