Web Search powered by Yahoo! SEARCH
Wanna talk about the IRS?
Shocking IRS Witch Hunt? Actually, It's a Time-Honored Tradition
Tea partiers join a club including the Communist Party, Christian schools—and Mother Jones
On Monday, President Obama weighed in on the alleged targeting of conservative nonprofit groups by the Internal Revenue Service, calling for a full investigation into what he said would constitute "outrageous" conduct. That's one way to put it. Here's another: depressingly normal. For much of the last century, abuse of the IRS for political ends has been the rule, not the exception. Under Republican and Democratic presidents alike, the IRS has gone after communists, students, black activists, young conservatives, and mainstream political rivals. Here are some prime examples:
Franklin D. Roosevelt: According to libertarian historian Burton W. Folsom's New Deal or Raw Deal, Elliott Roosevelt, the president's son, noted that FDR "may have been the originator of the concept of employing the IRS as a weapon of political retribution"—most notably against former Louisiana governor and senator Huey Long. (The famously corrupt Long, in fairness, was kind of asking for it.) Rep. Hamilton Fish, a New York Republican, alleged that Roosevelt's IRS had gone after him on trumped-up charges—and when that failed, handed the investigation over to the FBI instead. Roosevelt's longtime Treasury secretary, Henry Morgenthau Jr., admitted that the administration had deliberately targeted his Republican predecessor, Richard Mellon, on trumped-up charges of tax evasion.
Dwight Eisenhower: The FBI's counterintelligence program, COINTELPRO, relied heavily on the compliance of the IRS to go after members of the Communist Party. Per a 1976 Senate report, "In its efforts against the Communist Party, the FBI had unlimited access to tax returns; it never told the IRS why it wanted them, and IRS never attempted to find out."
John F. Kennedy: In 1961, Attorney General Robert Kennedy teamed up with United Auto Workers president Walter Reuther to produce the "Reuther Memorandum," which proposed curtailing the influence of far-right groups in two ways. The first was the enforcement of the Federal Communication Commision's "Fairness Doctrine," to limit their use of the airwaves. The second was the IRS, through an initiative called "The Ideological Organizations Audit Project," which explored the political activities of conservative nonprofits. The program eventually expanded to the other of the side of political spectrum, but according to the 1976 Senate investigation, that was mostly a facade of non-partisanship.
Please see next post.....
Comments are the sole responsibility of the person posting them. You agree not to post comments that are off topic, defamatory, obscene, abusive, threatening or an invasion of privacy. Violators may be banned. Click here for our full user agreement.
Username * Don't have an account? Sign up for a new account
Password * Can't remember? Reset your password
Comments can be shared on
Add both options by connecting your profiles.
Feels Like: 77°
Feels Like: 66°
View popular webcams in our area.
Sign up to read an electronic replica of the Marco Eagle newspaper.
Get your local news anywhere you go from the Marco Eagle. Download app »
See photos from local anglers with their biggest catch of the day. Submit your photos.
Our radar shows current conditions and possible severe weather.