McConnell blames public worker unions for Tea Party targeting

The Hill reports that Sen. Mitch McConnell argues that it was the IRS union that set the tone for the extra scrutiny agents gave the Tea Party and other conservative groups.

IRS agents were taking cues from union leaders when they decided to target the Tea Party, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell charged on Friday.

“When the head of the union that represents unionized IRS workers publicly vilifies the Tea Party, is it any wonder that members of her union would get caught targeting them?” the Kentucky Republican said in a speech at the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank.

McConnell said the growth of public sector unions has created “an inherent and undeniable tension between those who believe in limited self-government and those who stand to benefit from its growth.”

“Why would we even expect a public employee — whose union more or less exists to grow the government — to treat someone who opposes that goal to a fair hearing?” McConnell said.

“They are the reason so many state and local municipalities are flat broke,” he said. “They’re behind the unsustainable expansion of public pensions. They’re a major problem.”

McConnell said he agreed with the assessment that “public sector unions are a 50-year mistake,” and said their creation has led to a “fleecing” of taxpayers through a vast expansion of government.

“That’s what happens when politicians start competing for the support of public-sector unions — they stop serving the interests of the people who elected them and start serving the interests of a government they’re supposed to be keeping in check.”

The IRS scandal has put the actions of federal workers squarely in the spotlight, with top officials spending the past several weeks trying to explain the inappropriate targeting of conservative groups at a slew of hearings on Capitol Hill.

McConnell said the revelation this week that IRS employees received $70 million in bonuses is a perfect example of how the unions are corrupting government.

“The IRS union is thumbing its nose at the American people. It’s telling them in the clearest terms possible that it doesn’t care about this scandal, or how well government works, or how well it’s serving the public,” he said.