There are still ten tea party groups which haven’t received approval by the IRS — years after having applied for tax-exempt status. Some applications have been delayed five years by now. All in all, 547 applications were “centralized,” for extraordinary scrutiny.
According to a report by Senate investigators, “the Albuquerque Tea Party was one of the original test cases the IRS used to try to figure out how to handle tea party applications, and that group was still awaiting approval as of April. Accordingly, while substantial progress has been made since 2010 to reduce the backlog of political advocacy applications, IRS management has not yet been able to bring all of these applications to closure.”
There’s no way in the world that a backlog of FIVE years exists — and if it actually does, IRS top brass should be fired for running an incompetent, inefficient agency of that magnitude.
But nothing will actually happen. This was made painfully evident from reading the Senate report, which differed in its conclusions about the culpability of IRS officials. Indeed, it “cleared those top officials of more serious charges of trying to punish groups politically opposed to President Obama. Indeed, after two years of investigation the top Republican and Democrat on the Senate Finance Committee couldn’t even agree on whether there was politically motivated targeting in picking which applications to delay or to give extra scrutiny — the central allegation in the 2013 inspector general’s audit.”
The only IRS employee to be particularly named was Lois Lerner but even then, the assessment of her misdealings by Senate investigators was particularly weak. She was chastised for failing to “adequately manage the EO employees who processed these applications”, her handling of applications “was flawed in design and/or mismanagement”, and she showed “little emphasis” on “providing good customer service.”
Heads should roll. But they won’t, ever. The scandal is two years old now — which is ancient in the political world. People have moved on from their outrage and they are now focused mainly on 2016. The scandal is barely covered in the news anymore, which is how the IRS can still get away with keeping some groups remaining in limbo, due to a “backlog”, even after 5 years. It’s outrageous.