Free Markets, Free People

Time to put the IRS back in its place

This should be interesting:

A federal judge has ordered the IRS to explain “under oath” how the agency lost a trove of emails from the official at the heart of the Tea Party targeting scandal.

U.S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan gave the tax agency 30 days to file a declaration by an “appropriate official” to address the computer issues with ex-official Lois Lerner.

The decision came Thursday as part of a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit by conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch, which along with GOP lawmakers on Capitol Hill has questioned how the IRS lost the emails and, in some cases, had no apparent way to retrieve them.

The IRS first acknowledged it lost the emails in a letter to senators last month.

“In our view, there has been a cover-up that has been going on,” Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said. “The Department of Justice, the IRS, had an obligation, an absolute obligation … to alert the court and alert Judicial Watch as soon as they knew when these records were supposedly lost.”

This isn’t Congress we’re talking about here.  Dissembling “under oath” in a Federal Court has (or at least used to have) severe consequences.  That ass that is the director of the IRS won’t be able to play his arrogant games this time.  And, his agency will actually have to have a plausible explanation and proof instead of hand-waves and fake outrage at the questions asked and answers demanded.

As polls have demonstrated, almost no one in the country believes the IRS’s convenient explanations – convenient for them.  And, as others have pointed out, they were in violation of the law when they didn’t archive all correspondence pending lawsuits they were involved in.  This wasn’t just some “slip up”.  The IRS knows what its legal responsibilities are and have exercised them in the past.  Their legal department knew that they were required, under the law, to ensure all internal correspondence was available.

This isn’t about a couple of “rogue agents in Cincinnati”.  This is about a rogue agency … period.  Time to bring it under control again and for once, figuratively speaking, seeing some bureaucratic heads roll.


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30 Responses to Time to put the IRS back in its place

  • Perhaps Congress should take up the issue itself.
    Advancing enforcement of “Contempt of Congress” referrals to a Class D felony, if ignored by DOJ for more than 90 days.

  • If by IRS, you mean “Lois Lerner” and its place you mean “jail” then yes.
    I’d fire the lot of them from top to bottom. Given some of the other shannigans (leaking NOM’s tax return to political foes, employees openly campaigning for Obama) – I’d put them all in jail for a couple of years also just on general principles.
    That said, do you want to know what the REAL place for the IRS is?  Under Republican control and used for targeting democrats. Consider it a teachable moment.

    • This all comes from the top.  With Eric Holder and his merry band of Ass(hole) US attorneys ignoring the law when they aren’t dispensing favoritism, what should we expect ?

    • That said, do you want to know what the REAL place for the IRS is?  Under Republican control and used for targeting democrats. Consider it a teachable moment.

      Now, shark, you know that won’t work. The people at the IRS, top to bottom, *wanted* to go after those on the right, especially limited government types. They don’t want to go after Democrats, who they consider their staunch allies.

      They would throw every obstacle they could come up with at any effort to target Democrats. They would delay, delay, delay until a Democrat was back, or become whistleblower and accuse the administration that tried to target Democrats with every breaking law on the books.

      The Washington Post and New York Times would rediscover the joys of harassing officeholders who had supposedly broken laws. They would make life hell for Republicans by blocking every message they tried to put out, substituting outrageous “How dare you, have you no shame” accusations every single day – for months or years.

      It’s not honest or fair that the Democrats get away with breaking or ignoring the law. But it’s just the way things work with our current lapdog press. No tu quoque is ever going to work when Republicans try the same tactics.

      • You’re correct Billy.
        But I will note revolutions have started over less. This is actually a truly actionable cause, if we all weren’t so comfortable and lazy 🙂

  • I’m not sure what ‘real consequences’ means?  Does anyone think the DOJ would prosecute any perjury/obstruction?

