These past few days the news has focused obsessively on IRS-Gate: the apparent targeting of right-wing groups for intensive investigation by the IRS when these groups apply for tax-exempt status. Regarding the scandal, here are my two cents (which, since I am clearly unaffiliated with any Tea Party groups will never be taxed or audited): The thought of any government agency--but especially the dreaded IRS--selectively investigating groups based on those groups' political leanings is, to say the least, disturbing. Whoever made the decision to target Tea-Party groups should be sanctioned if not fired. Much as I dislike "Tea Party Patriots" and their ilk, I acknowledge their right to organize freely and without fear of government interference: Indeed, any untoward government interference only helps these groups to advance their overwrought conspiracy theories.
For my money, though, the worst part of this whole debacle is that these Tea Party groups probably should be investigated--along with any number of liberal interest groups. These groups that claim tax-exempt status--ostensibly as "social welfare" organizations--when in fact their primary purpose is to promote political agendas are abusing the system that grants deserved tax exemptions to legitimate charities. How much harder will it now become for the IRS to do its actual job?