The first two lawsuits against the IRS brought by suppressed Tea Party organizations have been decided. In favor of the IRS. The method of the Taxman’s victory? Finally give the Tea Party groups tax-exempt status:
Judge Reggie Walton of the U.S. District Court of the District of Columbia dismissed almost all counts brought against the tax-collecting agency in two cases, ruling that both were essentially moot now that the IRS granted the groups their tax-exempt status that had been held up for years.
But the Tea Party groups are still not happy:
“You get targeted and harassed for three years but, oh, because you finally get [tax-exempt status], the three years of harassment doesn’t mean anything?” asked Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), who heads a congressional subpanel investigating the controversy. “I find that argument lacking tremendously in light of what these people went through.”
I must side with the Tea Party groups on this one. Giving them tax-exempt status after all these years doesn’t compensate them for the years of losses they have suffered, for one. But it also doesn’t adequately deter the IRS from singling out other organizations in the future. Even if the IRS were to be caught again, all it would have to do is actually grant the status it withheld and all would be forgiven? That doesn’t make sense.
But the judge who presided over this miscarriage of justice intentionally avoided punishing the IRS or its employees. He said explicitly that punishing the IRS might hurt their future tax law enforcement. In other words, they might not be quite as aggressive in the future if he were to punish them. Yeah. That’s the point. But you can’t expect the civil government to get it.
It’s like a property owner with his junkyard dog. Sure the junkyard dog might maim a child or two, but you can’t make the dog less aggressive, because then the dog wouldn’t be as useful for intimidation and attack in those cases where you really wanted it.
No. Not like a property owner. More like a thug. That’s what the civil government has become in our day. A thuggish cabal protecting its own self-interests and preying on its purported constituency.