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In defense of the IRS

Published: Wednesday, May 15 2013 3:20 p.m. MDT

Recently DeseretNews.com compiled opinions from around the web on the developing scandal that the Internal Revenue Service put extra scrutiny on tea party affiliated groups applying for tax exempt status. The commentary from around the web was noticably void of any defense for the IRS and what it did. Today, Huffington Post’s executive businesses editor Peter Goodman has written in defense of the IRS on his blog, with some clarifications.

“Lost in the latest political scandal is a simple fact: The Internal Revenue Service was acting in the public interest when it opted to train its auditing power on the tea party and affiliated groups.” Goodman points out that "in castigating government as the root of all evil while portraying taxation as a form of tyranny, the tea party is no less than a mass celebration of the evasion of the basic responsibilities of American citizenship. Common sense alone tells you that people drawn to its ranks may feel extra temptation to find ways to limit what they surrender to the rogue federal bureaucrats who have supposedly seized the nation."

However, Goodman does explain that "the cover-up is the bad part here, as in nearly all Washington scandals. It's not the act itself that delivered the real trouble — in this case, a campaign unleashed in the Cincinnati offices of the IRS to scrutinize with particular rigor the applications for tax-exempt status submitted by tea party-affiliated groups. Rather, it was what happened afterwards that poses the problem: Officials at the IRS lied to members of Congress about what was actually going on."

Freeman Stevenson is a Snow College grad and is the DeseretNews.com opinion intern. Reach me at fstevenson@deseretdigital or @freemandesnews

Read more about the IRS on Huffington Post.

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