Michael Gerson: IRS abuses bring out the libertarian in each of us

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  • John Pack Lambert of Michigan Ypsilanti, MI
    July 31, 2013 8:08 p.m.

    The specific targeting of specific groups based on ideology, and the attempts to force them to provide "balanced" presentation, without demanding the same of leftist groups is disturbing.

  • Howard Beal Provo, UT
    May 15, 2013 10:52 p.m.

    Ultra Bob you are misguided and I'm no conservative blogger. This is concerning to everyone. Someday a Republican will be at the top appointing whoever. I don't want to this happen to people who belong or support liberal or left organizations. This is scary stuff.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    May 15, 2013 2:38 p.m.

    Ultra Bob
    What laws has the Tea Party violated???

    What laws have the SDS, OWS, The Weather Underground, Black Panthers, etc broken? I can list them if you need them. So why is it the Tea Party that you think needs extra IRS crackdowns?

    IRS being super motivated to do their job is one thing. IRS being POLITICIALLY motivated to block conservative groups that have broken no laws from organising (because they are working for the Democrats) is snother.

    I know the Government is in the business of enforcing the law. But what was going on at the IRS was not enforcing the law... it was becoming a law unto yourself. Even the President and the head of the IRS admits that what happened was inapropriate and can't be tolerated in a free society. So why do YOU seem to feel it's acceptable and an appropriate use of Government??? When everyone (Republican and Democrat) is denounceing it?

    You seem to be out of touch.

  • 4601 Salt Lake City, UT
    May 15, 2013 2:22 p.m.

    Some applications were asked for the names of donors, not an approved IRS practice, and delayed for years. If your implication is that all groups were treated equally, the answer is simply No.

  • Ultra Bob Cottonwood Heights, UT
    May 15, 2013 1:04 p.m.

    2 bits.

    In my book, the purpose of government is to protect it’s citizens from all enemies, both foreign and domestic. The greater of this effort is protection from domestic enemies, those who are ourselves who would do harm to our lives and happiness. The government does this by enforcing the laws, which is often referred to as exercising control over the citizens.

    Every part of our government is a law enforcement agency. The fact that they specialize in certain areas of the law does not change that purpose. The IRS is concerned with taxes, the FDA deals with things we ingest, etc. etc. etc..

    Most of us would like to think that each of these parts of government is super motivated to do the most complete and competent job possible in their area.

  • Ultra Bob Cottonwood Heights, UT
    May 15, 2013 12:36 p.m.

    It is a sad thing, but none the less appropriate to have the picture showing goals of the conservatives hiding behind an American flag.

    I think that the conservatives believe that if they are carrying an American flag, people won’t notice their anti-America attitude.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    May 15, 2013 11:45 a.m.

    This just feeds the fears of people who tend to not trust Government, who think government beurocrats can become corrupt and start using their positions and their departments, and their power, as social engineering tools to encourage people to not get out of line or ask for change.

    The only thing that could be worse than the IRS targetting conservatives for intimidation and keeping them from organizing or getting politically involved would be for the Dept of Homeland Security to target and list Conservatives and Christians as "High Risk" of being domestic terrorists... oh wait... that already happened.

    It's just not a good path to even START down.

    I hope they can nip it in the bud before we have other departments thinking they are the SS... responsible for keeping the people in line with THEIR politics. I can see this type of activity being acceptable in Nazi Germany... but not in the United States.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    May 15, 2013 9:50 a.m.

    Has there been a single conservative group that didn't get their tax status as a result of this?

  • Nate Pleasant Grove, UT
    May 14, 2013 11:54 p.m.

    @conservative scientist

    One of them is Secretary of the Treasury.

  • conservative scientist Lindon, UT
    May 14, 2013 5:44 p.m.

    I remember a few years ago that Obama was having trouble filling his cabinet because many of the people he was considering had not pain their income taxes. What ever happened to any of those people?

  • Hemlock Salt Lake City, UT
    May 14, 2013 1:25 p.m.

    Does that include the IRS collecting names of those who contribute to conservative organizations and illegally distributing them? Or does your fervor over tax cheats extend only to conservatives? Change we can believe in? Sounds more like Richard Nixon.

  • Nate Pleasant Grove, UT
    May 14, 2013 8:07 a.m.

    Now we know what "fundamental change" looks like.

  • The Real Maverick Orem, UT
    May 14, 2013 7:27 a.m.

    The IRS auditing tax cheats is what they did. I don't care whether they are right wing or left wing. Prosecuting tax cheats is what they do. And I thank them for it.