Even before the scandal broke, Americans already hated and feared the IRS. So how much worse could the agency’s reputation get?

Much worse. In May, it was revealed that the nation’s most disliked government agency has been secretly and illegally denying the civil rights of hundreds of conservative and Christian organizations and individuals. Although both the IRS and the White House tried to blame the whole ghastly mess on the poor judgment of a couple of rogue agents in Cincinnati, the truth gradually emerged: The abuse was widespread and officials at the highest levels of government had long been aware – yet had done nothing to stop it. Indeed, IRS employees have testified there is no way such pervasive and egregious abuses could have occurred without direction from above.

The use of the IRS to persecute and suppress a de facto “White House enemies list” – in a manner and scope more serious than anything Richard Nixon even contemplated during the Watergate era – has led many to demand the agency be abolished.

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