It gets worse. I wonder what else they have been doing?
http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-250_162-575 ... than-2012/
Senior Internal Revenue Service officials knew agents were targeting tea party groups as early as 2011, according to a draft of an inspector general's report obtained by The Associated Press that seemingly contradicts public statements by the IRS commissioner.
The IRS apologized Friday for what it acknowledged was "inappropriate" targeting of conservative political groups during the 2012 election to see if they were violating their tax-exempt status. The agency blamed low-level employees, saying no high-level officials were aware.
But on June 29, 2011, Lois G. Lerner, who heads the IRS division that oversees tax-exempt organizations, learned at a meeting that groups were being targeted, according to the watchdog's report. At the meeting, she was told that groups with "Tea Party," "Patriot" or "9/12 Project" in their names were being flagged for additional and often burdensome scrutiny, the report says.
First, what on earth does this have to do with the healthcare reform act... the supposed TOPIC of this thread??????
Seems like, as usual, you prefer an "anything to attack Obama" rhetoric over any kind of real thought.
Among the issues you fialed to mention...
Obama specifically declaring that if groups were targeted, it is "simply unacceptable".
NO group was denied approval.
Beyond that, once you get past the hoopla, its not quite the witch hunt you and many conservatives like to pretend. It was stupid and certainly gave the appearance of partisanship, even if, as those involved seem to assert it was not. The story (and note, this is what they are saying, not my opinion on this at all!) is that they had many, many applications and sought to find some shortcuts to identify those groups who were legitimately tax exempt and those that were not. The key difference is how much political activity. For the "best" status, you have to be completely a social service organization with no political activity. For the other status, the one these groups applied to get, you can have some political activity, but it cannot be most of the purpose of the group. The exact lines are being fought, changed, so that is yet another difficulty.
Anyway, if you want a quick way to find out which groups are political, back in 2011 particularly, keying in on new groups with the names of "Tea Party", "Patriot" and other rhetoric terms bandied about by political groups is not a terrible idea. Of course, they should have certainly identified groups across the spectrum, not just give the appearance of targeting one political view. That was wrong. Still, I would also wager that at that particular point in time, there were far, far more conservative leaning groups emerging. Liberals largely have "had their day", already have established groups.
BUT... yet another issue, IF the stories are to be believed (and that is a BIG "if"), then this is yet another case of folks trying to do more with less... or, in other words, the IRS agents committing these errors did so in an effort to try and do exactly what you constnatly demand of government... more efficiency!
Now, note specifically that I am not saying this last bit to in any way justify what happened. I think they screwed up, and big time. Still... to pretend that these folks are not facing huge pressure to do more with less and that that pressure contributed to this, is well, disengenius.