The IRS Scandal
Two words: IRS scandal.
The main function of the IRS is to enforce tax collection and laws. Beginning in March 2010 the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) began to intensely observe different U.S. organizations that were posing as non-profit organizations to determine whether they were valid or not. Essentially, they wanted to test the legitimacy of the tax-exempt status of supposed NGOs. Many of the groups that were scrutinized were highly conservative; they used phrases such as “Tea Party” in their titles or presented views that were defiant of the current administration and supportive of more conservative opinions. While conservative groups were bogged down by requirements, other liberal organizations flew under the radar, with several exceptions such as an organization called Emerge America.
Eventually, conservative groups began to complain, and Douglas H. Shulman (the leader of the IRS who was appointed by George W. Bush and later employed by Barack Obama) was forced to resign. Recently, reports have emerged that only confirm the bias of the IRS. The White House is currently outraged. President Obama released a statement five days ago stating that, “The IRS must apply the law in a fair and impartial way, and its employees must act with utmost integrity. This report shows that some of its employees failed that test.” The commissioner of the IRS named Stephen T. Miller announced his resignation four days ago.
In the media, Republicans are quite understandably enraged by the IRS scandal, using it as evidence against Obama and his administration. Despite heated discussions in the media, the White House wants to move past the scandal, though many conservative parties are unwilling to let the issue slide. While I personally maintain a liberal political perspective, I understand the Republicans’ issue with the IRS. The scandal is only a further indication of the rampant corruption and unrestrained bias that unfortunately is so prevalent in many organizations. Miller’s resignation is just a superficial solution. The scandal shows Obama’s inability to effectively lead and manage; he needs to be involved with government agencies… or at least keep scandals at a minimum. The clip above showcases Obama’s reaction to the IRS scandal, but the government needs to prevent issues like this from arising in the first place instead of being a reactionary group. However, while I do believe that the IRS (and the Obama administration overall) acted irresponsibly, I do not support the Republicans who are turning the scandal into a huge issue, simply because there is no evidence that the government strategically targeted groups to squelch opposition and support the White House. In my opinion, the best move for the White House would be to do some basic damage control and move on.
What is your opinion of the IRS scandal?
- Pfeiffer defends handling of IRS scandal (politico.com)
- Could The IRS Scandal Bring Down Obama? (personalliberty.com)