by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
No big deal, the argument goes. The IRS suffers from even-handed inefficiency rather than an un-American habit of slamming critics of the president of the United States.
Unfortunately for the Obamites, actual facts annihilate their institutional-incompetence defense. New data deepen the suspicion that the IRS is the latest and most worrisome weapon in the Left’s arsenal.
Using his authority under Internal Revenue Code Section 6103, House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R., Mich.) requested and received data from the IRS on the 298 “political advocacy” groups that the tax agency was subjecting to secondary screening as of May 31, 2012. Committee staffers compared these groups’ names against identifiers on the IRS’s “Be on the Lookout” list — namely, “progressive” (on the left) and “Tea Party,” “Patriot,” “9/12,” and “conservative” (on the right). This yielded 111 groups, of which staffers developed a snapshot on their status as of May 31, 2013.
Ways and Means confirmed conservatives’ repeated lament: The IRS caresses institutions on the left and hammers those on the right.
Among these 111 targets, only seven were self-described “progressive” groups. The remaining 104 were right of center. So, among this sample, the institutions that the IRS placed under a microscope were 6.3 percent liberal and 93.7 percent conservative. Put another way, the IRS targeted one liberal group for every 15 conservative organizations.
That is not quite fair and balanced.