The Corner

Don’t Limit Probe to IRS

Complaints from conservatives over the last two years that they’ve been targeted by the IRS were widely derided by liberals and many in the mainstream media as the ravings of unhinged partisans. Turns out those complaints were based in reality — and weren’t just limited to the IRS.

For example, recall that, during the height of the 2012 presidential campaign, prominent Romney supporter Frank VanderSloot was subjected to audits by both the IRS and the Department of Labor. Peculiarly, VanderSloot was notified of the audits barely two weeks after an Obama campaign website listed him among eight “wealthy (Romney supporters) with less-than-reputable records.” When VanderSloot voiced suspicions  that the audits might be politically motivated, he was dismissed as simply paranoid.

Now, there’s no evidence that the VanderSloot audits were politically-driven. But that’s the point. It’s nearly impossible for individual citizens to adduce such evidence. That’s why there must be a congressional investigation.

But the investigation shouldn’t be limited to the IRS. Until last week, the IRS was denying that conservatives were being targeted by the agency. Now we know those denials were completely false. What about the Department of Labor, or for that matter, any federal agency with authority to investigate, regulate, or fine individuals and businesses? With few exceptions, the permanent bureaucracy in Washington leans heavily left. If IRS employees could target conservatives, what prevents the same mindset from prevailing in other agencies?

Congress must use its time and resources judiciously. But it would be shortsighted not to take seriously the complaints that citizens — regardless of ideology — have made about other agencies as well. Hey, we conservatives might be paranoid. But it looks like this time someone was, indeed, out to get us.



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