Chilling Revelations About the IRSMay 17th, 2013
The past week we’ve heard disturbing revelations about how our government’s Internal Revenue Service has targeted and treated conservative interest groups. As Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley said today, there is little doubt after reading the Treasury Inspector General Report that the IRS specifically targeted conservative groups that were opposed to President Obama’s agenda.
Senator Grassley is right.
As the founder of a 501(c)4 organization myself, I know first-hand the lengths that we go to in order to comply with all applicable laws and regulations. Non-profit organizations across the spectrum go to extraordinary lengths to ensure compliance. It is perfectly acceptable for regulatory bodies to regulate— fairly — among all organizations.
This is the concern though. Each group was not treated equally. There was not a level playing field provided to both conservative and liberal groups. Frankly, it is clear that the IRS used keywords to discriminately target organizations that they believed would be more inclined to oppose President Obama’s agenda.
Our nation was founded on the principle of embracing a vibrant political discourse. People of all stripes should feel welcome in the issue and political advocacy arena. We cannot have a branch of the federal government singling out individuals and groups who may simply disagree with them – regardless of their beliefs. A government that fears the people is liberty, but a people that fears the government is tyranny. Right now, the people are fearing a branch of the government.
This is something conservatives and liberals, Republicans and Democrats, should all agree on. We need to get down to the bottom of these chilling revelations. People have the constitutional right to be heard and have their grievances redressed by their government. It is imperative that the Congress and the Administration work openly together to find out the who, what, and when of this scandal.