We were initially told that the IRS had apologized to Tea Party and patriot groups for blocking them from non-profit tax status.
But there has been no apology.
Instead, last Friday, Lois Lerner, the head of the tax-exempt division of the Internal Revenue Service, confided to a group of tax attorneys at an American Bar Association conference in Washington. She admitted that the IRS had indeed been guilty of unfairly delaying and blocking Tea Party and conservative groups from establishing tax-exempt organizations, as these dissident groups had been complaining about for years.
Who was to blame? Only mere “low-level employees” — no senior management, heaven forfend.
Then it was disclosed that senior IRS muckety-mucks actually knew in 2011 — well before the IRS commissioner assured Congress that the agency wasn’t doing precisely what it was doing. Now, latest disclosures put the beginning of the political bias policy all the way back to 2010.
Of course, the IRS vehemently denies that politics played any role.
And what about Barack “buck-stops-here” Obama?
“I first learned about it from the same news reports that I think most people learned about this,” the president said in response to a question, adding, “I think it was on Friday.”
In denial, the president spun, “If, in fact, IRS personnel engaged in the kind of practices that had been reported on and were intentionally targeting conservative groups” and “if you’ve got the IRS operating in anything less than a neutral and non-partisan way, then . . . it is contrary to our traditions.”
Well, if these ifs weren’t so (traditionally?) evasive, we might take the prez seriously.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.