Is the IRS Overzealous, Indifferent, or Both? Yes.

Is the IRS Overzealous, Indifferent, or Both? Yes.

Seems like only yesterday that Tea Party groups were the villains, not the victims, in stories about nonprofit political activity. Because it was yesterday, or close to it.

For the last few days, Washington has been consumed by worry and indignation over an IRS admission that the [IRS] was targeting conservative political groups for special scrutiny. But three weeks ago, the city was fretting about unchecked electioneering by many of those same groups - all of them ostensibly devoted to "social welfare," not partisan politics.

Then, as now, the IRS was under fire. But then, as opposed to now, the agency was trying to deflect charges that it was coddling, rather than persecuting, the social welfare posers among the nation's nonprofits.

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... [M]y complaint is with all those politicians who traffic in tax-related moral outrage.

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... [T]he agency may well be failing in both ways, just like the critical lawmakers say. But if so, that's partly because those same lawmakers have asked the IRS to walk a poorly defined and excruciatingly narrow line. A line, moreover, that those lawmakers drew.

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