    Here’s the thing…as I’ve said before…
    You can’t put the IRS, the VA, the EPA, or any other Federal agency “back in its place” as they are presently constituted.  You can nibble around the margins.  You can give people haircuts, but no heads will roll.
    You have to cut them off at the ankles, or eliminate them altogether.  They are not “controllable” in any normal sense, nor can they be “fixed”.  They are systemically flawed organizations that no amount of tinkering will repair, and that by their very nature.  They will ALWAYS tend to revert to the state in which we find them to be catastrophically failing to do what we think they should be doing, because THAT is NOT their real business.  The people who staff them…from middle-managers on up…know this, and count on there being no means of effectively changing the direction of their respective agencies.

    • The current House appropriations bills have the IRS getting a 15% cut

      • Is that a CUT, or a reduction in their INCREASE?
        In any event, that MIGHT mean they have to live with their current interior decorations and cut back on their video productions for the conferences.
        Po babies…

  • I’ll wager an ice cold lager that the answer from the IRS will be, “We don’t know what happened.”

    • They’ll claim they heard about it in the media.

    • “We don’t know what happened…sucka.”
      And besides…Sue me…

    • “I don’t recall.” “I have no recollection of that.” There will be lots of empty answers. Is the American public really supposed to accept this BS from the IRS, the VA, Health & Human Services (Obamacare rollout) and DOJ? These agencies are led by incompetents who make Mike Brown (“great job Brownie”) look like a genius. Where is the outrage from the mainstream media? Why are they not demanding blood?

      • Or she will just plead the 5th, as she has done when Congress called her to testify.

      • Exactly.  If the IG is in on it then the report they generate will be vague and inconclusive.  So they can say they don’t know what happened and have a 3rd party back them up on it.
        Where is the outrage in the media?  It is there, blaming the republicans for endless investigations of non-scandals (IRS, Bengahzi, the boarder, etc) while they do nothing legislatively to accomplish Obama’s goals… and so on and so forth.

        • Well, and underfunding the purrr, purrr IRS.
          I feel for them.  Seriously.  I do…  (sniffle)

  • On an administrative note: is anyone else experiencing long delays in loading the QandO home page? I’m using Chrome, and I think I’m getting some scripting activity hogging the rendering thread.

  • Loading fine on my iPhone using a guest network far from home.

  • So how much of this “do what they want” goes back to the early days of the administration that made a known liar President (see Jerimiah Wright) and a tax cheat head of the Treasury?

  • The IRS will lie, dissemble and equivocate like the experienced politicians they are, and I have no doubt at all that AG Holder will be right on that case at his earliest possible convenience, say Feb 2017.

    • I think less of that will work in a court with a Federal District judge presiding.  Some of them have a very dim view of perjury…or even playing cute…from a witness.  They have the power of contempt, which is no small thing.  And they use it.  See Clinton, Bill

      • Perhaps. I hope so. But I can’t get this quote from Judge Learned Hand out of my mind:

        “I often wonder whether we do not rest our hopes too much upon constitutions, upon laws and upon courts. These are false hopes; believe me, these are false hopes. Liberty lies in the hearts of men and women; when it dies there, no constitution, no law, no court can save it; no constitution, no law, no court can even do much to help it.”

        • But, Billy, the craving for liberty Hand spoke of burns brightly in many of us.  You know that is true.  I can’t think of a time in American history when it was a majority yearning, even during the Revolution.  It isn’t dead, and in fact may be waxing.

  • So, it looks like Emperor Obama WAS paying attention that day in school when they were discussing Worcester vs Georgia (1832). President Andrew Jackson’s famous quote was “John Marshall has made his decision, now let him enforce it.”

    In other words, absent the WILLINGNESS to be governed by rule-of-law, there can be no rule-of-law.

    President Obama started off his term of office with no intent to submit to the laws of our land, and is getting bolder and bolder about publicly flouting them. None of his appointees and staff members show any respect for the legal niceties, either.

    I remember my school days, long ago, when I learned about “government by consent of the governed.” I think it’s time for me to withdraw MY consent, too.