The IRS is a political bully

The Washington Examiner’s Tim Carney offers some more details in the IRS inquisition scandal that should make anyone think twice about the Internal Revenue Service’s objectivity when it comes to politics (emphasis mine):

Federal officials used the power of the state to intimidate and harass critics of President Obama and the federal government. When the higher levels of the Internal Revenue Service learned that one office was inappropriately targeting Tea Party groups, these officials nevertheless denied it — until they were forced to fess up.

If you needed another reason to distrust your government and oppose its expansion, the IRS just gave it to you.

Judging by available evidence and an inspector general’s report released this week, the story here is not a Nixonian White House using all of government’s tools to punish critics.

The story is instead one of government power so great that, even in the hands of nonpolitical career civil servants, politically motivated abuse is inevitable. And the ultimate problem is that our tax code and campaign finance laws put the IRS in the business of policing political speech. Politics inevitably comes into play. […]

The Cincinnati office where the political targeting took place is much more partisan, judging by FEC filings. More than 75 percent of the campaign contributions from that office in the past three elections went to Democrats. In 2012, every donation traceable to employees at that office went to either President Obama or liberal Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio.