The IRS claims that it was targeting conservatives to cope with a surge of tax-exempt applications. We already knew this is untrue because their strategy for identifying conservatives took more effort, not less; and because an even greater surge of tax-exempt applications for labor groups went unscrutinized.
Now you can add this: When the IRS started targeting conservatives, there was no surge of tax-exempt applications. In fact, it was just the opposite:
Applications for tax exemption from advocacy nonprofits had not yet spiked when the Internal Revenue Service began using what it admits was inappropriate scrutiny of conservative groups in 2010.
In fact, applications were declining, data show.
What was happening in 2010 was the rise of the first small-government populist movement in modern history. Something had to be done.
UPDATE: A bushel of Pinocchios.