Despite what you might have heard, the IRS was, in fact, singling out Tea Party and limited-government groups for harassment. The U.S. Treasury Department's Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) confirmed that this week.
Testifying before the U.S. House Ways and Means Committee on Thursday, new IRS director Danny Werfel said the agency targeted "diverse" citizen organizations for additional scrutiny when reviewing applications for 501 (c)(4) tax-exempt status. He noted that the word "progressive" was included in some directives that instructed employees what political terms to "be on the lookout for." But the TIGTA wrote this week to Sander Levin, the ranking Democrat on the committee: "From our audit work, we did not find evidence that the criteria you identified, labeled 'Progressives,' were used by the IRS to select potential political cases during the 2010 to 2012 timeframe we audited," The Washington Times reported.
"In total, 30 percent of the organizations we identified with the words 'progress' or "progressive" in their names were processed as potential political cases. In comparison, our audit found that 100 percent of the tax-exempt applications with Tea Party, Patriots, or 9/12 in their names were processed as potential political cases during the timeframe of our audit," the TIGTA letter concluded. No matter how you look at it, that is evidence of intentional discrimination against limited-government groups.