Blaming budget cuts for IRS behavior is bunk, says Krauthammer

Leave it to Charles Krauthamer to make mincemeat of nonsense liberal arguments.

Here’s how the American Prospect – as good a mouthpiece of the Democratic Party as you can find outside of the New York Times editorial  pages – tried to spin the IRS scandal Friday night:

Since the Gingrich revolution of 1994,  Prospect explains, the IRS has been painted as the national bad guys. (Remember those Senate hearings where IRS employees testified about harassing taxpayers with their faces were concealed and voices disguised?)

The IRS had been under the gun ever since, under budget pressure and under a microscope, American Prospect argues.
“…In response, the IRS’s authority was curtailed and its budget slashed.

“If anyone was forced to do more with less, it was the office in Cincinnati, where a small number of poorly trained employees had to process thousands of new applications from groups seeking tax-exempt status after 2010. That isn’t to say there was no wrongdoing, but if you want an agency that does its job well and upholds the highest standards of professionalism, cutting its resources is not the way to get it.”

This doesn’t make any sense as a logical argument. As the eminently logical Krauthammer put it the day before in National Review: “And yet both the acting and the previous IRS commissioners insisted that the singling out of groups according to their politics was in no way politically motivated …. It’s definitional: If you discriminate according to politics, your discrimination is political. It’s a tautology, for God’s sake.

“The IRS responds that this classification was for efficiency, to cut down on overwork. Ridiculous. How does demanding answers to endless intrusive and irrelevant questions, creating mountains of unnecessary paperwork for both applicant and the IRS, reduce the workload?”


In fact, if American Prospect is correct, it says a good deal about the dedication and motivation of the beleaguered IRS Cincinnati office.

Despite being forced to deal with hundreds of new groups seeking tax-exempt status, they were able to carve out yet more time to give extra review to suspect groups. That those suspect groups also happen to be on the end of the political spectrum that sees the IRS as a tool of an ever more expansive, intrusive government, is just an unhappy coincidence.

That’s the liberal spin.

To use Krauthammer’s word: Ridiculous.


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