An IRS building in Ogden, Utah, had to be evacuated Monday after a suspicious substance was found.
Two people were carried out on stretchers, but they apparently already had some medical issues that may have just been exacerbated by the excitement. At press time, it was unclear what the substance was or who had to be removed from the building.
Threats against IRS employees have been increasing of late, according to the Treasury Inspector general for Tax Administration, rising 21.5 percent from 2008 to 2009. They culminated late last month with the deranged pilot who flew his airplane into an IRS facility in Austin, Texas, killing one IRS employee and himself.
The economy is no doubt one factor to blame, but also the anti-government sentiments of groups like the Tea Party Movement could be playing a role too, as Frank Rich pointed out in a though-provoking New York Times column on Sunday. The substance in the Utah building may turn out to be a harmless mistake.
On the other hand, there does seem to be real anger in the country toward government agencies like the IRS. Taxes have never been popular in the U.S., but threats toward innocent government employees never helped anyone pay or avoid paying their taxes.