Ever been audited by the IRS?
If you can’t find a record they demand try telling them you “made a good faith effort” yet were unable to find what they asked you to produce. Where do you think that would get you?
Some have tried to paint the Congressional inquiry into the IRS that gives thousands of dollars of bonuses to their employees who themselves fail to pay taxes and throws lavish Las Vegas blowouts with penthouse suites for their brass as being political in nature.
Maybe it is, maybe it isn’t.
But what the IRS is now doing should be an affront to honest taxpayers everywhere that don’t have the ability to set up tax shelters that befuddle IRS auditors or the wherewithal to buy political protection through significant campaign contributions.
The IRS after nearly a year – see if you get that much time to produce a contested document that the IRS demands – told Congressional investigators that the emails they were asking for regarding political targeting of conservative groups were lost in a crash of Lois Lerner’s computer.
The emails that Lerner traded with the Department of Justice that were lost to a computer crash comes conveniently in the same time frame where there is some evidence that the IRS sent a massive file of confidential taxpayer information not necessarily connected to the conservative groups to the FBI in apparent violation of privacy laws. The crash also apparently wiped out all email communication ever conducted between Lerner and the White House.
The IRS’ top-notch team of forensic experts who routinely retrieve deleted and destroyed information thought long gone on the computer drives of individuals and firms that they audit, couldn’t do anything for Lerner’s drive.
The reason is simple. The IRS said they destroyed the drive.
The political drivel is predictable. House Speaker John Boehner says the IRS needs to tell the truth. Who knows, maybe they are telling the truth given how they conduct their own business that also includes giving performance bonuses to IRS employees who are being disciplined.
And bless Nancy Pelosi’s heart – Boehner’s counterpart on the Democrat side of the House of Ill Repute also known as the House of Representatives – for not only saying she believes the IRS but saying she believes Lois Lerner’s computer crash means the IRS has an antiquated computer system therefore Congress needs to throw money at it.
You may at this point shrug your shoulders and say “who cares.”
Unfortunately the investigation on Friday took an Orwellian turn.
Texas Republican Congressman Steve Stockman sent a letter to National Security Administration Michael Rogers asking the agency to share IRS emails that it collected in metadata sweeps so it could be established whether the IRS violated anyone’s First Amendment rights.
You read that right. A congressman is asking the agency that epitomizes massive violations of First Amendment rights to produce emails it simply scooped up for no rhyme or reason on very sketchy legal and constitutional grounds to determine if another federal agency that has seemingly unlimited police powers like the NSA has violated First Amendment rights of citizens.
It would be funny it the premise wasn’t painfully accurate.
Now a federal agency is being put on the spot by a member of Congress to share information it probably never should have been collecting in the first place. That’s assuming, of course, the NSA spies on federal agencies in the same wholesale manner they do on private citizens.
If it refuses to provide the information then it cements the perception they are a constitutionally rogue federal agency that answers to no one and lacks any check and balances on its power.
If it contends it doesn’t collect data on government agencies emails but only private citizens it is the smoking gun needed to confirm your worst fears that the United States is no longer a government of the people, by the people, and for the people. Instead it exists only to further advance the goals of government and to tighten government’s grip on the day-to-day lives of law-abiding citizens.
George Orwell himself wouldn’t have penned such a scenario because he probably thought no one would believe something so blatant could ever pass muster or let alone be believed.
Thanks to alleged political targeting by the IRS we are about to find just how much contempt our government holds the people in that is supposedly was created for to serve and protect.
Despite the IRS, NSA, Republicans, and Democrats I still trust the government.
It’s just the people running it I don’t trust.
This column is the opinion of Dennis Wyatt and does not necessarily represent the opinion of The Journal or Morris Newspaper Corp. of CA. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or 209.249.3519.