More Americans have a ‘favorable’ opinion of the IRS than of the Tea Party.

Earlier this week, John Halpin and Ruy Teixeira, Center for American Progress senior fellows and co-directors of the Progressive Studies Program, noted that Americans viewed socialism as favorably as they viewed the Tea Party. Now, a new Fox News poll shows that the Tea Party is viewed less favorably than another bugaboo for the Tea Party, the Internal Revenue Service:

Fox’s poll finding is particularly humorous considering that a recent conservative attack on health care reform has been to falsely claim that it would lead to the hiring of 16,500 IRS agents to enforce the law. “I suspect every Republican candidate will campaign on a promise to cut off all funding in January for the 16,000 IRS agents,” said Newt Gingrich recently. “You don’t need a health Gestapo in the United States.”