Just this serious. The IRS positioned itself to act exactly as Hitler's Gestapo did. The IRS demanded such information from those right-wing groups applying for 501(c) status that would have enabled agents to attend and disrupt meetings, or hunt down attendees.
Yes, it's probable that the IRS never acted on the information which they gathered, but, in direct contravention to what Rep. Jim McDermott (D-WA) said, that does not absolve the IRS of the evil of collecting that information in the first place, since doing so was definitely not in their charter, and doing so had only one purpose, to flesh out information in Obama's improper "enemies list".
I'm a hard-hearted s.o.b. most of the time, and if the IRS had simply denied all those applications for 501(c) status of all those right-wing orgs, I would not raise an eyebrow, because that would have been a fair interpretation of their mission under their rules as given by Congress.
Denying the tax-exempt status wasn't enough for the IRS though, they had to gather sufficient information on these groups to be able to later eliminate them. Make no mistake about it, History fans, there is only one purpose of gathering the info that the IRS did in their "questionnaires", and that is to take later direct action against those organizatons. In legal terms, this is the "substantial step" of the completion of any conspiracy that is needed to get an indictment for conspiring to violate whatever law or whoever's rights.
So, don't be taken in by the phony (D)onk claim of "no harm, no foul". There IS harm every time Government collects detailed information on law-abiding citizens exercising their constitutional Civil Rights. Isn't it time that "constitutional scholar" President Obama came forward and admitted this signal fact? Isn't it time that President Obama joined the vast majority of Americans who demand an end to this IRS abuse, and in his case, that means dismissing every IRS leader who he can dismiss by his own hand, and starting the procedures to have the rest of the leaders of this damaged Government bureau dismissed by Civil Service rules?
We're waiting, President Obama, and every day that goes by without your strong action to restore our good faith in this powerful arm of your Government is another day which indicates that you support and even encourage their abuses.