Some of the best-known politicians in the tea-party wing of the GOP are fuming over the IRS’s decision to target conservative groups in investigations.
Senator Mike Lee of Utah tells National Review, “you don’t ever want to have American citizens fearing that their participation in the political process, whether as individuals or through a group, will [put] them or the group in which they’re involved [at risk for] discriminatory targeted treatment by the IRS or by any other government regulator.”
“This is an agency that is becoming increasingly more powerful,” Lee says, “and interestingly many of these groups rose up in response to Obamacare. They came to be precisely because Obamacare concerned them.”
“The IRS, meanwhile, is becoming more powerful as a result of that same legislation,” he adds, “and so it’s quite interesting and quite revealing that this is where the IRS’s attention has apparently been drawn, to these very same groups.”
South Carolina senator Tim Scott, who was first elected to the House during the 2010 tea-party wave election, said he wasn’t surprised to hear that the IRS had been selectively targeting right-wing groups, as he’d been hearing complaints about it for a couple of years.
“Because of its partisan nature,” Scott tells National Review about the IRS scandal, it “needs a complete and thorough investigation.”
“I’d be very surprised if we don’t find that there are purely political motivations as the genesis of this activity,” he says.
Representative Louie Gohmert, an outspoken Republican from Texas, found President Obama’s response in a press conference yesterday “very disappointing.”
“It seems that he used the same words or very similar words about how he’s going after those who are responsible the same way he did in the talk about those responsible for killing our Americans at Benghazi,” Gohmert says.
“He’s said those kinds of words before, and nothing has happened,” he adds, “And then he goes on about his life of campaigning and raising money.”
Senator Lee sees the IRS scandal as an example of the dangers of big government.
“As it becomes bigger and more powerful,” Lee says, “as its tentacles reach into more and more aspects of our lives, these kinds of things become much more likely. It becomes sort of an inherent risk within big government, that things like this are going to happen.”
“So we need to look at this not as just an isolated problem,” he adds, “but as a symptom of a much bigger, more troubling ailment, which is the sprawling expanse of our federal government.”