During the 27 months during which the IRS did not approve one application for tax-exempt status from a tea party group, the agency approved "perhaps dozens of applications from similar liberal and progressive groups," according to a review by USA Today.
Front-line IRS workers were not instructed to route progressive organizations to a special coordinator; these groups' applications were simply processed through the general inventory.
Meanwhile, the White House has vacillated between indifference and acknowledgment of inappropriate IRS behavior.
Consider this: On the same day President Barack Obama bemoaned the "phony scandals" plaguing his administration, his chief spokesman, Jay Carney, allowed that "we need to get to the bottom of what happened at the IRS."
Which is it?
"Let's just take the IRS scandal. The fact is, it's far different than what you said," MSNBC host Joe Scarborough recently reminded Carney.
The American people demand and deserve accountability from their government, not to live in fear of being subject to an audit or other extra scrutiny for reasons unrelated to the content of their filing.
So far, the IRS and this administration have provided no assurances that oversight and accountability is in place to prevent such abuses from happening again.
The administration's own partisan anti-tea party rhetoric, its evolving and inconsistent explanations and the IRS's own unwillingness to fulfill the president's promises of cooperation with our investigation have fueled skepticism about how dedicated they are to holding the responsible parties accountable.
We are committed to a thorough and fair investigation. Our committees are working to find out how this happened and how we can prevent any taxpayer from being targeted.
The American people deserve to know that they have a government that works for them - not against them. The White House and the IRS should fully cooperate.
It is the only way Americans can regain lost trust in this administration.
The writers, both Republicans, are chairmen of, respectively, the House committees on Oversight and Ways and Means. This column first appeared in the Washington Post.