TAKING THE BITE OUT OF THE IRS
DATELINE: Auditville, August 17 – We lerned again last week that the hunt for the truth in the Lois Lerner email investigation is like a giant whack-o-mole game. Every time the IRS pops up with another excuse about why her emails can’t be produced, players try to whack it into submission. It doesn’t matter who the players are – Congress, the Courts, whatever and whoever. So far, the moles are winning.
Let’s face it. The moles are not likely to lose. They hold all of the cards and the disks and whatever was on them. Even though there were probably backup tapes, the IRS assures us that they were erased before Congress was informed of the loss.
Even though Lerner wasn’t sending emails to herself, they can’t all be found on the disks of the recipients. That’s because no one knows who all of the recipients were to all of her emails since investigators don’t have her emails. What is known, according to the IRS, is that some of her email is gone forever.
Oh, investigators can look on the disks of those she routinely communicated with in email. But, according to the IRS, disks that belonged to six other employees crashed, too. At least one of those employees was involved in the alleged tea party targeting. All of the emails on those six disks went the way of Lerner’s – into the deep chasm of unrecoverability.
The biggest problem for everyone in all of this is not that the IRS unlawfully targeted the tea party, although that’s bad enough. The biggest problem is that the Agency can get away with it and in a very arrogant fashion to boot. It not only puts itself above the law, it also places itself beyond successful challenge. That above and beyond combination cannot work for anyone outside of the IRS.
What can be done about it? Flatten the limitless power of the IRS by greatly simplifying the tax code. How greatly? Remove the horrendous complications and reduce the Agency’s chokehold. Not that revising the tax code is a new idea. But, past motivations included only notions of fair taxation and equitable rates, which would also increase revenue.
Today, we still need simplification for those reasons, but the tax code continues to get more, not less, complex. So, greater revenue through fairness, obviously, is not a strong enough stimulant. Curbing an Agency with unbounded domination has to be.
Lois Lerner’s lasting contribution should be the irresistible impetus to finally reduce the IRS hold on all of us. This was surely not her intent as she sat in front of her computer pounding out her email messages. But, whether it’s a flat tax or a progressive tax with flat brackets or something else, eliminating deductions and exemptions will bring her style of abuse to a halt.
Now, where is Congress when we actually need them?