Are you tired of government constantly fleecing you for your hard-earned dollars to fund ridiculous pork projects, and even worse, political payoffs?
Make sure you have your blood pressure meds at the ready when you read this because you’re going to need them.
As conservatives remember well, many tea party groups that formed during former President Barack Obama’s first time were embroiled in a battle to attain tax-exempt status from the IRS. Not only did most of those groups never receive their exemptions, they were targeted by the government agency and in some cases were subjected to investigations by the FBI.
All this occurred to try to ensure Obama’s re-election in 2012. It’s not hard to read between the lines to see a possible political payoff to help save his administration’s IRS from embarrassment even years later.
U.S. District Judge Michael R. Barrett last week approved a settlement award of $3.5 million to Tea Party groups who were political targets of the IRS beginning in 2010.
This is the first time the IRS has ever been ordered to make restitution of its “transgressions,” according to The Washington Times.
The court fight against the IRS was funded by the tea-party aligned group Citizens for Self Governance.
“I’m not frankly aware of any other class action lawsuit against the IRS for anything where the IRS paid money,” said Citizens for Self Governance President Mark Meckler told the Times several weeks ago, when the settlement was submitted for approval..
Attorney Edward Greim, who led the class-action lawsuit against the IRS, told the Times:
“It shows that when a government agency desires to target citizens based on their viewpoints, a price will be paid.”
And while conservatives might applaud the tea party victory, it does not come without some moral stumbling blocks.
For one thing, the action required no admission of guilt by the IRS — which means no real acknowledgement of what the IRS inflicted on American citizens who were simply trying to take part in the democratic process.
Greim accused Lois Lerner, the then-senior executive of the IRS of putting in place processes that led to long delays that would have approved, or not, exemption status for tea party groups.
Lerner’s depostions in the case are still under seal, though conservatives are still trying to get them unsealed. Another question still unsettled is whether the IRS should be responsible for attorneys’ fees.
Could that mean more lawsuits and more settlements with taxpayer dollars? Possibly.
Even worse, the outcome of this settlement doesn’t promise there will never be probes like this one into other organizations that might oppose any given administration.
Unfortunately, there should be more outrage at this settlement than celebration of victory. The Obama administration saves face here, but it doesn’t do a darned thing to actually protect the people from oppressive government scrutiny and overreach in the future.
It looks like there’s a whole lot more draining of the swamp needed inside the Beltway.
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