CHICAGO - A Chicago area Tea Party leader that has been outspoken against ObamaCare was suddenly notified Wednesday before Thanksgiving by the Internal Revenue Service that he owes $6000 in taxes from as far back as ten years ago. The taxes must be paid by the day after Christmas. The South Carolina cancer patient he helped to reinstate health care insurance got a letter from the IRS the same day.
Sunday, a US News op-ed says the IRS bullying that led to a weakened tea party movement in the 2012 elections is likely to muscle up before 2014 because the IRS has decided their methods of intimidation are now legal. From the US News op-ed:
In the 2010 midterm elections, the tea party delivered the president its famous "shellacking." Riding a wave of discontent over his health care law and out-of-control spending the movement took back control of the House of Representatives. In the 2012 presidential election, the movement's impact seemed more subdued, and President Obama won re-election.
One of the reasons why this may have happened became widely known only after the election: the IRS had singled out tea party and other conservative groups for special treatment when they applied for tax-exempt status, leading to costly delays and the elimination of part of the Republican Party's ground game. After initial claims that low-level employees in the IRS' Cincinnati office had been solely responsible for this targeting were shown to be false, two acting commissioners of the IRS, Steven Miller and Danny Werfel, and the head of its section on tax-exempt organizations, Lois Lerner, were forced to resign. In the aftermath of the revelations, President Obama referred to the IRS' activities as "outrageous," claimed that had been unaware, and called for accountability, "so that such conduct never happens again."
That was then. This Tuesday, the administration decided that instead of making sure the 2014 midterm elections will not be tainted by similar restrictions on the activities of 501(c)4 organizations, it was going to legalize and institutionalize the IRS' practices. I guess that's one way to do it.
The rest of the commentary is in US News