New York Times finds IRS office an unprepared, understaffed outpost with no direction

We’re starting to expect another presidential press conference Monday morning in which Obama changes his mind about being angry about the IRS targeting conservative groups. Maybe he’ll ask acting commissioner Steven Miller to stay on and give him a bonus. And forget about abolishing the IRS — it just needs more money and attention.

The New York Times has decided to have a look at that Cincinnati office where those rogue “low-level employees” were targeting Tea Party groups for harassment and apparently was given the grand tour. (It’s a shame that no one could find a key to let USA Today’s reporter into the public reading room at IRS headquarters.) So what’s going on in there?

Wow, an “understaffed outpost alienated from broader IRS culture and given little direction”? It sounds like Siberia, not Ohio, which “many in the IRS consider a backwater.” Oh, and not only was the office understaffed: “Few if any of the employees were experts on tax law, contributing to waves of questionnaires about groups’ political activity and donors that top officials acknowledge were improper.” Morton Blackwell wasn’t far off when he compared the IRS to Kermit Gosnell’s clinic.

The article goes on and on, and we confess we didn’t get to the part where we’re supposed to feel bad for anyone other than the groups that were targeted. We’re told, though, that the Washington Post also did a profile of that Ohio backwater, and its take is even “grittier.”

  • ObamaFail

    Understaffed my foot. They had no problem processing liberal groups and Muslim groups. If it was truly because they were understaffed, liberal and muslim groups would have been waiting a long time for their approval. But they were rushed into approval. Only an idiot would believe that this lame ass excuse is true. So I’m looking forward to rolling my eyes at Chris Matthews.

    • Frank Drebin

      “Lois Lerner, the senior IRS official at the center of the decision to
      target tea party groups for burdensome tax scrutiny, signed paperwork
      granting tax-exempt status to the Barack H. Obama Foundation, a shady
      charity headed by the president’s half-brother that operated illegally
      for years.”

      “The National Legal and Policy Center filed an official complaint with the IRS in May 2011 asking why the foundation was being allowed to solicit
      tax-deductible contributions when it had not even applied for an IRS
      determination. In a New York Post article dated May 8, 2011, an officer
      of the foundation admitted, “We haven’t been able to find someone with
      the expertise” to apply for tax-exempt status.”

      “Nevertheless, a month later, the Barack H. Obama Foundation had flown through the grueling application process. Lerner granted the organization a 501(c) determination and even gave it a retroactive tax exemption dating back to December 2008.”

    • grais

      Well, ya see, the man hours they saved by rushing the liberal approvals was spent asking endless, ridiculous questions of the conservative groups.
      And if they just had more money, they could have done much more of the same.

  • bkeyser

    Lesson: Throw more money at all the things.

  • Erick Brockway

    So now they’ll say that office was an “aberration” and all the rest will do fine implementing Obamacare. My ass.

    • rennyangel2

      But denials of tax status came also from CA and DC, so OH can’t bear the entire scapegoating.

  • Tom P

    So we’ve seen the future of the ACA in Cinci. Will anyone learn from this?

  • CR

    Well I find the New York Times to be just under-brained, uber-communist leftist wackadoos with no common sense.

  • TocksNedlog

    Aww, they’re not ‘bad’, just TOTALLY INCOMPETENT.

    I feel better. Sweet dreams!

  • nc

    As a Certified Lifetime Member of the Low-Level Employee Guild, this is the most preposterous thing I have ever seen. When LLEs are understaffed and overworked, do we “invent” extra questions on forms, making them MORE complicated? Not unless specifically directed to, I assure you. And do we “get creative,” changing existing policy without express approval from higher ups? Please. Everyone operates in donkey blanket (CYA) mode. The whole reason LLEs don’t make “the big bucks” is WE DON’T HAVE THE RESPONSIBILITY of the big decision makers.

    Does the NYT really not get this?

    • justlisa

      Well said…

    • TugboatPhil

      They do NOT get it. They only know and associate with other elitists.

  • Sarah

    A chill just ran up my spine. I feel as if I just read something right out of Atlas Shrugged.

  • Chevypowered

    NYT to Obama’s rescue. Their like the Calvary but 99.9% less awesome and instead of hearing bugles announcing their arrival you hear that @$$ kissing sound!

  • CatHerder

    Yeah, yeah, and they were surrounded by hostile Injuns too. Dad had a saying for occasions like this, “A poor excuse is better than none at all, right?”

  • rennyangel2

    If understaffed, why require 100s of pages of responses from the groups this “poor, isolated, but ROGUE OFFICE” decided to illicitly attack, bully, and harass? Why go through all that work when a couple pages and approval would lighten the load?

    The NY Times proves once again some rich Rep. like Trump or Romney (or where are the other greedy, rich Reps. we hear so much about–the Koch Bros are already busy with the Trib Co.) who should buy up the Mexican debt at the Times, claim them as an enormous loss over the next three years, and then put up the VACANT sign?

  • DrSamHerman

    I started to read the comments to that article online, but as usual the only posters to the NYT are all Obamabots with programmed talking points blaming everything on Bush, Republicans and anything else but their Ear Leader. Comment after comment blamed Congress rather than the executive branch for the mess. As Charles Krauthammer has observed, you would have to be an idiot to believe this was not political, and this is good confirmation that those commenting at the NYT defending the IRS are idiots.

    One thing to note about the NYT commenters–they completely avoided the issue of illegal release of confidential taxpayer information to unauthorized parties. Nothing says borderline personality disorder than blaming all of you troubles on others–and that’s the core of leftism in the US.

  • MurphTacular

    Love it when you guys can’t attack the facts of a story, but just resent how it disrupts your preferred narrative. They even copped to not reading the whole thing but regardless they’re convinced it’s indicative of ‘lapdog’ press coverage. Twitchy sounds like liberals who despise Limbaugh, but don’t listen to his show, b/c they “know what he’s saying.”
    Hypocrisy, anyone?
    This post has fostered a new realization about Twitchy: ‘Lapdog reporting’ can simply mean pointing out relevant facts that counter Twitchy’s preffered conspiracy arugment.

    • Ronald Green

      Boy, that’s funny. It’s got all the buzz words and even accuses Twitchy of being a conspiracy theorist. Got news for ya dude… it isn’t paranoia when they really are out to get you. And you can go on trying to protect you ‘god’ Obama all you want but when the fecal matter hits the rotating oscillator, you’re going to get hit too. So do us a favor and go back to drinking your koolaid.

      • MurphTacular

        It looks like you’re the one drinking the kool-aid, served up by … And what ‘buzz words’ are you talking about? No one’s argued against the merits of this post.